Nikolai Bykov, Estonia: “We need to fight against the strongest”

07 Jul 2014 11:02

We have a completely new team. Everyone starts from scratch, with no combat experience. I am the only person who took part in Battle of the Nations last year (as a member of the Baltic states team). Our guys are from different cities of Estonia, namely Tallinn, Tartu, Narva. They did not practise full contact fighting before. We mainly have former roleplayers and reenactors who deal with early Middle Ages. We’ve never had so serious approach to fighting as now.

We now have twelve fighters, but can give equipment to only seven or eight of them. 7-8 men are the minimum required to form a five-member unit, with reserve fighters. All men live in different cities, so it’s hard to control the training process. Once a month we have a joint training. And each group of fighters in the city have their own coach.

Men from Tallinn are trained by Dmitry Vorobiev. He is a well-known person in Estonia, a world champion in kickboxing, one of the best coaches in the country. He likes historical medieval battle as a sport, it is something new for him, that’s why Dmitry develops training programs for us. When possible, he also controls training process of other men from our team. In early April, we chose the men for five-member unit with his support. Using special tests, Dmitry checked the abilities of fighters. As for Narva, those guys are also trained by a kickboxer. As you can see, we have decided not to rely on ourselves, but address those who know how to train. Trainers combine techniques of our and their sports, and we train.

To get to the five-member team, you need to meet a qualifying standard. We took Belarusian one as the basis, it could be accessed for free; then Dmitry Vorobiev changed the material and added a couple of endurance tests. We devoted an entire training session to passing tests for the qualifying standard. Only half out of 12 men passed them. Even though we aren’t numerous, we tried to select the strongest for our five-member unit.

We plan to participate in “five vs five” and triathlon. We have two promising fighters for triathlon. One of them is Yan Murumets, a native of Tartu, who has some combat experience. We sent him to Israel to participate in professional fights, and that was the first significant step for the Estonian National Team. We call Yan Muromets for a joke, the names sound almost alike. He’s the only ethnic Estonian in the team. Estonians, in general, are not very warlike people, they prefer to reenact the early Middle Ages and fight not in full contact. But Yan likes HMB. He went to Israel with pleasure, he actively participates in our training sessions. Now he will represent us in the triathlon category at the World Championship. Yan passed our tests to get to the five-member team. I do not know what to expect from his participation in mass battles, I think they will be more difficult for him.

As for opponents, I’m interested in Russian five-member units, namely “Russia-1″, “Russia-2″ and “Russia-3.” I believe we need to fight with the strongest.

We attended the seminar in Prague, it also attracted the guys from “Bern” and we loved it. I took there the whole five-member unit that will represent us at Battle of the Nations-2014. We assessed the level of Russians, Europeans, and I would say that it’s more interesting to fight with Russians. We understand we’ll lose, but experience is dear. We need to fight against the strongest. Perhaps, we are not completely ready for that, but we will try.

As for the nearest neighbours, we’ve already faced guys from Latvia. We are friends with guys from Riga, for example Volodya Khartman who was captain of the Baltic states team. Those men came to us in March when we organized the first professional fights in Estonia. We had an opportunity to fight “five vs five.” We’re now observing the development of the Finns. They are our close neighbours, some of their fighters will go with us to Battle of the Nations on the same bus.

Our spirits are high. For many our fighters it’ll be their first combat experience, so everyone worries and tries to prepare well. I think we all worry about the results, armor (it is still in production). We haven’t made any serious plans yet, but have some that are not very serious. When we formed the team, we joked that we expected to occupy the tenth place. It was our motivational joke: “Why don’t you train? How can you dream then about the tenth place?”

Nikolai Bykov,

captain of the National Team of Estonia

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1st-4th July
Oradea Fortress, Romania