The history of the “Wolfengarde” HMB club starts in late 2015. They became official in early 2016 and is located in Orange County, California. HMBIA News found out its story from Jonathan DeSalvo, one of the club`s founders and the “Battle of the Nations” veteran. He told our reporter that they have about 30 members in the team, where 20 are active participants. All their fighters are brand new participants in HMB.
“Starting this team would become a huge task. It came apparent to me that without investing a lot of money into getting loaner gear and training equipment that this team would not have a strong future, so I worked on getting sets of armor for training and competing. It has been a difficult task, but we finally made some big investments into soft kits that would help training and bringing in newer fighters without initial big investment into armor. These soft kits are going to help a lot of new fighters and interest transition into the sport”.
According to Jonathan, they must be able to handle the numbers that will be coming in. It is an awful thing to host practices that people cannot participate in due to the lack of equipment. It is not good both for the club and the whole sport. It was important to him to have enough soft and steel kits equipment and he explained us why:
“Once we get all the gear we need complete, we will be focusing a lot more on recruiting new fighters. We haven’t been focused a whole lot on recruiting this past year. We were focused on attaining new gear to prepare for those future recruits, so we can maintain interest with the ability to provide new people into armor and competitions without a huge upfront cost and wait to get involved. The nice thing about having soft kits is that we can get a lot of people involved easier than steel, so it will not likely happen; however, we still are trying to get enough steel kits to help new fighters, fighters struggling with money issues, or fighters waiting for armor to be complete to be able to compete and practice in armored combat. It also helps fighters think on what type of armor they really want, so they don’t waste money on a suit that they don’t want”.
Such an attitude helps to attract new people to the club. They have an opportunity to choose and to train. By the way, let`s speak about training sessions of these guys!
They have always tried to hold a practice at least once a week; however, they are seeking it to be 5-7 times a week for people to have all the practice they want that works for each person’s schedule. Mr. DeSalvo told us that soft kits had now made that possible. Fighters don’t need to get into full set of steel armor and make sure everything fits to their needs, especially new comers, and it is a safer practice for them.
“Our weekly practices consist of singles, melee, grappling, team work, brutality, and endurance fighting both in armor and out of armor. We want to give good amount of time for our fighters to get used to being in armor and fighting at a top level with the endurance and brutality, while being able to be smart in what they are doing and why. Good teamwork is one of the essentials in this sport and being an effective team player is what we want to create. The competition is not within our club, but against other teams. We are trying to work as a smart team that builds each other up”.
Everyone in HMB movement knows that the team have to practice all the time. The “Wolfengarde” HMB club often take part in different competitions. As for public events, they are looking to do weekly soft buhurt, or other events, or trying to bring people into the sport by creating a less intense version that still holds the “fun” in fighting, but it feeds the interest that will possibly grow for wanting more; however, they are now doing it once a month to give it time for public and friends to plan some time for the event. As a rule they have as many fighters as they can come to public events, it is averagely 5-10 “Wolfengarde” fighters participating depending on everyone’s schedule with a big planned public event.
It`s important to mention that club mates have different types of trainings designated for the needs: one type for the sport and another – for the public. The public has to be safety based, so the team works on striking and hit base take outs. Of course, all must understand the rules and safety guidelines. The goal is to create a “fun”, but challenging experience for them to get that taste of HMB-sport and make them wish more fights, more trainings, more ardor…
“Our team practices draw a lot of attention, especially with kids. When we wear armor and beat up on another, the crowd comes to watch and cheer. They ask us about the sport, and we get the chance to share details and give them business cards. Unfortunately, soft buhurt does not attract the interest of spectators as our armored practice, but it does attract more participants which is the primary goal of the soft kit events. It engages new people into the sport because it removes the fear of steel weapons hitting them and the violence. People may like to watch it, but the majority don’t want to jump into it. Soft kit public events help bring in a bond with the steel fighters to the community to have a fun time. It helps the public recognize our team representing the community and transition people into the sport with baby steps rather than tossing them into the fire. It is easier to convince someone to get into a soft kit than a full steel kit. When they are ready to take the next step, they will do so with more confidence, experience, and knowledge”.
This approach of the “Wolfengarde” HMB club of training and the gradual introduction of newbeet athletes in sports certainly brings its dividends. HMB sports will only benefit from this! Jonathan is sure that his club has a strong future: “It still needs more time to make a huge impact, but I am estimating by the end of 2018 our team will be exploding the HMB sport in our community”.
HMBIA News also sure that all his plans will come true and we will have an opportunity to see “Wolfengarde” fighters on the list of the World Championship in HMB “Battle of the Nations” as a part of the USA National team.