Meyer’s Longsword – Indes Before and During the Bind

The concept of indes in the bind is fairly well known, but it leads to a mistaken belief that indes in only in bind and only involves feeling the opponent’s intentions with the sword. But Meyer tells us that indes is a much broader concept,

Thus the word Indes admonishes you to have a sharp lookout, which involves seeing and heeding many things at once. Also you learn sufficiently from your opponent’s body language, what kinds of techniques he intends to use, and what they will entail by way of openings, and where they will offer you opportunities. For the while art of combat likes in all these things that the word Indes admonishes you, as Liechtenauer says.

When talking about even the simplest of engagements, there are numerous moments of indes. The first is before you even throw your first blow. As Meyer says, you need to look at your opponent’s body language for clues as to where your best opportunities lay.

Once you select your opening and begun your attack, your opponent may respond by immediately rushing to the parry. If he does this at the beginning of your swing you have the option to abort the attack by means of Fehien (Failing), often referred to to as a feint.

If he begins he parry late, but you can still see that it will be successful, you can device him by allowing your blow to go soft and fall to the side. By stealing his momentum, you can quickly attack to another opening. This is known as Ablauffen (Running Off) and you must decide to do this before the blades make contact.

Thus far we’ve had three moments of indes: before the strike, during the strike, and just before the strike connects.

If you do not choose to use Fehien or Ablauffen, you will form what’s known as a bind. In German this is called Anbinden. Meyer writes,

This is when the swords connect with one another. There are two kinds of remaining: the first is when the swords are held against one another to see what the opponent will execute and where he intends to attack his adversary.

Once you enter the bind, your eyes won’t be much use to you. Rather you should be gathering information on the situation using Fülen (Feeling). Meyer writes,

Note here the word ‘feeling’, which means testing or perceiving, to find out whether he is hard or soft on your sword with his bind, etc.

The key word here is “testing”. Simply standing in the bind isn’t enough, you need to do something in order to get any sort of feedback. One way to test your opponent is to begin Verkehren (reversing). As you start to turn your short edge in, feel if he is strong or weak in the bind. This lets you know if you should continue onto to Ausreissen (Wrenching), use a different technique, or flee the bind and seek another opening (Umbschlagen or Striking Around).

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