Reversal is changing the character's direction to somewhere else other than the targeted enemy. While it doesn't seem like much, it plays important part in mid-late game. Where you'd want to ignore a room full of enemies. Some moves have different lock-on rules, combined with turn-rate means you can't reverse them with one method but can with another method.
There are 3 methods of doing reversals:
Method 3) is what the Reverse Stinger used for as well as M9 Zip in higher difficulties It's possible to hold the Lock-on, but the inputs must be almost simultaneous. This method can be also used to reverse aerial style attacks that don't require Lock-on, yet it will always aim at the enemy.
It's very important to note that the third method requires melee come out quickly before the character turns into enemy.
2) Reverse Rising Sun
3) Reverse Release