Today we will meet Sofie Chantal Maceanruig from Birmingham (the UK) and she will tell us her story.
“I found out about HMB through a friend of a friend. It was a pure chance I came across the sport, but as soon as I did I was hooked. I remember my first fight. I was 19 years old and raring to go. It involved repeatedly falling over, lots of laughing and picking myself up off the floor. I am proud to say 6-7 rounds later after darkness had fallen I had beaten my opponent into submission through sheer determination and stamina. I did a few more rounds after that with some of the more experienced fighters and loved every minute of it. I like to think I hit less like your typical girl now and fall over a lot less! Although there is still much more progress to be made”.
We can see this progress in action – now she is a member of the National Team of UK and fights with the world’s best HMB athletes.
Sofie told about her favourite categories – Longsword closely followed by the “5 vs 5” buhurt. She told why she made such choice: “I love the power you feel when a hit strikes home and the way it makes you move the whole body. In Longsword it is all in the roll of the hips and how you use your body mechanics together as a whole fluid, powerful flick. It is so satisfying when you hit those sweet spots. Especially in the Buhurt when your team mates are holding members of the opposing team for you and they make lovely grunts of pain every time you punch or hit them. ”Tis music to my ears”.
This girl gives a lot every day to hear this ”music” as often as possible. She is a student studying jewelry and silversmithing by day and a bar maid by night. She confesses that she actually has no idea how she manages to fund getting to so many international tournaments without any financial support. “Work hard, play hard” as they say! Everything in her day to day real life revolves around getting to the next tournament or training.
As a co-founding member of “Swords of Cygnus” HMB club with Jo Booth and Steph Kiddle, she is constantly trying to overcome the difficulties to further herself, her team and the future of this sport in the UK. As a part of her training process she goes climbing and pole dancing once a week as well. Both are extremely good for training upper body strength which is vital in HMB.
Sofie is a versatile person. She has millions of hobbies:
“I like painting, drawing, and reading. Unfortunately, I don’t really get much free time because I have a habit of filling my time with all sorts of activities and HMB really is a lifestyle if you want to be good at it. I am quite a creative person and like to set myself challenges, for example I made myself a silk medieval dress from scratch for “Battle of the Nations”-2018. I love my food, so recently I have been obsessing over how I can develop my culinary skills and improve my nutrition.”
But let us return to the HMB side of her life! Sofie shared her thoughts following the “Battle of the Nations”-2018 on her team’s performance. Sofie is very pleased with how far they’ve progressed and the fact they fielded a full team of seven British female fighters for the first ever female “5 vs 5” at the Championship: “We were so close to making it through to the quarter finals. Unfortunately, we made some stupid mistakes against Ukraine. However, we did take the fight to three rounds and we have learnt some valuable lessons from these mistakes which will only make us stronger. ‘Train hard, fight easy’- is one of our most used mottos”.
This motto will help to make her dream come true as she is dreaming to consistently winning gold medals in the female “Longsword” category internationally. She also shares the dream of her club mates – to fight at the “Dynamo Cup” in Russia. This is their main goal as a team, and they work hard to make a reality.
She mentioned that dedication is one of the most important attributes in HMB sport in her opinion. If you are not dedicated to this sport, fighters will not respect you, your armour will fall apart and you will not make it onto the teams going to international events which is where you learn the most.
“The HMB community is an amazing worldwide web and if you’re dedicated to it a lot more doors will open to you and you will progress a lot faster. I love this sport for many reasons. Among them the community, the fact I have made friends across all continents, the sportsmanship and of course the pure, blunt brutality which makes HMB such an entertaining sport. There is nothing quite like it and I can’t wait to see it on the Olympic stage”.
We also cannot wait to see HMB on the Olympic stage and Sofie fighting in the lists as well. We thank this awesome woman for the interview and wish her a lot of new victories.