When did the HMB start in Kazakhstan? How was it?
Historical fencing, as far as I know, appeared in Kazakhstan in the early 2000s and developed with varying success.
We can mention the “The blade of steppe” tournament as a starting point of HMB, which has been held in 2014 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. For the first time, we managed to engage 5 teams with around 40 participants. The tournament becomes international because there were fighters from Kyrgyzstan and Russia. HMBIA has provided the tournament with a Knight Marshal from Ukraine, and we want to express our gratitude to Anton Trubnikov and Vitaliy Makaryan. So together with them, 4 countries have been present on the tournament. In my opinion, this is a quite good result as for the first time. That was like in the “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” movie: we decided to hold the tournament and things got rolling…
We had 6 armor sets, big desire, not enough money and no playground. The most I worried about was playground. But as we’ve already decided to do – we must.
How many HMB clubs in Kazakhstan?
Nowadays, in Kazakhstan there are 4 HMB clubs in operation: the “Bayard” club with divisions in Almaty and Petropavlovsk, the “Northern Tower” club in Pavlodar, the “Kaskad” club in Ust-Kamenogorsk and our “Temir Tumen” club with its divisions in Astana, Kostanay and Almaty.
How many fighters are in clubs in general?
There are around 45-50 fighters in Kazakhstan in general.
How many certificated national and international marshals do you have?
Unfortunately, for now I’m the only certificated marshal in the country. But we are working on it and I guess we will increase the number.
Are there any kind of rivalry between clubs?
There is no big rivalry for now, all squabbles are vestiges of the past. Nowadays, everyone thinks about development and this is good. We support each other both on events holding abroad and local ones. For example, previous winter I have judged the tournament organized by the “Bayard” club, in summer I have judged the tournament organized by guys from the “Northern Tower” club. We agreed on cooperation and work on improving the tournament because it will be held in a national park.
How do you evaluate the qualification level of fighters in your country. Could you please describe with some exact examples?
We are still quite far from the top HMB teams and national teams both in training level and armour. But we are on our way of the development. The amount of fighters traveling abroad for combats are growing. Four Kazakh fighters took part in “Dynamo Cup” this year, and show a good level there. Three of them were in “Bayard” and one – in the “Ganza” team. We try to compete with teams from Ural and Siberia more often, because these regions with large-scale events are the closest to us. Our club is trying to make mass getaways with Kazakh teams. They steadily take up prizes in duel categories. We regularly hold team meetings and workshops, invite famous fighters for educational HMB events. In general, the growth exists and it becomes more and more noticeable.
How many tournaments have been held in 2017?
We are constantly working on increasing the number of local events. We try to hold no less than 3 tournaments per year. But this year our club failed in holding the major tournament in Astana. For the next year, we plan to do 2 events under the Buhurt League system in Buhurt Challenger and Buhurt Open. Each our tournament becomes international – the events are regularly attended by fighters from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other countries.
Do you have particularly strong outstanding fighters? Could you tell about them?
We have our famous fighters. Our main traveler is Vladimir Toropov (a.k.a. Medved’) from the “Bayard” club, Petropavlovsk city. Vladimir manages to make an incredible amount of abroad trips and shows a good level as a fighter in almost all categories he takes part. He is also a father of many children and he makes an HMB armor.
Summarize and plans for the future
How do you evaluate the level of HMB development in general? What are you satisfied with and what should be improved?
We are still on the starting level, despite we have quite large clubs and strong fighters. The total amount is still small. Other facts that make an influence on the development are peculiarities of mentality and geographical distance of towns from each other. There are only 18 million citizens in our country, and the country is the 9th largest one in the world by territory. The distance from manufacturing centers is also influence on the development. But we have learned to conquer these.
It’s my pleasure that our clubs fill with “fresh blood”. This is the most important. Because you can train a lot for yourself, for the team and the national team, but if there will be no youth, the movement will come to naught, when the “old guard” will retire. Moreover, our aim is not only to develop an HMB sports component but to do the historical re-enactment in the right way. That is why we are “the club of historical reenactment”, first of all, and we are trying not to forget it.
What was new in the HMB movement in Kazakhstan last year?
The new tournament “Sarbaz” organized by the “Nortern Tower” club was hold. It took place in the Bayanaul national park, a nice place with a beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains. The tournament has good chances to grow into a festival in the future.
Out club went to a festival called “The shield of Siberia” in Omsk. Long time we have dreamed to bring an authentic yurt (kind of a national Kazakh house looks like a tent – a remark of the editor). It is amazing to live in a yurt. Although, it is difficult to carry, but easy to arrange. So we have chilled in a cozy yurt, while all citizens of the camp were still preparing their houses.
Do fighters treat HMB as a hobby or as a serious kind of sports and try to earn skills as much as possible?
For nowadays we are somewhere in between. This is a hobby, but passion and competition push us to move ahead. We start to do more training sessions, to obey dietary regime, preparing for the season, dividing the training sessions into functional parts, inviting professional coaches from other kinds of sport. We are not professional sportsmen yet, but we start to treat training more seriously.
What are the tasks for developing HMB for the nearest future?
In 2018 we will miss World Championship in HMB “Battle of the Nations” again. At least our “Temir Tumen” club will miss it for sure. This decision has been made not because of the lack of finance as it was before, but the necessity of better preparing. The aims for 2018 are holding 2 major international tournaments in Astana, the participation in 2 more national tournaments and making at least 3 trips abroad. The final of the season will be “Dynamo Cup” – 2018. Also it would be great to increase the number of clubs and marshals in the country.
Our club may open new branches, because it is difficult to develop without any engine.
Does official HMB organization exist in Kazakhstan? How many active members are in the HMB movement in the country?
Unfortunately, there is no such organization in Kazakhstan, because of limited amount of HMB members. Maybe the association of clubs will be created in future. All activists are the cores of their clubs, they invest a great deal of time and money in equipment, halls, youth. This is the right thing for the current situation. When “beautiful” club performs successfully and shows the results, other HMB members become more active as well. Our club has grown for the last 2 years. On the meetings with other leaders I try to share my experience in organization work and communication with government. As I’m the only certificated marshal in the country, I set the goal to attend events organized by other Kazakh clubs, and conduct workshops on the topic of the HMB rules.
What a serious approach! HMBIA News is impressed by Kazakh passion, and hope that our readers will also appreciate the development of the HMB in Kazakhstan!