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I am just starting out some sword and buckler courses. It has been emphasised, that the bind lets you sense the opponent's attacks and protect against them. Consequently, I have been advised to "bind early".

Here is what I have no clue about. How is the bind achieved? Do both duelists approach with their swords pointed at each other's heads? Or is it a result concurrent strikes? If so, are those strikes aimed at actual targets (head, neck) or are they "defensive" strikes to claim the center?

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Roland Warzecha has quite a bit to say on the subject. You should consider looking through his website and YouTube channel.*

Dimicator Medieval Swordplay

Roland Warzecha on YouTube

His research and experimentation has concluded that the bind is the foundational principle to sword and buckler combat theory.

*Disclosure: I am in no way connected to Roland Warzecha, or his HEMA school.

Edit: The way that a bind is initiated is entirely dependent on the combatants and the circumstances. Two fighters used to fighting from the bind may both approach to measure and immediately initiate a blade bind. However, when fighting against an opponent who is not skilled in use of the bind and/or prefers a more percussive/aggressive style, one may need to initiate a bind from an offensive (e.g. a covering blow) or defensive (e.g. parry or envelopment) technique. Once the bind is initiated, control of the opponents weapon can in fact be more tactically important than covering the centre (YMMV).

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    Actually, I was referred to this guy by my teacher! Anyway, thanks for the comprehensive links. Yet, could you please answer briefly my core question? Do we bind with a strike to the opponent or before that? – Vorac Nov 21 '17 at 12:17
  • Website links and Youtube videos sometimes vanish. Can you summarize the material? – Macaco Branco Nov 21 '17 at 13:49
  • @MiroslavVitkov The answer is that it all depends on circumstance and opportunity. Against an opponent similarly trained in working from the bind, one might simultaneously initiate a blade bind once they have closed to measure. Against an opponent fighting from a more aggressive and percussive manner, one might enter the bind from a covering blow. The downside to initiating a covering blow is that to be within measure for the blow, one must necessarily be closer than the required measure for an opposing thrust. – Zen_Hydra Nov 21 '17 at 16:01
  • @SeanDuggan There is frankly too much material to be easily summarized here. That is why I linked Roland's HEMA website and his YouTube channel homepage. If those become unavailable then something seriously bad has happened to the body of his shared HEMA work. – Zen_Hydra Nov 21 '17 at 16:04

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