The membership is nice this year, many guys have increased their level. They train at home, they all do physical exercises suitable for their physical development. Even those who lacked fitness last year have managed to improve their level. The guys leapt ahead. And when the fighters are in good physical form, it’s easier for them to master tactics and techniques. Many guys train from 3-4 to 6 times a week. They mainly work on their physical fitness improvement. We all live in different cities, that’s why everyone works on his own, but once a week we try to get together. Our problem is that many guys are serviceman, in their case everything depends on the army. But they come when they can. Now we have 8 men and one woman. She joined us last year after “Battle of the Nations” and began active training in the second half of the year. Now she’s training for professional fights and buhurts. She won’t take part in triathlon.
As I’ve already said, this year’s membership is new in many respects. There are young and inexperienced guys, and experience means a lot in “5 vs 5”. We hope this fact won’t spoil our results.
There were a few inner competitions in 2014, although there were minor inter-club events. But they were rare. The reason is unclear. I think there is a certain stagnation in our movement. Many clubs are afraid of us, people practising HMB. They probably think we are crazy… obsessed with “Battle of the Nations.” But our meeting with “Knights of Jerusalem” club gave us a very valuable experience. The guys are great fighters. There’s also a new ascending star in Israel, namely “Kingdom of Jerusalem” club. They are engaged in the late XIIth century reenactmentn, Horns of Hattin march. They have a great fencer Dmitry Sklyarenko. We invited him for “Battle of the Nations”, triathlon category, since our duel fighter cannot participate due to his health status. Dima has a great level in terms of the “shield-sword” category, worth of “Battle of the Nations.” But at the moment he deals with other projects. So, this year we don’t have a triatlon fighter. We’ll participate in all non-rating events and 5 vs 5.
We have a bone to pick with England, though this year’s composition will be new. It was the only team we lost them last year. We want to meet five-member units of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Frankly speaking, we’re afraid, but we’ll get no experience without meeting them in a battle.
Many people ask me, “Aren’t you afraid of fighting?” I’m afraid, of course, but I enter the lists. Because the result you get is much better than the fears you have. You just need to fight against the best. When you do that, you become better. I would like to have many worthy opponents.
Of course, we want to be in the top ten. We have several relatively new people, they are inexperienced and relatively weak. But we have the core group from “Battle of the Nations”-2013. We want to enter the top ten, at least, especially taking into account the fact the Championship will be attended by thirty countries. If there are any significant changes in the composition, they will be for the better. Last year we fought almost without replacements. Now we try to avoid that.
The event is important for me in the patriotic sense. When I arrive somewhere, every time it turns out there are a lot of myths about Israel. I bust them. All begin to understand that the Jews are nice people, and all the Israelites are very nice and that Israel is a cool country. I ask people not to believe everything they see on the telly. Especially concerning conflicts. Every time we enter the lists, many people realize that Israel is a good place, worth visiting. When you address a man personally, he realizes the truth very quickly.
Many people think we all wear helmets and bulletproof vests at home, that our country is being constantly hit with missiles. But the sun shines in Israel and everything’s fine. And many realize immediately the info they heard was a myth. We show real us. We do not need to say that all the world is bad. All that we need to show is that we’re good people. You do not need to love us, but you can be our friend. And it’s nice if people understand it.
captain of the National Team of Israel