"There is a difference between a parry and a block - sword fighting can be likened to dancing because once it begins there is (for the most part) perpetual motion.
If the dancer just stands he/she is not dancing. You rarely stand to receive a blow (blocking). If you do, for whatever reason, the spine of the blade is better than your body. Ideally, you want to move out of the way or close the space or parry with whatever connects to avoid damage to yourself.
lades that are used in battle are repaired over and over again or replaced because cutting damages blades and parrying damages blades. Blocking absolutely damages the blade too - that's why we have shields in pretty much every culture I can think of. The sword is a fluid weapon that needs to be seeking the target and alive. There are many techniques for this. Try using a Claymore - you don't fight like that. Switch to a Jian, again, the techniques change. Seek the target while avoiding the opponents attempts to connect with your vital areas.
When using the Jian people forget that we don't just go for the head or the vital organs or even the inside of the legs... we go for the back of the hands. There are many reasons for this. First, it is the closest target since the arm must be extended when they swing the blade. Secondly, if the opponent can't hold their weapon we have the advantage. Third, if the opponent moves the hand out of the way to avoid the cut we can often step into the created space and take it away from them."