Iturrieta, Chile: “I like this discipline from the first day and I doubt I will ever stop fighting”
Her name is Karla Gatica Iturrieta, more known as “Loba”. She is 26 years old and she is a part of the “Batallón Draconia” – HMB-club for a little longer than 3 years. Loba has witnessed the progress and development of Chilean brotherhood into the first formal HMB-club in this country.
Karla Gatica Iturrieta (Loba): “I’m the first female HMB fighter in our country, and I thank the “Batallón Draconia” for the chance to participate in the second local tournament of HMB called “Vuelo del Fénix”, carried out in summer 2015.
I met “Batallón Draconia” in an avocation event where they made a little exposure about Medieval Combat, I have never seen something like that before, in fact, I didn’t even knew that there existed people that dedicate themselves to revive Middle Ages like this. What I liked when I met “Batallón Draconia” was the seriousness they had presenting themselves and the good disposition for sharing and teaching people that knew nothing about the topic. I remember that day with a lot of affection, because since that moment I started to be interested in HMB-sport, to learn and to internalize with this world”.
According to Loba, she joined club trainings because curiosity, she simply wanted to learn. Karla even had no clear motive for why she chose this discipline, why she is doing this and why not to do something more conventional.
Karla: “It seems that the motive is in every training, in every chance I wielded the sword. I can not express this with any words. I liked this discipline from the first day and I doubt I will ever stop practicing it. I’ve trained all this time without big competitive aspirations, because I like it, without a particular goal, I just try to enjoy the process”.
Loba was aware that she was learning and preparing herself for the first fight, but she didn’t expect the opportunity to fight in an official Medieval Combat tournament approved by HMBIA so soon. She already had an armor kit and even had some preparation, but Karla knew that she had many things to learn before feeling ready.
Karla: “It was not the time I would choose to have my first fight, but there were some problems with other people, so the Captain of our brotherhood needed me to get in… and I got in. This first experience was not exactly something I expected. I already mentioned that there were problems and I had to participate to support our brotherhood and to keep our position as pioneers in Medieval Combat. I accepted to fight because I wanted; although I was not prepared, I think this was my responsibility”.
The last time, many people had criticized the management of this discipline at a National level, but talking is easy… fighting is not. The Captain of the National team of Chile and teammates decided that Karla had to participate. Captain allowed her to wear armour and represent herself in the contest as the first female HMB fighter in Chile. In gratitude to his trust our hero participated with all her effort.
Karla: “For some moments before entering the list I had some problems with fitting the helmet. Even so, I was calm, because I had no fear of the fight or of my opponent, my only fear was not to be ready to worthily face this challenge. I trusted in my armor, I trusted in Marshals … I trusted that I would get well out of there. When the fight started, I had only one thing in my mind: keeping my arms high.
I don’t know if I was more aware of attacking or defending, but what I understood is to keep in movement in the space I had. I simply tried to apply everything what I learned. I received no damage. In a moment I felt a strike in the neck, but it didn’t hurt, the equipment protected me well enough. I don’t remember feeling pain as it should be with the strikes received, I know they were strong, but I don’t felt sore, I just felt tired”.
Karla still remember all the details of her first fight. She said that it was nostalgic, because in the beginning, you feel that you could do much more, that you could fight better. I endured well my first challenge and that is enough. She also thinks that she could have done more – more strikes, enter more quickly to the camp… but despite that feel, she is happy for her performance.
As Loba said before, she had no competitive ambitions, so she didn’t think too much about the possibility to become part of National team of Chile for the next HMB World Championship “Battle of the Nations”.
Karla: “I prepared myself, no matter if that resulted or not. It may succeed, as it may not, for many reasons that is out of my control. Nevertheless, the truth is that I want to go, and having that wish I will prepare myself… And if everything will go well I would like to participate in HMB World Championship “Battle of the Nations”-2016. Finally, if I can participate representing the “Batallón Draconia” and my country, I would humbly go with the goal of learning and having more experience. I suppose it’s something I would really enjoy and would made me grow as fighter”.