The Parry, or Tang, is a foundational defensive technique in the discipline of Muay Thai. This move, primarily used to redirect an opponent's strike away from its target, calls for precision and quick reflexes. Mastering this technique will not only improve one's defensive capabilities but also open up opportunities for counter-attacks.
Begin in your standard Muay Thai stance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your fists guarding your jawline and elbows located close to your ribcage.
As your opponent begins to strike, push your defending hand forward and outwards to meet their offensive. Make contact with their forearm and remember to keep your hand slightly open while doing so; this will help to guide their strike away rather than attempting to block it.
Defending against a parry entails unpredictability in your attack pattern. Feints can be used to bait out a premature parry, providing an opening for you to latch onto.
While parrying, position yourself for a counter-attack. As your opponent's strike is being redirected, they are momentarily off balance. Use that to your advantage to land a quick strike or a powerful kick.
In competition, the Tang is used more frequently in the later rounds when fighters are looking for opportunities to counter-attack, 'sting' their opponent, and increment points. As for why, it's simply because a successful Tang entails tiring out the opponent, finding openings and creating chances for scoring.
Remember, the purpose of a parry isn't to stop an opponent's attack, but to redirect it. Improved timing and understanding of opponents' cues will largely contribute to effective utilization of this technique.
Mastering the Tang or Parry move can augment your defensive capabilities, tire out your opponent, and provide you with scoring opportunities. However, remember that like all defensive techniques, it's most effective when used with a mix of other tools in your arsenal.