In Sayoc Kali Transition Knife Drills, one of the first things we teach to a new student is the concept of the “cross-body parry” or “cross-body tap.” The cross-body tap is simply a type of parry that allows the Receiver to more effectively track their opponent’s blade. In this short video tutorial, we introduce the concepts of the cross-body parry as well as the same-side parry and discuss why we teach the cross-body parry first.
A same-side parry occurs when the Receiver attempts to parry the blade with the hand that is on the same side as the direction of the attack. A cross-body parry is just the opposite. the Receiver uses the hand across his body from the direction of the attack.
It is more difficult to track the blade with a same-side parry if the Feeder should choose to change their line of attack. The Receiver also needs to have a better understanding of footwork and body positioning to correctly execute a same-side parry. Cross-body parries, on the other hand, are much easier to learn and execute correctly. Because of the way the arm is positioned, with the elbow down, it is easier to track the blade even if the Feeder chooses to change their line of attack and even if the Receiver’s footwork and body positioning aren’t yet as good as they could be.
While the cross-body parry is certainly not the end-all-be-all of knife tapping, it is, indeed, a very effective tool for very quickly installing in new students a high level of blade sensitivity and tracking.