One of the most important of the left vs. right tapi tapi techniques in the IMAF and in Bamboo Spirit Martial Arts is the “left vs. right parry back fist.” In this article, I address the problem of “fuzziness” in this particular technique. I often tell my students “no fuzziness allowed!”

There are several elements to this particular technique, including the sweep stroke, proper footwork, the parry/back fist sequence and the breakout. When I teach my students this particular technique, I tell them that the parry/back fist needs to be target specific and done with intent. There are some who fall into the habit of doing a “fuzzy” parry back fist. It may be fuzzy in the sense that it’s not target specific or is executed with weak intent.

I love the left vs. right parry back/fist. For one thing, the parry alone can be used to off balance your opponent and set them up for the follow up back fist. A good set up will result in a hit. If the parry/back fist is energetically weak, then you’ve wasted an opportunity to either hit your opponent or set him up. The sweep stroke, the footwork, and the parry should all be used together on your opponent. If any of those three are weak, the technique is likely to fail.

Bottom line: it’s about structure and intent!


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