Vitaliy Lukashov, President of a “Bayard-Legion” HMB club, Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan
(a branch of historical fencing club “Bayard”, Moscow, Russia),
HMBIA supervisor in Kazakhstan
…About his way to HMB sport (from a “wall notice” and up to world ambitions), movement in the country (from the moment of its formation and up to the present day), and about his clubs (former and present)… as well as his elder brother
My elder brother Yeugeniy and me were interested in history since our childhood. In addition, we were interested in martial arts as well. Since 1996 my brother and I have been engaged in karate, sports fencing, wu shu, etc. Before that we practised athletics, basketball. In 1999, some activists attached to a wall of our North Kazakhstan State University, a central university of Petropavlovsk, an intriguing notice saying, “Those who are interested in history, come to the university courtyard on Sunday.” At that time, I was studying at the university lyceum, Yeugeniy was a student. As it turned out, students were a core group which formed city movement. But let’s consider all the points in detail.
Not many people gathered on Sunday, about twenty men, since Petropavlovsk had a small population. The second meeting was attended by even less number of interested persons. In addition, there was not much information and unlimited internet was only a dream at the time. :). Over time, the number of people in the movement increased, but still we weren’t numerous. Therefore, all kinds of people gathered together, namely reenactors, those involved in historical fencing (people who paid more attention to historical fencing, rather than historicity of armor, i.e. fighters, roughly speaking), roleplayers, Tolkienists and just informal youth. My brother and I, being athletes (we actively trained in sports clubs and attended meetings of role-players and reenactors), wanted to form a club dedicated to historical medieval martial arts. We wanted to develop as fighters. After all, a group of people separated and became known as “Legion” club. Among the initiators of the “Legion” club were mainly people who started the reenactment movement. There were 12 of us.
Frankly speaking, it was difficult to call any of us a “reenactor” in its pure meaning at that time. Everyone was interested in trying his hand at different “genres”, so we attended historical festivals and tournaments, as well as role-playing games.
In general, further development was logical, namely we needed a gym for normal trainings. To rent it officially, we had to represent ourselves, eliminate any possible misunderstanding on the side of law enforcement agencies (concerning our swords and other reenactment arsenal), so we founded a legal entity, registered it and on September 11, 2003 became a Public Association “MKIRM “Legion”.
We arranged our training process, got armor and began to participate in events systematically. And when HMBIA started processes around “Battle of the Nations”, when Historical Medieval Battle finally formed as a sport… How could we stay aside?! Of course, at first it was difficult. We were strongly influenced by our stereotypes, it was very difficult to adapt, as we used to fight according to the rules of the “classic” historical fencing, they were well-known and familiar to us. In addition, we learned that from the moment we could use martial arts techniques on the lists. They were not only permitted, but also encouraged! We couldn’t believe it! But, in general, we liked innovations and plunged deep into the new sport.
It was our start. Then we developed ourselves, we attended events, trained, attended events, … made armor, broke it in battles, made new armor…
Since May 2014, we’ve been officially called a Public Association “Club of historical reenactment” Bayard-Legion.” So, the “Legion” by itself is our history
From the core group, with which we started in 1999, only my brother and me are still in the movement. If we talk about the composition at the moment of club registration (2003), there were three of us. My brother Yevgeniy, Pavel Kolesnikov and me. Pavel has become senior coach of the club, he is an active and successful participant of various HMB events. At the festival called “Steel Storm” (the Crimea, August 2014) together with a major fighter of our club, Vladimir Toropov, being members of a combined team, they won “bronze”.
By the way, here’s a fun fact – my brother and I never participated in buhurts simultaneously, only separately! Together we attended only tournaments. Many times we lost our voices, shouting words of encouragement. We entered the lists one after another! It turns out that we’ve never seen fighting of each other through our visors. Also, I have never crossed swords with my brother at tournaments, only while training, or at demonstration events, like late medieval festivals, which are only an imitation of fight.
There was a moment when we could meet on the lists at a tournament in 2004. But by the time my brother started fighting for silver-gold, I had been already disqualified by a referee for the use of hand-to-hand fighting techniques which were prohibited at historical fencing tournaments… Thank God, HMB rules allow us to use them :).
Despite our involvement in historical medieval battles, we don’t forget about reenactment. On the contrary, we are developing “Living History” in parallel, our subject area is regional history of the late Middle Ages, the Steppe, a period preceding founding of Petropavlovsk fortress, a period of Conquest of the Khanate of Sibir by Yermak.
Yeugeniy now lives in Astana, he is dealing with organizational matters. In particular, he brought together old comrades, with whom we fought at tournaments 10 years ago… As a result, a club of historical reenactment “Temir Tumen” was formed. In March 2014, my brother held the first Championship of the Republic of Kazakhstan in HMB, which was the first step towards the creation of the Republican National Team for “Battle of the Nations.”
Everything is only beginning in Kazakhstan, despite the decade and a half of historical fencing being practised in the Republic. But we are glad that HMB is developing, there are good fighters in Almaty, Pavlodar, Karaganda, Ekibastuz. And I think that we, in our turn, will make every possible effort to bring historical medieval battle in Kazakhstan to a new level and ensure that Team of Kazakhstan is on a par with other teams participating in “Battle of the Nations.”