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TOPIC: The Proper Way to Learn to Parry

The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55651

  • Eddlyss64
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We've all seen it. An amatuer swordsman or saberite picks up a weapon for the first time in an actual duel, and they swing that sucker all over the place. Sure, great offense. But what happens when that amatuer ends up countered? Suddenly he is relying on a defense far weaker than his initial offense.

We've all been there, as well. Anyone who picks up a sword or saber with knowledge of how to use it once started at that level. But those who were sick and tired of being beaten as youngsters decided to learn that the best offense is a good defense, and thus began to study one of the most fundamental parts of the saberites' list of moves, both basic and advanced: THE PARRY.

Parrying is by far one of the most useful skills in the swordsman's arsenal. It requires dexterity and good reflexes to learn, and it takes determination and stubbornness to master. But its results can be seen in characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, a master of the defensive Form III, Soresu. Kenobi's Soresu mastery in his prime was said to be so great that it was almost never pierced by enemy blade or blaster bolt.

No, you don't have to necessarily master Soresu to know how to parry. Yes, it is vital to your training as a swordsman. So, how do you do it? Well, TPLA just released an excellent first-person view video of Darth Nonymous' students having to parry each of the good Grandmaster's attacks without countering. Just parry after parry. Good parries are fluid and precise, and you can see that here. This is an excellent exercise to improve your defensive technique. Get a friend and some safety gear and begin some flow sparring, with one person making fluid attacks and the other parrying but not countering. Then reverse roles, speed up, whatever you need to as you get better. The video is posted below:

(Also, feels like this part of the Forums has been kind of quiet lately. C'mon, saber duelers, come out of the woodwork already! I know you're there...)


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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55658

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Gonna watch this tomorrow, thanks for posting it! And we're here. Taught myself the obi ani spin this weekend. We're out here.
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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55678

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Most of us "Old Guyz" learned long ago to learn defense first!







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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55685

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Hi Eddlyss64, Everyone,

I have been studying quietly by watching videos that have been posted here by E64 and other members. I hadn't posted or joined in to chat as I don't have any duelling experience (unless 6 months of fencing 25 years ago counts). But I have finally drawn up the courage to start swinging my Lightsaber in earnest and have got the basics of defence sort of. I also attempted to learn the Obi-Ani spin and am just working up the speed and fluidity.

Thanks for putting up these great learning aids for an old guy like me.

For Tyeth


P.S. To =Otto=, great reference to the Karate Kid, I too learnt to paint De Fence (and De Gate and De Porch!)
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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55706

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Paint the fence,
Sand the floor,
Wax the car.

I also learned balance on a boat…
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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55708

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Nice Video Post E64.

:lol: Maybe it's an Asian thing (or not), in my household Chopsticks are in more abundance than stainless steel cutlery. Yes, the following was practiced as Training in Patience..


However in later years, faster results was more heavily sought.
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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55709

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Decent vid.

To be quite honest though, I believe the most valuable and overlooked thing is movement and foot work. If you stumble on your feet as you back peddle when your opponent attacks, no matter how many times you parry, you're done. If your static even in your own attacks, you're done. If you don't know how to open or close yourself off, done.

Movement is how you create space to give your reflexes time to parry, block, counter. That footwork and movement transfers to the offensive also. To be explosive and close the gap for an attack. Or even the agility to go from back to forward motion in an instant. Even side to side.

But a sword duel isn't 3 or 4 parries. It's a quick draw. One and done.
That's why it's the mental chess match for the samurai before that strike occurs. And because of this I sometimes find it difficult on which side do I draw on, the real or the staged?
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by NeBosa.
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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55711

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NeBosa you make a valid point. I've been playing TFU II quite a bit lately. I find myself at the end of certain levels, in open space studying the basic strikes the character uses in the game. When actually practicing those BASIC moves, the foot work is CRUCIAL.
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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55714

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While I can see the benefits of parry drills and love TPLA's videos, the element they don't seem to be covering is footwork. If you rely entirely on your saber to block each incoming attack, you will tire yourself out very quickly. (Unless you are physically fitter than your opponent.)
Combine a good, instinctive parry with a fluid, instinctive movement and you'll have a great defence.

I'm lucky enough to have joined an excellent lightsaber class where we are learning these elements, but we have a LONG way to go yet.

Thank you for sharing the video though, will check it out properly later.
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.
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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55725

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Thanks everyone for your helpful info! Gaelis, Otto and NeBosa, you guys have all made excellent observances on footwork. However, I've always found clean and fluid footwork to come easy to me, whether it be caused by my time in Track (staying light on my feet) or my knowledge of ninjutsu. At any rate, you are definitely right, footwork is very important.

Also, for people like Master Tyeth, don't be afraid to post here if your skill with a saber isn't quite up to snuff, that's okay! I just want to see this part of the Forums become more active again. With all the people here receiving their sabers, I'd love to see new additions to the Saber Combat Club (newly moniker-ed by Eddlyss64, so you heard it here first)!

(I, too, got the Karate Kid references, the original is still better...)


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The Proper Way to Learn to Parry 1 year 11 months ago #55784

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Hi Eddlyss64, Everyone,

Thank you for the "invite". I have completed a training session this morning (depleting my saber's battery in the process) and rediscovered a feeling I haven't felt since I was a pub/bar entertainer. That feeling is the "burning sensation" when you exercise hard. I had to dance when I was an entertainer dressed as The Mask and I have been able to utilise some of those skills in my saber training.

I have used the footwork techniques as mentioned by fellow members, but also I have been able to use Timing Count and Sound to my advantage. I have discovered that if I get my Saber to move a particular way I can use the sounds to time my movements and make them more fluid. There is a particular swing sound that when spinning (Obi-Ani especially) that links and repeats itself. When you get the movements correct then the sound becomes seamless.
I have found these dance skills really useful and I have only dared try all this about a week ago.

Thanks for all the info and advice,

For Tyeth
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