The ITOC tournament, taking place on October 14 in the USA, became the first one, where the system and rules of the Buhurt League had been implemented. It was a terrific event with over 100 fighters from the United States, Mexico, Israel, Australia, pan-Canadian and Quebec teams.
As Toni Szymanski, an organizer of the tournament, said, it has been exciting that the teams had an opportunity to gain points and statistics at this event.
“Because it was so new, I think most of the fighters were interested in learning more about the system and how it could be applied to their clubs. Everyone was very excited to be fighting in the first Buhurt tournament”.
The orgteam did their best to adjust to the new system quickly. Because ITOC is known as a tournament, where individual fighters can come, find other ones, and form a team. Maybe the Buhurt League will change this strategy in future. But this year the Israeli team had at least one USA fighter in their team at ITOC, the Australian team picked up 3 USA individuals.
Toni noted that there were no substitutions of marshals allowed by the Buhurt League: “Our marshals were super tough. I was so excited to have marshals from Mexico, Argentina, the USA, and Ukraine all working for our fighters. It was truly an international event. The marshals were on their feet keeping everyone safe all day”.
The fighting on the field was quite intense, and Toni said these had been the hardest hitting fights she has ever seen: “I have been here since the first USA practice in 2012 and I can say the fights I saw this year were the best. The level of the sportsmanship on and off the field was significant. This is a true family of fighters, and we had a great time going out for dinner and after the fighting. For me, aside from the athletic aspect, meeting new people and making new friends are the best things about the HMB.”
An atmosphere of comradeship especially inspired Toni, and she shared her emotions: “Seeing fighters from other countries forming teams together is really special, because eventually that is what the HMB is all about – forming those friendships among the elite of athletes. I was also really proud of my son, Tristan Szymanski, who was able to translate for a Mexican fighter to the medics, when the fighter was injured. Again, those ties, where we all care for one another are what is important for me. There were so many spectacular sports moments. I am sure the fighters will point to the crazy speed of the Israeli team, or Sam Awry and Ulises Herrera’s fantastic longsword duel, and no one will be able to forget the well-fought final battles between Israel and Iron Phoenix. But as for me, it is all about the personal moments I will remember for a long time”.
HMBIA News express the gratitude to Toni Szymanski for the interesting and honest interview, the final list of the ITOC winners is attached:
Male duel category “Longsword”: Sam Awry, Iron Phoenix
Male duel category “Sword & Shield”: Derek, Iron Phoenix
Male duel category “Sword & Buckler”: Johny Porter, Iron Phoenix
Male duel category “Poleaxe”: Matthew Creedican, Iron Phoenix
Female duel category “Sword & Shield”: Ira Rogozovosky, Israel
Female duel category “Sword & Buckler”: Marie-Pier Garrant, Quebec
1st place in “5 vs 5” category: team “Iron Phoenix”
2nd place in “5 vs 5” category: team “Israel”
3rd place in “5 vs 5” category: team “Mexico”
4th place in “5 vs 5” category: team “Quebec”