After discussing the jab, it seemed many were confused about just what is a jab and what is a lead straight and whats the difference? So, after much hesitation, here it is.
From a spectator point of view it is very easy to confuse these punches as the mechanics are very similar.
The biggest difference between these two punches is the power. A jab, snaps at impact. A Leading straight snaps after it has gone THROUGH or PAST its target.
The generation of power is different than that of the jab as well, though one might not see it simply by looking. When you jab, its a whipping motion, mostly from the shoulder, with little help from the waist and torso. The Lead Straight is also whippy, and you should be relaxed when performing. However, the strike will begin at the feet. If you are using a lead right, then movement will start at your left foot, by springing out. The energy will continue through your left leg as it extends, through the waist as it turns, across the back, through the right shoulder, the right wrist as it snap, and expells through the target. The fist should return on the same plane, without dropping and at the same speed that it was fired out. Like all good punches, it does not move backwards before moving forwards, and it remains relaxed until impact.
While you can use it relatively the same as the jab, there are some key differences that should be noted.
These differences mainly spawn due to the increase in power. Since you are using more power there is more of a gap for you to be attacked. (Gap meaning time it takes from launch to impact, and from impact to arrival in your defensive structure.)
Since the gap is larger, this isnt often an opening technique, unless initializing a combo. It isnt used so much for range or for feeling out the opponent since it expels more energy than the jab. Instead the jab will often set up the straight, after opening up the opponent, or putting him on the defensive.
The straight plays a larger role in counter hitting and stop hitting than the jab. An angry attacker may sacrifice taking a jab to get the rush or clinch. When stop hitting with the straight you get much more power delivery and weight behind you, giving you a better chance of success for stopping.
As a counter it still gives adequate power. Since it is a straight line, and has the advantage of starting halfway to the opponent, it will reach the opponent quickly. Any opportunity that you can counter with a reverse punch, or cross, you can do it with a lead straight quicker, and with adequate power.
After a parry the lead straight is also very workable if you have good footwork. Parry, advance and straight. This can also be done while retreating.
The last, but one of the most important details involving the lead straight is head and hand placement.
Your head should tilt when using the lead straight and your rear hand should be just below the elbow of your lead arm. For example, if you use a lead straight right, your head should tilt slightly down and to the left. Be mindful to keep your eyes on your opponent of course. The reason for this is because of that slightly longer gap that we talked about earlier. Keeping your head down and tilted to the side will keep him from coming over your arm and hitting your jaw or back of your head. Your hand placement on the rear hand will keep him from landing an uppercut or hook on you. If he comes at you with a straight shot, chances are you can slip it or it will graze you, since your head is tilted.
When using the straight to the body, be sure to keep your line of sight. Keep your shoulder level with your fist and your target. Drop levels quickly, coming in and going out.
And lastly a simple formula to help you decide whether you want to go high or low with the lead straight. High if they are farther and low if they're closer. Not absolute but a guide anyways.
So there you have it. Hope I covered it all. Probably havent. Its late, and I dont know that much so what do you expect?!
Enjoy guys and lets hear what you think!