In 2015, Ilia Dragan for the first time entered the lists of the Battle of the Nations as part of the Moldova national team, that year as a fighter. He recalls that the principle of forming the national team was somewhat unusual for modern HMB:
“The national team was formed of the people who wanted to participate and could travel to Prague! That’s how I got to the national team, but before BotN, I tried steel armour only 1 time in my life, and even that wasn’t mine. At the Championship, I fought in buhurt, in the Polearm duel and in 21 vs 21 as a legionnaire in the team of Mikhail Morgulis”, recalls Ilia.
Everything then was new and amazing for Ilia and the whole team of Moldova! They saw the fighters in armour who run wall-to-wall on the lists, a historical camp, bonfires at night … The battles themselves are a separate topic for the story. Ilia Dragan talked about fights a lot and with pleasure. He went away with some very atmospheric stories, which we share today with our followers:
“I put on armor for the 21 vs 21 category for the first time when I was fighting for the Israeli team. We immediately got the team of Ukraine. There was a deep hit; if I’m not mistaken, Igor Parfentiev made a powerful strike to my helmet. The helmet, by the way, had to be changed urgently – the safety of the head first!
In buhurts we managed to meet the Russian team, I don’t remember which one, but there was Sergey “THOR” Kuritsyn, who hit me with the the edge of the shield so much that he got a shoulder injury himself! After that, either Vandal or Gryzlov hit my back with their heavy falchions. My armour that time was very flimsy. This was really impressive! After that, I bought a falchion under the maximum allowable weight immediately.
In that year, I also participated in the experimental Polearm category that time. Here I managed to meet Misha Morgulis, then I had a fight for the 3rd place against Jeff Galli and lost. There were no disappointments from this loss, because Jeff is a phenomenal fighter with some special technique of fencing on the Polearm. And for the first time I saw how a person can wield a longsword so that it can only be compared with the work of a sewing machine. That was awesome!”
The Moldovan national team did not have much success in the buhurts – in the overall standings Moldova got the 37th place. However, outside the lists Ilia was very lucky! The cheerful and extremely charismatic Moldovan met a lot of fighters from different countries, and he is still close friends with some of them:
“For some reason, I immediately remembered Igor Magdenko from Ukraine, later we became friends and to this day we go to visit each other. And even managed to have some small talk with Sergey Ukolov. At that moment, I had no idea who he was. In general, an interesting time when you join in some kind of movement and don’t know who they worship as the “God of War”.
Now Ilia not only knows who he is, but also fights shoulder to shoulder with the God of War Sergey Ukolov and other high-class fighters of his club.
HMBIA News thanks Ilia Dragan for the interview and is looking forward to seeing him at the Battle of the Nations 2021 venue.