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Posted by Matthew Chapman on

Parrying is a defensive movement that uses a quick deflection usually by the hands to redirect a strike. Parrying a strike is better than blocking a strike as a parry redirects the punch or kick off-line and therefore avoids receiving any impact. Parrying takes a little more training than blocking but with a little practice is easily integrated into an effective defensive strategy. Parrying also requires better timing than blocking as it is important to intercept the attack at precisely the right moment to avoid over parrying or under parrying.



Over parrying means reaching too far to redirect the strike, this may leave you open on another line to a different attack. Parrying should be kept as small as possible with minimum movement. Big swatting movements will open you up. It is best to imagine brushing a fly off your nose. You don't need to take a massive swing at a fly on your nose, just a little brush away will deal with the problem. The same applies to parrying punches or kicks, it does not take a lot of energy to redirect a strike. In the beginning it is tempting to over react and put too much power into a parry. This is because fear of getting hit cause the person to overreact and swing wildly at the approaching arm. Fortunately after a while the technique becomes refined until it is as efficient as possible and uses the minimum amount of movement and energy to perform correctly.


The opposite of over parrying is under parrying, this is when not enough force is used to redirect the strike and the strike continues onto its intended target. Different strikes require different amounts of force to redirect.

Parrying kicks

Generally kicks require more force than punches but practice with a good partner will allow students to learn the correct amount of force required. It is best to Parry with one hand or arm at a time leaving the other hand or arm to counter-attack. This is the main reason why parrying is more effective than blocking as blocking frequently requires both arms to be involved in the defensive move while a parry leaves one hand free. The Parry also has an effect of off balancing the person throwing the strike which helps lengthen their reaction time and can set up multiple counters.

Mittmaster Matt

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