I've seen several videos (like Evo finals, etc) in which top players were abble to parry attacks: unlike blocks, parries will avoid you to lose any life (I think).

One of the most famous examples, with Daigo "the beast" (SF3):

But I have no idea about

  • how to perform a parry
  • how does it work exactly (it looks like a part of your life is glowing in a bright yellow, right after the parry)

There is no parry in Street Fighter IV. Something similar is Focus Attack. Focus attack doesn't require a perfect timing which you need in parry. Also, you can`t parry all upcoming attacks and you are not invincible when doing it. To do a Focus Attack, press and hold Medium Punch + Medium Kick at the same time and your character will start charging. There are a lot of differences between focus attack and parry:

  • Focus attack is an offensive move that can stun the opponent. It has three different "levels" depending on how long you've held it and only crumples ("stuns") if it's a counterhit (level 1), unblocked (level 2), or always (level 3).
  • Focus attack doesn't completely negate the damage, you absorb it into your health bar as recoverable health. You should not focus when low on life, as you will die if you take 200% of your current HP as "recoverable" damage.
  • You can only focus one attack, so moves which hit twice or just a couple of jabs or short will be able to penetrate the focus.
  • Throws, command grabs, and many ultras and specials that are called armorbreakers which will hit you regardless of focus. When this happens you'll hear a sound like a pane of glass shattering.

In order to cancel the Focus Attack, right after the parry, for instance, keep Medium Punch and Medium Kick pressed down and dash forward or backward.

Focus attack parrying a hadoken

If you land a L3 focus attack or any other focus that crumples, you should immediately dash towards your opponent and execute your most powerful combo, ultra, etc. This is a great chance to deal damage.

  • you can also do focus absorb instead of attack, you don't necessarily have to finish the attack animation. – l I Mar 20 '13 at 22:23
  • i think GOUKEN has parry in Street Fighter IV .. is it not ?? – Dhaval Sep 17 '13 at 20:08
  • @z' You mean a focus dash cancel, once you hold the buttons down, you can't stop the attack unless you dash cancel. – casperOne Jul 15 '14 at 14:23
  • 1
    @Dhaval Yes, Gouken does have a parry move, but it's a special move, not a standard mechanic that everyone has in the game. – casperOne Jul 15 '14 at 14:24
  • @Joetjah Any special move, super, or ultra is performed that is a reversal (done on the first frame of a wake up), it has the armor breaking property. You might want to add that to the last bullet point. Also, you'll want to include Red Focus for Ultra Street Fighter 4. – casperOne Jul 15 '14 at 14:26

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