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How To Parry A Punch (instructional video included)

Parrying Punches:

Parrying is a method of blocking straight punches whereas you deflect the punch as opposed to blocking/stopping it. They work best against straight punches to the face/head.

This technique is crucial to use when fighting a bigger, stronger person, because their longer reach will allow them to hit you, while your reach may not be able to hit them back. Additionally, parrying allows you to deflect an assailants power punches away from your head while using minimal strength.

Additionally, parrying sets the shorter fighter up to counter-attack the assailant with longer reach, especially if he is in close. The shorter fighter can also counter-attack the assailant while moving diagonally.

How to Parry A Punch:
  1. Start in neutral or fighting stance.

  2. Use your same-side hand to push/deflect the assailant's fist away from your head.

  3. Return your hand to its original position (hands up -fighting stance).

  4. Push (deflect) his fist only past your head (not further), and quickly return your hand to its original position (fighting stance).

  5. Keep your fingers together.

  6. Maintain a rigid/strong hand and wrist when parrying.


Do Not Cross Block (using opposite side hand to block). Use your same-side hand to block their punch (i.e., if his left-hand punches, you parry with your right hand). Cross blocking leaves your face/head wide open for an assailant's second punch.

Below is a short instructional video of how to parry punches.

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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight

Parrying Punches

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