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Monday, March 24, 2014

Circular and Semi-Circular Parries in Fencing



At times you may have an opponent with lots of momentum and it is necessary to move the opponent’s blade out of the way. You may have seen a similar circular parry in the movies that forces the opponent’s blade out of his hand and flings it across the deck of a ship. In actual fencing, the movement is so quick and small that it is doubtful anyone will drop their blade. It is used as a method of defense, deflection and setting up for a riposte. 

The circular parry (counter parry made in sixte) is designed to deflect and move the opponent’s blade away from a line of attack. It is often handy when the opponent uses some force with their attack and a greater degree of deflection is needed. For attacks near your wrist, a smaller circular parry is needed while attacks to other parts of the body (i.e. the shoulder) may need a larger parry.

Both the circular parry and the semi-circular parry are similar and do much of the same thing but to different lines. The semi-circular parry will take a high line attack and move it to the opposite low line away from the body. A full circular parry will redirect an inside attack and deflect it to the outside using the same high line (visa versa). 

In a circular parry the opponent attacks in the high line, the blade is swung under the attack, and then reconnects on the other side thereby deflecting the attack to the opposite direction away from the target. In the semi-circular parry you maintain contact with opponent’s blade, slide over the top of the opponent’s blade, and then deflect it downward and in the opposite direction of the original line. 

The circular and semi-circular parry is an intermediate move.

A video is worth a thousand words.

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