We live in a small country where not everyone wants to practise historical medieval battle. There are about sixty people, so we had no qualifying events in Belarus this year, it was pointless to hold them. We simply organized a number of joint trainings and some tests after them. It allowed us to choose forty-five best fighters.
The list of our tests included general fitness test (cross-fit exercises) and sparrings in the professional fight format. All the fighters competed with the first five-member unit of Team Belarus. It was enough to see the level of people’s training and to assess whether they were able to fight till the end. Then we just summed up the results, talked to the team and chose forty-five fighters.
We have many novices in the team. Our National Team will include at least fifteen participants who have never been to “Battle of the Nations”, and who started serious training a couple of years ago. They have been engaged in reenactment for a long time, but have started serious HMB training only recently. I believe we have changed our approach. We spent four years to change the perception of historical medieval battle, for fighters to understand it was not just a hobby, you couldn’t make some armor and fight on the lists once in six months. HMB is a serious sport, you have to train to achieve something, and not one or two times, but four or five times a week, both in the HMB format and in gyms, practise other contact sports. Once people began to understand it and train more, the progress became visible. We’ve been working on our improvement since the first “Battle of the Nations.” It was quite difficult for me as it took a lot of time which could be spent on family and work. And also, I should mention organizational, administrative aspects of the team. I devote at least four nights a week to the National Team, so the captainc’s post is above all other interests. But it is not hard morally, and it will be even easier after we attend “Battle of the Nations”. People become more experienced with each trip. I am glad we have a lot of young fighters, we can rely on them; they understand how to prepare for the event, they make armor, train a lot. They are well-motivated.
As for the opponents, of course, we’re highly interested in the National Teams of Ukraine and Russia. They are our old colleagues, friends; they are perfectly trained, experienced teams. As for the majority of fighters from other countries we met them last year at the event, but we are in contact with Russia and Ukraine the whole year, we met at other events and know their level well. It is interesting to fight with them. But I do not exclude a possibility that many National Teams could improve their level and there may be some intrigue at the Championship.
I watched Team Britain, qualifying events in Germany and Poland, but still, our main opponents are the teams I’ve mentioned above.
Our National Team has a very positive mood. Everyone is waiting for the trip, the fighters have trained for long and really want to go to the event. Of course, we want to win, but “Battle of the Nations” will show what we can achieve. We want to win and will fight in all the categories.
captain of National team of Belarus