The location played the important role – large spacious hall for concerts and shows, with the stage, tribunes, lighting, stroboscopes and even the smoke-machine. Large and roomy space with big doorways and high ceiling made it possible for the contestants and spectators to make themselves comfortable, breathe freely and not suffer from stuffiness or hotness. All the action from the stadium was transmitted to two big screens so the viewers could watch everything without the need of pushing through to become closer to the railing. There was also a bar with refreshing beverages and, unexpectedly, beer of the “Buhurt” brand, which has become the big thing of the event and the after-party. If someone wanted to grab some snacks, outside there was an especially installed tent with Finnish sandwiches and comfortable tables. All in all, it is safe to say that the spectators were provided with all the required conditions of comfortable family leisure and nice pastime.
Fighters were treated properly as well. Finnish organizers from Tampere did not have the capability and budgets to compensate the trip and provide essential money prizes, but they made their best to make up for such a situation by providing the high level of comfort for the fighters. All the fighters were provided with transfer from every airport, train station and ferry within the borders of Finland, to Tampere. School spaces were provided as an accommodation. The food for the fighters was free, also, some pleasing bonuses like protein bars and cocktails were kindly presented by sponsors. The fighters could even use the services of an experienced masseur. One of the major organizers Tero Oksala set the goal to create the most comfortable conditions possible for the fighters in Tampere to show his desire and readiness to develop the HMB movement and give the fighters a great and pleasing reason to come back to Tampere for the future events.
The technical aspect was of quite high level as well. The stadium was quite sturdy and massive, the sound and music were great. Sadly, before the very beginning of the event, there appeared some problems with fire inspection, which considered that without an additional shield around the stadium some sword or a piece of equipment can accidentally hurt the spectators. Although some time was required to fix the flaws, in the meantime, the spectators were engaged by the investigation of armor, making discoveries about the history of HMB in Finland and playing the “who can support the fighters more loudly” with hosts.
Regarding the level of the fighters one has to keep in mind that Finland – is one of the youngest participants of the worldwide HMB movement, i.e. the level and training of the Finnish fighters are yet to develop. We witnessed Tero talking to strangers in the bars and on the street inviting them to come see the full contact armor fights. People didn’t just come by themselves, they also was bringing friends and relatives and actively rooted for the Finnish teams, worried about their defeats and cheered altogether for their victories.
I believe that the HMB events have great future in the Tampere, especially considering that the city authorities are ready provide their support, seeing this as a possibility to attract more tourists. Numerous sponsors of the tournament also provide huge support, making available free transportation, food, accommodation and many other things, without which, the first WMFC First Class tournament in Tampere would have never taken place. We wish best of luck to Finnish fighters and hope that all the difficulties they have gotten through while preparing such wonderful event will only help them to please us with more quality and massive tournaments and championships in the future.