“I began my journey toward the life of a knight in the late 1970’s. I passed through a park in Anchorage Alaska and saw men in armor battling for honor; my life was changed forever. I entered the world of Larp recreation in America via the SCA and spent several decades honing the skills of knighthood. In 2001 my membership within the SCA was revoked and denied by its board but my journey was not. I set about finding and creating newer and stronger methods to continue upon my path and soon created an organization called the EMP (Empire of Medieval Pursuits) which provided more rewarding opportunities; and so my journey continued”.
Time passed and Harvey got to the World Championship in HMB “Battle of the Nations”-2012 in Warsaw. He will never forget this tournament for several reasons. First of all, it was an important step for him and for American athletes. He faced an entirely new sort of trail; against opponents from all over the world with weapons and rules they had never experienced before: “How could I say no?”
It was a great challenge, but they did it! Aveloc still remembers his first fight that took place in Warsaw: “I was the last man standing against two experienced fighters from Ukraine. We had battled long and hard on the northern rail and I had already been hit hard enough to bloody my nose past the helmet. The Marshals must have seen the blood, because they flagged the fight and asked me if I desired to yield. I honestly didn’t understand the question, in fact, I didn’t even know that yielding was an option. I told them indignantly “No” and so they moved us to the center of the lists; and it was there that I was first defeated in buhurt combat”.
Harvey came to the HMB with a lot of experience, but he is still working hard on improvement of himself and his team. He works hard every day as a fighter, captain and representative of his country in the work of HMBIA.
“Well, at 55 years old there is only so much I can do to physically improve myself as an individual combatant, my training tends to result in maintenance. However, being a better Captain is something I can accomplish and it requires a many faceted approach to succeed. So in this area I study the tactics of other teams, provide the best logistical support and strategies for my own team, and use my voice on the Captains Council to better the HMB as a whole. My style was much different before coming to HMB very late in life. I still have a great deal to learn but, my advice is to train hard, and to hold a blade in your hand each and every day until they are wed so perfectly that you cannot tell where your hand ends and the weapon begins”.
Harvey said that in his “mundane” life he is a father and homemaker. At this time, he is currently raising sons and trying to grow old gracefully. Jessica Sokol, his wife, is working in the US army. She loves HMB sport as well and competed at Santa Severa. Now she is near her husband as often as possible and creates their authentic costumes. Her presence is important for him, and she helps manage the American team. He hopes his three sons about 19, 14 and four years old, will endeavor life as a warrior… Whatever the style they choose. The family supports Harvey extensively in all his pursuits with the all understandings of the life as a captain, duelist and buhurt fighter. Even his four year old son Armand often “helps” his father to train – he likes to hit his daddy with swords and it can be the start of a new HMB story.
HMB sport has become an important part of Harvey`s life and it is a chance to test himself:
“I very much enjoy all facets of the HMB experience. The fighting allows me to test myself on a personal level every time I take the field. The travel gives me a ready excuse to explore the history, lands and peoples of the rest of the world. And, my time as a Captain allows me to help those in the USA who have yet to achieve the time on the “anvil” that I have”.
For now, his ambition in the HMB is to continue to enjoy the glorious path that it has offered him.
“I believe that this sport offers the opportunity to seek out the strongest armored fighters and to learn from them. I started as a member of the buhurt team, then participated as a tri-athlete, and now I am a Captain. That was five years ago, and I finally feel that I, and the USA team, are catching up with the nations who forged HMB ahead of us”.
It was a story of one of the most recognizable people in the HMB community thanks to his inimitable charisma, faced helmet and many other things that makes him unique. We thank Harvey Palmer for this conversation and wish him more new adventures and victories.