Another question for move names, sorry.

This time I've failed to Google up / Wikipedia up a name for a move when a fighter dodges and counter-strikes at the same time.

I know there is such a thing as "parry" - when a fighter blocks and counter-strikes.

But what about dodge and strike?

I suppose instances of this must've been happening on rings / octagons? If so, is there any name for this?

  • There's probably dozens of compound descriptions! Combine any of slip/dodge/shift/lean (and many I haven't thought of) with any punch you care to name - straight/jab/cross/overhand/hook/uppercut .... Having one phrase to describe something that can happen a thousand different ways would be kinda odd. : ) Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 11:16
  • I might try: "dodging attack" "evasive attack" "defensive attack"
    – nikodaemus
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 12:40

5 Answers 5


I don't know about in English, but there certainly is in Japanese.

In Shorinji Kempo we have different words for every kind of time difference between the attacker moving and the defender moving.

Go no sen: If you wait for the attack, then block or dodge, then counter after the attack has finished. (hard initiative or machi no sen waiting initiative)

Tai no sen: If you wait for the attack, then block or dodge and counter all at once as the attacker moves. (Opposing or mutual initiative)

Sensen no sen: If you see the opponent twitch or tell and then seeing their intent strike pre-emptively. (literally taking the initiative before the initiative)

We also have one more method of sen:

Ki no sen: This is where you avoid the fight altogether. It includes things like walking the other side of the street to the violent drunk man or talking someone out of attacking.

Note that Ki no sen does not mean that you use a no-touch technique. we are martial artists not con artists.

  • 2
    Same terms are used in Aikido… Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 7:58
  • Interesting. I wander how recent they are. They may be Jujitsu terms or could be terms coined by So Doshin or Mori Ushiba and transferred to the other art by students that trained under both.
    – Huw Evans
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 8:43
  • 1
    As far as I know they more or less translations of before the attack, during the attack, after the attack, make your own timing… Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 8:49
  • From the little Japanese I know that doesn't seem right. 'no' is a possessive. A bit like the word of. Sen means timing. So 'something no sen' would be 'timing of something'.
    – Huw Evans
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 8:56
  • 1
    True that. I'll check with one of my Japanese speaking friends.
    – Huw Evans
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 10:07

I would suggest you to look into a fencing book or the www and the terms parry & riposte.

A parry is a fencing bladework maneuver intended to deflect or block an incoming attack.

(from wiki)

Riposte is an offensive action with the intent of hitting one's opponent, made by the fencer who has just parried an attack.

(from wiki)

You may name it parry-riposte technique, as you do both at the same time.

You may also have a look at fencing tactics or on this page.

  • The question uses the parry term to ask for a similar one where the attack is not parried but dodged.
    – mattm
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 14:13
  • @mattm In my opinion there is no better term. Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 7:03

Counter attack

From the glossary of the International Fencing Federation :

Counter-attack : A simple or coumpound counter-offensive action on an opponents attack. It is sometimes executed while stepping forward, sometimes by retreating or by ducking, sometimes with a half-lunge or an extension of the guard.

From Wikipedia's Glossary of Fencing :

Counter-Attack : An attack made against, or into, an attack initiated by the opponent. In foil and sabre, a counter-attack does not have the right-of-way against the opponent’s initiated attack. Counter-attacking is a common tactic in épée, where one may gain a touch by hitting first, and avoiding the opponent’s attack. Counter-attacks, especially in épée, are often accompanied by an action on the blade (beat, opposition, prise-de-fer, transfer).

In modern fencing, we differentiate :

  • Parade, Riposte (Parry & Riposte), which tells quite acurately what it is, but can also sometimes be a dodge & riposte, the main point here being that the opponent had the time to perform his attack fully (and failing) before being hit.
  • Contre-attaque (Counter attack) : which is, I think, what you're looking for. You interrupt an already launched attack by striking really fast, managing not to get hit. It often is a strike at the face, ideally the eyes, in the hope of "staggering" your opponent.
  • Attaque sur la préparation (Stop Hit) : Playing on range and perception, you attack an opponent who's walking towards you but did not attack yet. It's basically a counter-attack on an opponent that hesitated.

The choice between these three terms depends a lot more on when you touched your opponent than on how you managed not being hit.

  • 1
    You could make this an even better answer by providing a source for the terms you listed.
    – Mike P
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 12:48
  • Thanks. I learned that the correct translation for "Attaque sur la préparation" would be a "stop hit".
    – Zaa
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 13:16
  • @MikeP Those are common French fencing terms… Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 13:22
  • Okay, but that's not immediately obvious to those of us, myself included, with no fencing experience.
    – Mike P
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 13:42

As of the movement itself, this can be the outcome of several mindsets and tactics. Therefore, I will use the Japanese terms that describe a certain tactics/mindset while fighting rather than the relative movements of the opponents as they appear.

In contemporary Japanese martial arts, it is "sen" (or "sen no sen").

From Tadao Otaki & Donn F. Draeger (2001) Formal Techniques: A Complete Guide to Kodokan Randori no Kata, Tokyo: Tuttling, p.78:

Kano recognized three levels of combative initiative (sen): ( I) go no sen, the "late" form of attack initiative, usually characterized as a defensive move or counteraction; (2) sen, the attack initiative that is also defensive but launched simultaneously with the aggressor's attack; (3) sen-sen no sen, a supraliminal attack initiative, also defensive but appearing to be offensive, through which the aggressor's attack is anticipated and "beaten to the punch" by an appropriate action.

For the variant "sen-no-sen", see Lowry, Dave (2017): Traditions: Essays on the Japanese Martial Arts and Ways, Tokyo: Tuttling, chapter 36 ("Sen (Taking the Initiative)").

In older Japanese (military tactics), it is "tai no sen"

This is hard to apply as it is about troop movements and actual attack movements of opposing armies instead of 1 on 1, hand to hand fights. This becomes apparent in the longer descriptions of the principles given, especially in the German edition that used the original manuscript to correct the English version (and which I cannot cite here for obvious reasons). Thus, these terms and descriptions are to be taken metaphorically, not literally.

From the classic The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi (1645):

The Three Methods to Forestall the Enemy

The first is to forestall him by attacking. This is called Ken No Sen (to set him up).

Another method is to forestall him as he attacks. This is called Tai No Sen (to wait for the initiative).

The other method is when you and the enemy attack together. This is called Tai Tai No Sen (to accompany him and forestall him).

There are no methods of taking the lead other than these three. Because you can win quickly by taking the lead, it is one of the most important things in strategy. There are several things involved in taking the lead. You must make the best of the situation, see through the enemy's spirit so that you grasp his strategy and defeat him. It is impossible to write about this in detail.

Remark: I'd say it is rather "tai no sen" than "tai tai no sen" because it is about dodge and attack in one move, i.e. the initiative of the opponent is part of my course of action through which I "forestall" his initiative.

There are ambiguities that may not even be visible to the untrained eye, i.e. a dodge can be preemptive (reacting on telegraphing) coupled with a counter or an adaption of a striking initiative that was there before (both attacking at the same time), which may make the difference between tai no sen and tai tai no sen and look the same.

The longer descriptions given are:

When the enemy attacks, remain undisturbed but feign weakness. As the enemy reaches you, suddenly move away indicating that you intend to jump aside, then dash in attacking strongly as soon as you see the enemy relax. This is one way.

Or, as the enemy attacks, attack more strongly, taking advantage of the resulting disorder in his timing to win.

This is the Tai No Sen principle.


When the enemy makes a quick attack, you must attack strongly and calmly, aim for his weak point as he draws near, and strongly defeat him.

Or, if the enemy attacks calmly, you must observe his movement and, with your body rather floating, join in with his movements as he draws near. Move quickly and cut him strongly.

This is Tai Tai No Sen


In boxing, I think the term you want is slip and counterpunch.

Here is a YouTube highlight reel.

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