Measure and the Bind

A topic that doesn’t seen to get enough attention is the importance of measure in the bind. Depending on how far you are from your opponent, certain techniques are going to be more or less effective than others. Yet it seems that most instructors don’t think about that aspect and only consider the strength of the bind.

What follows are my notes from a SoCaL Swordfight class by Michael-Forest Meservy of Noble Science Academy. If anything seems wrong assume that my notes were flawed rather than his instruction.

The Wide Bind

This is the range where the weaks of the swords are crossed.

Strong Bind

Abneme (Taking Away) This is a form of Zucken (Pulling or Twitching) where you raise your point just enough to let his sword slip to the other side and then drop it back into line.

Ringeck says that this should be done when your opponent perceives the thrust and defends strongly against it.

Weak Bind

Zornort (Thrust). Minimal winding is needed to keep an edge on his blade while you thrust. A small step into his the blade will ensure his point stays off line.

Mutieren (Mutate) Wind your blade over, around, and under such that his point is moved to your right and your point attacks him in the belly. I like to keep my long edge on his sword the whole time, while Ringeck and the instructor preferred to wind to the short edge in the onset of this technique. Both seem to be effective, but if you allow your opponents blade to touch your flat you’ll lose control of it.

Don’t try this in a narrow bind, you need the distance to allow his point to move from one side of the body to the other. If you try it at close range you will be gutted.

The Narrow Bind

This is the range where the middle of the swords are crossed. Any closer and you’re really in a grappling situation.

Strong Bind

Doplieren (Doubling) As he pushes against your blade, you turn your false edge against it while pushing your pommel under your right arm. You don’t need to put any energy into this, the more forceful he pushes against your blade the harder he’ll be hit in the right ear.

Note that your blade actually ends up between his blade and his head. Aim for the neck so that if you miss high you’ll still hit the temple.

Weak Bind

Winden (Winding) Wind into Ochs, then thrust. The winding is needed to bring your point online, otherwise you may end up starting the thrust with the point almost beside his head.

If you try this with the wide bind there is a good chance that you’ll lose his sword when you wind into Ochs. But with a narrow bind you’ll be able to take control of his weak while bringing your point on line for the thrust. I feel that this is a very important point and it explains why many presentations on winding seem to work in theory but fail in practice.

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