catch (someone) off balance

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catch (someone) off balance

To startle someone; to come upon someone unawares and/or when he or she is unprepared. Often used in the past tense. The security guard caught the thieves off balance. That essay question on the exam caught me completely off balance. Your opponent is going to try to catch you off balance during the debate, so just be sure to stick to your position.
See also: balance, catch, off
References in periodicals archive ?
But in the second round, the American caught him off balance with an accurate, but hardly powerful, left that put the Englishman on the canvas.
Stewart Simpson was crouching on a popular angling spot at South Gare in Redcar when a wave caught him off balance and swept him into the turbulent sea.
A towering header by Gayle caught him off balance but he recovered.
Once he lost his balance and fell, and twice he went reeling across the ring from Camacho punches that caught him off balance.