The final post in a series of posts regarding anticipation/reaction and beating/punishing.
These concepts are what has put the parry system in the fighting game Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike under much scrutiny and ridicule, leading to much debate.
Fact of the matter is, a parry in 3S (and CvS2 for that matter) does not have a whiff animation. Therefor, you can't wait until the opponent is done attempting one to punish it. There is no time-frame between the act of a parry input and the transition to another action, which can include blocking.
You can, however, hit a parry during the actual attempt by hitting the parry during the input with a move that can counter a parry. What this means is that parries are beatable, but are not punishable.
What I enjoy using as an example of what this is like is a counter-move like Geese Howard, except if these counters had absolutely no whiff animation and did not put you in a state where you couldn't cancel the action.
In other words, if Geese performs a low-counter, it would have instant startup and instant recovery, and if at any time you connect a low-attack with the low-counter then Geese would be rewarded with significant damage. The only way to counter Geese's counter would be to hit with a high-attack to beat the low-counter.
Be that as it may, Geese is not in a state where he is unable to act, therefor if you throw him or perform a super attack that contains a super-flash and screen freeze, he has a chance to react and take evasive/defensive action.
And that is literally what a parry is. It is not like an uppercut/dragonpunch, and it is not a defensive option.
A parry isn't a defensive though. It's an offensive one.
A defensive option is like a Just Defend, or a Faultless/Fortress Defense, or a Push Block. Things that actually defend against damage without any direct followup/damage/knockdown. When something can be used to hit the opponent, and potentially knock them down, that's an offensive option.
A reversal dragon punch is an offensive option. Sure, you want to use it when the other person is attacking, but then you're attacking too. You're taking an offensive route to not just neutralize a threat but also to change momentum to your favor by choosing something that has a high probability of beating the opponent's attack.
A parry is the same thing. You aren't going to parry into nothing. If you succeed in a parry you're going to hit them and probably knock them down. This is an offensive option just like a DP.
Now, the difference is, a uppercut/dragon punch can be baited and punished on reaction.
A 3S-style parry can only be fished out and beat on anticipation.
And the primary reason is because it has no whiff animation. You can't hit a missed parry after it's executed, you can only hit an incorrect parry during the button input window.
If you're getting rushed down a defensive option will neutralize attacks, not reverse them. Offensive options reverse the flow of momentum.
But I digress. The end.