This is the single most important lesson that you will ever learn about defense: it’s all about getting the distance right.
In fact, if you get the distance right, you don’t even have to use your blade to parry.
Below you can see how Choi (right) makes Rigin (left) fall short on his first attack by getting the distance right. If you look even closer, you’ll realize that Choi doesn’t even use his blade to parry.
Beyond having an amazing fourth parry (or third parry, first parry, second parry, etc.), focus on getting the distance right first.
Below is one of my favorite touches of all time. It’s the final touch (1:20:07 or 1:22:51 for slow motion) of the 2012 Olympics. Watch how Baldini (left) makes Ota (right) fall short on his attack, and then scores immediately after. Notice how Baldini doesn’t even use his blade to parry. Simply beautiful.
Insanely beautiful touch: London 2012 Olympic Games – Italy vs. Japan
Of course, in the above examples, we analyzed some of the best fencers in the world. Needless to say, they put in countless hours of practice before getting to that level. But, one of the massive improvements to their defense started with getting the distance right.
Additionally, the bonus take-away is: if you make your opponents fall short in their attacks, parrying with your blade becomes optional (and it looks pretty sick if you can do that). The way you make your opponents fall short on their attacks is by perfecting your footwork.
Thank You for Your Feedback
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please let me know in the comments what your thoughts are and if you would like me to talk more about something in particular (timing, footwork exercises, parrys, etc.).
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