Australia is a regular participant of the HMB World Championship Battle of the Nations since 2013. Bryce Lightbody, the national team captain of this country, still remember all details of his first Championship:
“My first Battle of the Nations was in Aigues-Morte (France, 2013). We took over just five fighters so had no reserves. This proved difficult when two of our fighters got food poisoning so were in and out of the toilets for the entire tournament. Besides this unpleasant aspect, Aigue-Morte is full of amazing memories for me. One of my favourites was in the friendly mass battles at the end of the day. With over one hundred fighters in the list, it was like nothing I’d experienced before. In one of the fights I ended up in the front rank, facing off against a wall of very intimidating Russians. Amidst the choking dust and crash of weapons I was exchanging strikes and clinching with an opposing fighter. We slammed into the list and in a brief pause he said to me in broken English, “You fighting very well”. And then proceeded to effortlessly fling me to the ground. A fantastic introduction to the joy and wonder that is buhurt and HMB”.
At Battle of the Nations Australians were taken under the wing of the Austrian National Team. Heinrich, Julia and all the Austrians were incredible. They helped Bryce and his team in any possible way – coach them and make introductions to the other nations. In the buhurts Australians were grouped up with other new, inexperienced teams for the most part. Through some luck they made it out of the group stage but were soundly defeated by USA in the play off stage. Every time after the end of fights Australian fighters learned so much that they could take back home.
“All of us returned to Australia with a renewed passion to create local teams and establish a domestic tournament series”.
As we can see, from this time the HMB movement improved much in Australian and we have to thanks these 5 members of the first National team of this country for their work and inspiration.
Photos by Robert Last