We Are Practicing the Binds Wrong

Just to be clear I mean we, as in myself and the groups I train with. I have no idea how you do it, but what we’ve been doing for the last ten years is utter garbage.

The drills for the bind always start the same. Both fencers throw a Zornhau, and then you work form there.

Yet no matter how much we drill, the binds never seem to work out in sparing. Why is that? Well, because we never bind using Zornhau vs Zornhau.

How does a Zornhau vs Zornhau bind occur? Well presumably one person throws a Zornhau with the intent to hit someone in the head. And the other person, seeing this, responds with his own Zornhau that…

a. deflects the first blow while at the same landing on the first person’s head.
b. fails to deflect the blow, in which case the first blow lands as intended.
c. maybe one time in 50 would both blows be just bad enough that neither lands and you end in a bind scenario.

But come to think of it, why the hell would I even try throwing a Zornhau against someone in vom Tag? Unless I caught him totally asleep, and thus can land my below before his parry even starts, using a Zornhau against vom Tag is a suicidal action. It is pathetically easy to parry and chances are I’ll end up with a blade in my head.

So again, the bind drill that starts with Zornhau vs Zornhau is complete and utter nonsense. Stop practicing it, it is doing nothing but teach you how to intentionally throw a bad Zornhau.

Real Binds We Should be Practicing

A real bind may start with a real parry that isn’t supposed to land. For example, someone using Kron from Alber to parry a parting strike at this head. Or a Zornhau to defeat a Zwerch used with too wise a step.

A real bind can also occur if both people do the same thing. Say both fencers are in vom Tag and both think, “Ahh, now is the time to use a Zwerch”. Now you have a Zwerch vs Zwerch bind.

You could also have a Krumphau vs Krunmphau bind, where both fencers are reacting to the other fencer being in Ochs. Or maybe Krumphau vs Zwerch, again in response the the guard the other one was just in.

An interesting feature of these binds is that they are not necessarily symmetrical. Right from the beginning one fencer or the other may have a natural advantage that the other will have to account for.

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