Bianchetti, Switzerland: “It’s not a common hobby, but a special one, not many people have the same hobby”

30 Mar 2015 13:07

Franco Bianchetti,
captain of “Fimm Elfar” club (Switzerland),
captain of the National Team of Switzerland


… Concerning his way to HMB sport

Full contact fight is my main hobby. For me it means a lot, it is a good way to escape the usual life – you fight in armor, you have to focus on the fight and don’t let other things come inside your mind. Also, it’s not a common hobby, but a special one, not many people have the same hobby. I started full contact group fighting only in early 2012, before that I participated in full contact tournaments in “1 vs 1” category.

… Concerning his armor and weapons

My armor is supposed to be from Central Europe, from around 1360-1390-s, we try to stay close to Switzerland region, but we don’t have so much sources for this small land (especially concerning this short medieval time), that’s why we have to look also at Italian, German and French styles. Since I’m from Switzerland, I decided to represent my land’s history.

For sure, the armor has to be of good quality, that’s the only thing that protects your body from injuries.

I prefer sword and shield because they mean interesting co-work for punch/hit and defense. Of course, because of Swiss, I like halberds, too, but do not use them.

… Concerning sports in general

At the moment I’m just doing some physical trainings for my hobby in full contact medieval fight, nothing else.

… Concerning his combat techniques and features

I think everyone discovers his technique in due course and by practicing, but, to be honest, I don’t think I have anything particular.

… Concerning qualities needed by any HMB fighter

All fighters practising full contact medieval fight, in any discipline, need to train. It’s not really a quality, but this makes your qualities much better during the fight.

Stamina/endurance, of course, means a lot in this kind of competitions. I don’t think fighters need any special qualities, of course they have to be a bit crazy to try this special hobby (let’s call it sport), but not too much, there is no place for violence, opponents have to respect each other.

In general, any person can become a fighter, it doesn’t matter whether you are tall, fat, skinny, as anyone can be important for the team.

… Concerning trainings and tournament preparations

Usually I train alone for the body mass, some exercises are good in general, not only for this sport. Endurance, strength, etc. are important in this hobby, but the main part is your body. When you are at a tournament and you are tired after the second fight, there is something wrong with your body.

… Concerning the season of 2014

The season is never over, even if there are no tournaments around, as it’s still possible to organize some competitions between people close to you, who have the same hobby, it gives you practice. Of course, it is good to be at tournaments, but if there aren’t any, don’t wait for the next event. That’s what I think, and that’s why in Switzerland we try to meet and have some fights in full amour more often than common trainings without it. I went to Italy to some competitions, and with the team we went to one tournament in Germany and one in Italy.

… Concerning his favorite category

I’m a fighter of the “5 vs 5” category. I like team battles, because you are on the field with some guys from the same land, working together to give a good impression and, of course, to win. It is not easy of course, and you cannot think only about yourself. It’s a good challenge!

One day I might try the “1 vs 1”, like in the past when Swiss team didn’t exist, but for now I’m not ready to compete with the fighters in “1 vs 1” at the world championships. There are some differences between those two categories, of course, for example in trainings and armor sets.

… Concerning the National Team

Debut of the full team was right at “Battle of the Nations”-2014. Before Croatia we went to some events or trainings, but never five fighters from Switzerland were together as one team vs another team. In general, I think, we had a good result. Of course it was possible to get a better one via harder training, but since we were there for the very first time all together, we are happy of what we could show. We are very young team, without any experience, but in a year we will probably be able to show more. Our category was the “5 vs 5” battle and we had one fighter in the “1 vs 1” who fought well, actually. For all of us, this year was a test, and we’ve passed it! I’m happy about my team!

… Concerning changes

What we are changing now is, of course, the armor. In 2014 we did not have much time, that’s why we had armor sets which weren’t perfect in terms of historicity. This year, we will have some new armor sets. We are in Switzerland, but that does not means we are rich, we pay for everything by ourselves, and historically correct armor isn’t cheap! New fighters, of course, have our “knowledge”, so they won’t do mistakes when buying armor.

Trainings are already organized, self-training and group training, but since we are very few we can’t really train tactics etc. for now. But even if we practiced tactics, I seriously doubt I would explain the process :).

… Concerning the brightest impression at «Battle of the Nations»-2014

Mexican and Finnish teams were a nice surprise for me. They did well for their first time, too. Also the girls who were fighting showed great battles at “Battle of the Nations”-2014. Of course, the “21 vs 21” category was fascinating.

For me, the best thing that I remember was our victory in a battle against our friends from Italy :). In general, I will remember that year was our debut and we were not so bad during the fights, I’m happy with this result.

… Wishes to novices

Every new fighter has to know that this is a very young sport, we are all just beginners, except for the eastern teams, which have been in this business for a longer period of time. That means nothing is impossible, everyone has an opportunity of joining the National Team, but to get that place one has to train hard, practise a lot, be sane and don’t resort to violence because it’s not the correct way.


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