Counterpunching With the Parry!

by Fran on October 10, 2010

About Counterpunching with the Parry

Before you check out the video, let me say this:  The key to successful counterpunching lies in understanding that there is more than one key to successful counterpunching!  I don’t mean to be abstract with that statement, it’s actually very true.  If you are seeking to find out how to become a top counterpuncher overnight by reading one article and watching one video then I’m afraid you are misguided.  But, and this is a big but, being a sound conterpuncher will most definitely require an aptitude for blocking punches and parrying punches, in particular blocking and parrying the boxing jab.  We have already covered counterpunching the jab with a block, now it is time to examine the use of the parry when counterpunching the same jab.

As with a block, using the parry to prevent an opponent’s jab from landing has 3 main benefits:

  • It is an efficient defensive action which uses little energy.
  • It’s an assertive defense, providing the dominant position to go ‘on the attack.’
  • Having blocked an opponent’s jab, it stands to reason that you are in range to respond successfully with your own shot.

If you want to be a counterpunching genius then learning to successfully parry an opponent’s jab will certainly help you along the way, and using the parry offers an excellent variation of the conventional block.  Watch the video then please leave any comments or questions below.

The Mechanics of Counterpunching With the Parry

The description here assumes an orthodox versus an orthodox.  It is the back hand (right hand) that parries the incoming jab.  If you want to understand more about boxing stances, then download the free report which covers southpaw versus orthodox.

The mechanics of parrying an incoming jab are:

  1. The first move is a push from the back foot.  This push from the back foot provides the drive to rotate the hips and upper body in a counter-clockwise direction.  This is a similar action to that which starts the right cross.
  2. The back hand (right hand) moves from the guard position, palm open, and contacts the opponent’s jab on the outside (the right side as you look at it) of the wrist.
  3. The opponent’s jab should be pushed from your right to left.  As the parry is taking place, the right hand should not move beyond the line of the left hand (economy of movement is vital.)
  4. After parrying the shot, the hand returns instantly to the ‘home’ position.

Common Faults When Parrying the Jab

The key faults that occur when a boxer attempts to parry an opponent’s jab are:

  1. After parrying the shot, the boxer’s right hand moves too far to their left (beyond the line of the left hand).  Ensure that the right hand moves no more than 3 to 5 inches away from the ‘home’ position otherwise a large gap will be left in your own defense!
  2. The move becomes an ‘arm only’ action.  If the initial drive is not provided by the back foot pushing (thereby rotating the upper body), then it is highly likely that the arm will not be strong enough to deflect the jab.  Basically, the opponent’s jab will pile through your defense and straight into your face!
  3. This parry, as with blocking the jab, is a platform for counterpunching.  A major mistake is to successfully parry the punch but not take advantage by throwing your own shot!  This is an opportunity wasted and against a high standard of opponent opportunities don’t come along that often.  Furthermore, when you throw your counterpunch, it must be instant.  Your own jab should land whilst your opponent’s jab is still in the palm of your hand…yes, really that fast!

Enjoy using this skill.  Successfully parrying an opponent’s punch really will open the door for top class counterpunching.

As always, leave a comment below.



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous October 2, 2013 at 7:52 am

As a coach on are courses was always told that when you parry pushing there hand inside was called a outside parry and not inside as you say because im moving to there outside.


Fran October 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm

As long as the boxer ‘gets it’ I’d not be too concerned personally whether it’s described as the inside parry (because you parry it inside the line of the opponent’s jab) or the outside parry (because you are given a line of attack outside the line of the opponent’s jab).


Kevin July 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Hi Fran,

Please excuse my ignorance, but to me it feels more natural to parry to the outside with my left(lead) hand and throw a right cross at the same time. My orthodox opponent is all tied up(his lead hand is off to the side and it blocks his right) and I have a nice look at his head. Why is that not the normal combination? At my gym I’m not allowed to spar yet so I have no practical experience.


Fran July 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Your approach is slightly unorthodox and is quite an advanced skill really. The back hand block and parry is quite simply a more natural ‘fit’ with the opponent’s jab because it’s ‘in line’ with that jab. It’s also less of a risk as your lead hand has to travel slightly further across your defensive line to ‘catch’ the jab. It’s just not something the you see too often. This said, when you do spar it is something you must try. When it comes off it’s a great outcome for the reasons that you describe. Well done for thinking this one through Kevin.


kevin July 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Thanks so much Fran love your site.


Fran July 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Not a problem. Thanks Kevin.


tom August 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Ok, I think I got it. Will try how it works with double jabs and will probably switch to parrying sideways:). I have always had troubles to cope with these. Btw, would you recommend to choose two different deffensive actions in that case? Yes, I know one should always counter but my experience is that if an opponent goes for a double jab he usually tries to land the second jab even when you throw a counter jab. Thank you for your advice.


tom August 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi, I just want to ask about parrying the jab down because that´s what I was taught in the gym… And it works I should say, maybe the momentum with the counter jab is a bit weaker but the jab seems faster on the other hand. What do you think about it? Thank you.


Fran August 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm


Thanks for the question. Parrying the incoming jab downwards is not a big issue I guess. What I would say is that if you parry the shot downwards, then your parrying hand may very well drop below the level of your chin and leave a gap. Parrying sideways probably holds a little less risk as the parrying hand always stays in the line of any incoming shots.

Cheers Tom


lewis June 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm

thanks. I’ve been watching a lot of your videos because I’ve started a club but they’re shutting for a month or so in summer. you’re vids are great though I’m jsut away to look at some fitness ones just now to get an idea of what to do.


lewis June 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

hello, as a beginner i’ve found your video’s on boxing skills very helpful. it’s good how you don’t make it sound complicated. i think you have done a very good job.


Fran June 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Thank you Lewis. I wish you the very best of luck with your boxing. Keep in mind what you said about it sounding not complicated, stick with the simple stuff and all else will fall into place.


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