Years ago, I tried a beginner's boxing class in college. One of the moves taught was parry an incoming jab with your back hand. This is for when both partners are in orthodox position. I think there may have been a counterjab at the same time. Since it was a beginner class, we didn't learn slipping. I picked that up later in kickboxing.

I thought, why not synchronize all three? The parry assists the slip (a bit) -- as you move your right hand leftward toward the centre line, it can help you move your upper torso rightward away from the centre line. This moves your left shoulder toward the centre line, a bit to the left of the incoming jab, and well positioned to unleash a jab of its own.

I haven't trained in years, but I try to keep up the drills in isolation. It's hard to know how practical the above drill is in a live interactive situation, even in a friendly drill, much less an unchoreagraphed situation. Can anyone comment on this? I haven't found examples online, and I'm afraid that this means it's not all that practical.

I also have a similar drill for an incoming cross, but with everything in mirror image, i.e., leading left hand parries, upper torso rotates a bit to the left, and the simultaneous counter is my own right cross.

For both of these, I sometimes lean or shift forward a bit, and sometimes backward a bit. There are, of course, follow-up strikes to the simultaneous counter, which can vary depending on one's creativity.

What I found about parrying on YouTube

Only the final video shows a slip-ish motion, specifically accompanying a side parry. To me, this makes sense because slipping wouldn't really complement the other parries that are demonstrated. The demonstrator didn't actually say to slip at the same time, but you can see him doing it.

The demonstrator only talks about a side parry against a cross, so there is no footage of him parrying a jab. I'm wondering whether slipping also makes sense for the latter.

I have yet to encounter a video on simultaneous parrying, slipping, and counter-striking.

  • 1
    Are you thinking about this in a strictly Western boxing context?
    – mattm
    Feb 9 at 4:08
  • I didn't really think about that. Probably not, since the movements in boxing seem to me to be a lot more nuanced than kickboxing. So let's restrict the scope of the question to a kickboxing context. Feb 9 at 5:52
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    I cannot believe you have been shown a parry without upper body movement. I never encountered it shown that way regardless of the style. There was always a "and move out of the way just to be sure". Feb 9 at 9:49
  • Well, it was just a beginner class. Just now, I tried to find examples on YouTube: boxing, MMA, boxing. Only the final video shows a slip-ish motion accompanying a side parry against a cross. Mind you, it seems to me that slipping only makes sense for a side parry. The demonstrator didn't actually say to slip at the same time, but you can see him doing it. Feb 10 at 0:41

1 Answer 1


I think you will not find anything on simultaneous parry, slip and counter for a jab if not in some of these 'arts' that don't test their teachings in hard sparring but only do cooperative drills instead.

The reason is simple: reaction times and inertia.

A good jab is in an out in about one second. A very good reaction time is about half a second. And a jab can come almost without prior movement signalling what is about to come. All this under the condition of a real fight, ie. utter chaos. In other words: It already is a great feat to parry a jab in a fight. Like at all. Mostly, that is done by fighters who sacrifice guard and powerful jabs for half-extended lead hands and rely on crosses to make damage. They are usually guys with range advantages where their opponent's jabs take longer since they need to cover distance.

What you suggest, though, is basically moving your power hand inwards and start and land a jab while the opponent extends and retracts in a straight line. That is not going to work. Even if you, somehow, hit, you will not hit with any power as you acceleration is out of line.

In either case, you would basically have to move twice as fast as your opponent. And that doesn't even count in that your opponent can move and counter as well. Can work against people who don't know how to jab (fast and with power) and get out of balance doing so, not advisable against fighters with experience imho.

  • Thanks, Philip Klocking. I appreciate the logic that you elaborated. To be clear, the side-parrying hand is the back (right) hand, while the simultaneous jab is with the lead (left) hand. It doesn't have to be an overhand, it come from a bit left of centre line. But this doesn't necessarily change your logic. Feb 10 at 15:03
  • @user2153235 Yeah, sorry I misread the question body. But to be honest, it makes even less sense to parry with your power hand and land a weak hit with the lead hand than the other way round. Especially if we are talking orthodox vs orthodox. Against southpaw, it may have the limited applicability mentioned if your opponent is very slow and leaning in. Feb 10 at 20:16
  • Parrying with the lead hand would put me on the opponent's inside, ripe for targeting by his cross. My cross would also be on his outside. Though I guess it doesn't matter if the general idea doesn't make sense. Feb 10 at 20:25
  • You are correct, scratch that, I was thinking crosses there, where the whole thing does also make more sense since you actually got some reaction time. Feb 10 at 20:28
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    @user2153235 In boxing, you will probably not see combinations started with a cross. In street fights, quite regularly. That misses the point though: you never face a single attack, and the first move will come too fast for anything other than evasion. But you can wait for the cross that will eventually come and parry+counter that. Training single moves in isolation is exactly what makes so many martial arts impractical for actual fighting. Feb 11 at 9:12

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