Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Association representatives vs National team captains

The HMB history has seriously changed recently. We saw the announcement that a new world association - Armor Combat League - appears on the international stage and is planning to have its own world class event. Many people all around the world broke their relations with HMBIA which organizes world championship “Battle of the Nations”. That way some national teams are not planning to attend BoN anymore or at least people who are in the team currently.

There are many factors why this happened and one of them is the issue/problem of official HMBIA representatives in the country. Captains started to quarrel that HMBIA decides the issues with the members of national teams without the permission of team captain or even without informing them.

Apart from the fact that many captains did not want to cooperate with HMBIA (and that way the association just had to find someone else in the country) in my opinion there are other reasons why this took place.

First of all let us try to understand what is the role of the team captain in the country and which rights and duties he or she should have.

A national team captain is the person who is responsible for the performance of the team at a certain period (in our case that is a year with a final event at the end), the person who organizes the team and gives the main vector of its development. The team captain currently is also responsible for the selection process and that way chooses the people who will be in the team. Also the team captain is the main communicative link between the team and the association (in our case it is already doesn’t matter which association).

The team captain is selected (or should be selected) by majority of voices of fighters/club captains/other unknown people in the country or he just got the captain’s position somehow and I am sure that this happened in many countries.

So this is the person who has all power to rule the team and influence its opinion in any situation. The captain can develop the necessary opinion to some events and happenings. You ask why and how? Firstly he is the main communicative link with the association (I repeat - with any association or federation or universe counsel or whatever) and secondly most people in the team are just too lazy to know what happens outside their country. It is always easier to ask the captain and not spend its personal time to read the news, follow the events and analyze the hmb/armored combat situation in the world. This negligence provokes misunderstanding of the events that happen. This negligence makes your opinion an easy target to influence.

And now let’s try to understand what should the association representative do in a certain country.

He or she should:
- develop and maintain communication between fighters and the association
- be the communicative link between fighters and association (currently it is in captain’s hands disposition)
- control the selection process and check if it is done in the appropriate way (so to check if everybody had the chance to go through the selections and if the process of selection was fair; currently it is also in captain’s disposition).
- control the election of the new team captain

And now if we have the captain who is the official association representative at the same time, what functions he has and to what it can lead to?

- he organizes and controls the selection process. Result: he can choose anybody and set his own rules (both of the fights and of the selection). he is not under control as he reports directly to the association and association trusts him.
- he is the main communicative link between the fighters and association. So he can run any politics he likes as he is the one who receives information and who transmits it to the fighters. He can influence the opinion both of the fighters and of the association. So there won’t be any actual association’s work with the fighters that way, and we will face the problems which cannot be resolved, because the main communicative link can have interest in it.
- team captain has all the powers and authority (as the official association representative) to decide the direction of the movement development in the country. Again he will not be controlled by anyone.
- team captain can influence the election process of himself, as he can choose the team members and that way choose the people who will be electing him.

If the team captain has all these functions, what will make him not just a captain, he will be an actual president, an emperor, an overlord of the movement in the country who will have all powers to run his own political course without any control by anyone.

Ok, that all sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that actually takes place in some countries and recent events prove it directly. And if all these powers are in the hands of one person, there is no democracy in the management of the team at all even if this person is “elected”.

My personal opinion is that team captain and association representative should be two different people as they work like a counterbalance system to each other. They can control each other’s work and they can prevent each other’s corrupt practices. It is the same like the work of different state services in the country.

So I do not understand why some captains are agitated by the fact that they were not proposed the position of the official representative. If we want to have fair play in the team management, there should be control over the person who rules this team.

I believe that it can possibly be one person on both positions, but only if he is completely dedicated and he is ready to sacrifice his own interests for the benefit of the team, and ready to present the association’s opinion even if he does not agree with it.

That is why I think that it should better be two different people, that way their cooperation and mutual control will help to make the movement development more transparent and more democratic.

The real trust and respect appear only when actions and intentions are absolutely transparent.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Dynamo Cup and WMFC: First Class elimination are merged

I like WMFC, because I think it is a real step forward for HMB in the world and it has great potential both for the sport development and for popularization of our favourite striking sport.

All fighers in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus know about Dynamo Cup. One of the most exciting and most expected "5 vs 5" tournaments in Russia, also visited often by teams from nearby countries. You can see the best Russian teams who will fight later at the final elimination for the "Battle of the Nations", and you can already see if they progressed and invented something new in tactics. It is the place where you can study the latest trends in "5 vs 5".

This year WMFC: First Class and Dynamo Cup were merged into one event, so on the 7th and 8th of December in "Excalibur" Sport facility in Moscow you will see "5 vs 5" tournament with best Russian teams (and a team from Ukraine is planning to come) and WMFC: First Class elimination pro fights. It will be a great combination.

Link to the official group

I am waiting this event with excitement, let's remember how it was last year at the Dynamo Cup and how it was previously at the WMFC: First Class.
Video from WMFC YouTube channel about WMFC: First Class tournament and video from fighter of Sharukhan club Igor Parfentiev about previous year Dynamo Cup (GoPro edittion).

Monday, 18 November 2013

Belt incident: a storm in a teacup?

On this weekend surfing the Facebook I noticed some interesting activity on the pages of guys from the USA. Everyone knows that I write some articles regarding HMB, so I often check my numerous friends’ facebook pages to see if they posted the link on some HMB or reenactment events.

This time I noticed that many of my USA friends are posting the same photo on their pages and commenting it. And that was the photo of Anton Trubnikov holding the belt of Evgeniy Gladkov (I think it was him) in the “5 vs 5” Russia vs USA. The comments were very different and some of them I think expressed more the problem than it really happened.

I was there when this incident took place, I saw this incident with my own eyes and followed the upcoming events and that’s why I think I have the right to express my own opinion.

The first thing I want to tell is that I know Anton Trubnikov for more than 3 years already and I know him quite well. I helped him to organize some events in Ukraine, so I know how he behaves in ordinary life and at work. so I have some background to analyze this action and to understand the possible reasons of it.
How it happened:

During the buhurt I was standing on the right side of the lists and saw that at a certain moment Anton grabbed the belt of the Russian fighter when that fighter was being actively hit by an American guy, held the belt for a few seconds and then let it go. Actually I was quite surprised and thought “What the hell have you just done?”. After it I know that Anton got the yellow card for it from Marshalls and gave official apologies to the captain of American team, they watched the video of the fight next morning, made sure that this action did not influence the battle anyhow and it was decided mutually that no re-fight is necessary. So they solved this issue and I thought the parties were happy with the decision. The issue was solved.

By the way the yellow card, which was received by Anton, could make a very bad joke to the Ukrainian team, as we already had a red card then, and so one more card and all the team could get disqualified. it is luck that we understood it afterwards, otherwise we would make a good brainwash to our captain at the event then :)

After the event we also shared this photo and made jokes of it. But you know what, we never considered that Anton wanted to betray his Ukrainian team or that he wanted to help Russians by cheating.

And what do I read in comments this weekend?
People say that he DID want to help Russians that way, then the conversation goes to the direction that Russians get promoted and receive more help than other teams, then people start saying that anyway no other team could win because the judges were not objective.

You know how does it look?
Some politician made a stupid action at a TV show and everyone in Internet start sharing it and making unlimited amount of mems, “meaningful” conclusions of the reasons of his actions and then escalating it to the level of his political course, his political views, reassessing his actions and that way destroying his image completely. And that all can happen because of one stupid action which did not have any reasons behind, or was a stupid joke or anything like that.
Looks like black PR actually and I hope that we don’t have it in HMB yet.
Let’s try to analyze the situation step by step.
1. Could this action really influence the fight?
He held the belt with one hand, it did not even look that he tried hard to hold it. If even the Russian fighter started to fall (by the way he did start to fall right after Anton took his hand away from the belt), Anton would not be able to stop the fall, because I don’t really think he can stop 120 kg (and that is something like Gladkov’s weight in armor) with one hand.

2. Was this cheating for the Russians’ benefit?

Any cheating should have some reasons and some objective exponents of being efficient. This action could not help the Russian team to win. I would even say more that Russian fighter did not even know the his belt was held by someone behind. I am sure he didn’t.

Why to say that Russians win due to cheating? Russians are the best in HMB now and team Ukraine, being the second after them, should be the first to start any quarrels regarding such an incident. And we should have been those who will say that they win with cheating, because that way we will come closer to get the first place. But we did not do this, because we know that they win as they are stronger. They are more experienced, they have harder competition at the selections and they fight really desperately.
You know, before BoN 2013 we told the same things. We said that they are cheating, their fights are dirty, they hit in forbidden areas. Most of the Ukrainian team this year took sabatons to the BoN because we were sure that Russians will hit us in the feet, that was some kind of paranoia. But they didn’t. And that really meant something for us. We started to respect them much more, because this year they really had fair play. Of course things happen, but general image was much much better than any year before. And you know why? This year marshals were very multinational and there was no dominance of Russian marshals. And the Russian team showed that they win because they are strong and not because they have Russian marshalls at the event who can solve any sitiation to their benefit. 
Do you really think they needed Anton’s help?
3. Was this an action of the President of HMBIA or Team Ukraine Captain?
I have already told that I have known Anton for a few years already. And I can say that there are people much kinder than him. He is very emotional and sometimes his can be rude. But at the same he is a very devoted captain. For his guys at the event he can do absolutely anything if they need help. And if he would cheat that way to influence the fight, he would rather do it with us, team Ukraine. Team Russia are not his guys, he respects them, he has a lot of friends there (obviously, because he’s been in reenactment since 90’s) but he will never help them to win. Because he wants us to win. If you knew how much brainwash we get from him after a non successful fight, how many trainings at the events happen. Every night at the BoN we are discussing tactics and he gathers everyone by force, because there is nothing he wants at the event more than to see us holding the winner’s cup.
And at the same time this action cannot be related to him as to the president of HMBIA. Because it is just nonsense. It will not give any benefit to the Russian team, nor to him or anyone else.
Holding the belt was just an emotional outburst of an emotive person and it does not really matter what he was thinking about at that moment. It was a stupid human factor. Really he could grab the belt unintentionally for a few seconds and that‘s why he dropped it at once then. There was just no objective in this action.
Was it provoking? Yes. certainly.
Was it stupid? Yes, certainly.
Was it intentional? No
And truly ss a captain he has no right to make such mistakes and that’s why after the event he told he would leave the captain’s position, the position which he had for 4 years. This December we have new captain elections. And I don’t really think that we will get a better one, because Anton did a lot for the team, and as a President of HMBIA he did a lot for HMB in the world.
Social media is a great means of spreading the information, but it can easily spoil the life and work of the person and entire organization because of some stupid situation and with the “help” of people who “really care and want to show their resentment”.  I don’t know whether this discussion by numerous people was planned or spontaneous. And I do not really understand why this subject again was highlighted if it was decided many months ago and men shook hands that it was solved. It looks like this accident is used now to achieve some very definite and very explicit goals.
I am a fighter since 2007, member of National team of Ukraine since 2010, I respect my opponents and would never let myself poor tons of shit on their captain and the President of the movement I am involved in, the person who created the championship I take part in and working hard to make my favourite sport a world class sport.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

MMA: Legend Fight Show 2 Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic vs Alexey Oleinik

MMA is the second sport I like to follow. Though I never tried it myself (I did try some kickboxing though, close enough :) ), I really enjoy watching it.

Recently on the 8th of November he fought at the “Legend Fight Show 2” in Moscow. “Legend” is a very young but promising Russian fighting promotion, which organizes very spectacular shows with real stars and legends of martial arts. Mirko was invited to fight against Alexander Emelianenko ( It should have been the rematch of the decade, because Mirko finished Alexander in 2004 in the first round with his left high kick. Now Alexander had to take his chance to fight Mirko again, but he lost it because two weeks before the fight he fought drunk in a bar against a 63 years old guy, and then it turned out that Alexander did not prepare properly for the fight against Mirko and the “Legend” authorities decided to fire him.
Any person who knows at least something about MMA heard the name of Mirko “Cro Cop”  Filipović. It is one of the greatest strikers in MMA, who holds the titles of 2006 Pride World Grand Prix Open-Weight Champion, K-1 World Grand Prix 2012 Final Champion, holder of countless awards for the best fights, best knockouts, awards of the Fighter of the Year etc. You can read more about him on Wikipedia

I want to say at once that Mirko is truly my favourite fighter though now he is not at the top of his career and not in his best shape.

So a new fighter was appointed to fight Mirko. It was Alexey Oleinik (, a famous Russian (former Ukrainian) MMA fighter and grappler. Not to say much, Alexey Oleinik won the fight in the first round with a neck crank, and Mirko’s performance was quite disappointing.

And now I’d like to express my thoughts regarding the fight, why Alexey won, why Mirko lost and why I still believe he can win a rematch. I want to highlight that I am not MMA expert and I am just expressing my own personal opinion.

The fight itself lasted almost one round and was mostly on the ground. After the fight I read an interview with Mirko where he told that he wanted to end the fight with a submission, and I thought “Why the heck did you want to wrestle Oleinik? He is a professional grappler, he only wrestles. And you are a striker”.
I know that Mirko paid great attention to his grappling skills BUT I think he mostly uses them to to know how to protect himself against wrestlers. He was told to have one of the best takedown defense and even Fedor Emelianenko did not manage to finish him on the ground. So the chosen tactics, in my personal opinion, was quite weird. And that was the first reason of the loss. Everyone expected great strikes and legendary highkicks, and that was actually what should have been done to defeat Oleinik.

The second factor is moral. I think Mirko hoped for an easy victory. Alexey Oleinik being quite famous in Russia and Ukraine, is not really known in other countries, though he is quite a good fighter. Mirko did not expect serious opposition and when you have such an attitude to the fight, better do

n’t go there. Because anything can happen in a fight and MMA proves that everyday. Oleinik developed good tactics, pushed his manner of fighting in the ring to Mirko and we all know the result. And you know which fight it resembles a lot? The first fight of Mirko and Kevin Randleman ( in Pride 2004 Heavyweight GP. Mirko was expected to win that fight easily, but Kevin forced him on the ground and used his favourite ground and pound technique and finished Mirko. Later it was called the Upset of the Year. And that was very close to what happened on “Legend 2” on the 8th of November. In both cases Mirko accepted the manner of fighting of his opponents and seemed to get lost what to do. But in a rematch with Randleman Mirko  won with a guillotine choke and this victory did not even look difficult for him.


 The third factor is preparation. Mirko prepared to a striker (because Alexander is a striker and mostly hits and uses boxing technique). Mirko sparring partner imitated Alexander’s technique and Mirko prepared for two months. 6 days a week, 2 trainings a day. That is quite impressive and he really showed serious dedication and professional approach. And then two weeks before the fight it turns out that he prepared all his tactics in vain, because his opponent is a different fighter and moreover a grappler. I really think he was demoralized. Of course in his interview he said that it doesn’t matter, that he is a professional and is prepared to fight anyone. What else he could say? But I really think he was very demoralized, because his preparation was focused on different things. Possibly he did not even pay a lot of attention to his takedown defense because was not expecting much of it from Alexander, and that was the crucial point with Alexey Oleinik.

So generally wrong tactics chosen against a fighter to whom he didn’t prepare together with low moral made a very bad surprise to Mirko.

And now I want to express my opinion why everything is not so bad actually and why he still can win the rematch, if it ever happens.

Mirko is an old wolf. He is experienced, he is tough and he still strikes hard and can win the hardest matches. How to prove it? He won K-1 World Grand Prix 2012. And that is something very valuable. It is not a single fight against some unknown fighter, it is not some small regional or even national tournament, it is K-1 World Grand Prix where the toughest kickboxers of the world fight in uncompromising battles. And all of them I think were younger than Mirko. But anyway he managed at the age of 38, long after the peak of his career, to get the title he could not take when he was still young but already very tough and motivated.

When I first heard about the rematch of Mirko and Alexander, I hoped for Mirko’s victory, but I understood that he has few chances. Despite his bad character, Alexander is a good fighter, he is much younger, and Mirko is not in his best shape. But then I learnt that Mirko won K-1 World Grand Prix, and I thought that … wow he still can do it. That’s why loss to Oleinik was very disappointing, but that doesn’t actually mean a lot. If Mirko prepares properly, he can win the rematch.

What do I think about Mirko’s future career? He is not getting younger, but he still has some years to fight. He returned to his origins in kickboxing and proved that he means business. Kickboxing turned Mirko into “Cro Cop” and striking style in MMA made him a legend of martial arts. There is a very little chance the he ever returns to UFC and wins a heavyweight belt, because he must go a long way to prove that he can fight there. But anything can happen in a fight. He still can try.

All photos to the article were just found on the web, If you have any rights on these photos I will remove the photos on request.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Selection challenges for national teams

I haven’t been writing anything for quite a long time, but recently after several conversation with different people I noticed a theme which I would like to disclose. And that is the problems of selection to the national team.

The only countries which do not have such a problem are those who can hardly get 8 fighters to the team, as they just take everyone “who can hold a sword”. All other national teams every year face the same problem - how to choose the best fighters for the team and make the selection really fair.

“Old teams”.
For “old teams” I consider only the first four countries which participated in BoN 2010 and which keep showing the best results at least in some nominations. They are Russian, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland.

I really don’t know much about Belarus selection process, but all the others face approximately the same problems in my opinion. And that is how how to choose the best fighters as they are very numerous and often they cannot objectively get to the same events to show competence in time progression. It is hard to judge about who is better if to consider the results of only one event. Fight is always at least partially unpredictable so once even an average team can defeat the champion team and this “once” can happen at the main selection. It is something we saw in Russian team at the selection to the BoN 2012 when “Furious five” appeared on “5 vs 5” arena. They got the second place at the final selection but they were not allowed to take Russia 2 name and only a few of them got to Russia 3. That was a pity for them but that was fair, as they were not known enough to get such an honor to complete the full team. This year they took the second place again and now no problems appeared - they have proven for the second time that they are among the best and they became Russia 2.

That is also the answer on the question “Why there is no fresh blood in the team?”. It is quite risky to take the fighter at once if showed himself well at the event. It is better to check his skills and his dedication at numerous events for about a year, then it would absolutely obvious if he needs to be  taken to the team. That’s my opinion.

Poland and Russia have quite well developed selection process consisting of many tournaments, regional, national etc. (don’t know how they are called). That is a good practice and it requires very serious organizational team which will take care of everything for the events to happen.

This year some teams tried to introduce the “requirements to physical condition for the fighters”. In fact it is very difficult as many fighters who are very experienced often cannot pass the physical condition test. Why is that so? The answer is easy - our sport is not yet professional enough. We do have already real “athletes” like Ukolov or Lapik or Waszkielis but generally many people are still doing it as their hobby. They have experience as advantage over youngsters and have their word in the team as of strong fighters. Personally I don’t really think that physical condition test is necessary at the selection process but the selection itself should be so hard that only the strongest can pass it, really the strongest and not those who caught some drive and won a few fights. Captain of “Furious Five” told me a thing which I completely agree with. He told that at the final selection to Russian national team there are a lot of teams in “5 vs 5” and + “21 vs 21” competition, and it is there where physical condition plays a great role. You need to fight all day, the competition is extremely hard, many additional fights and so on and so forth. You cannot have only experience. You must be really strong to handle the competition. So experience + physical condition wins. And the BoN event itself is the same - many fights all day, hard competition, hard moral pressure. You need to have experience but you also need to be physically well prepared. This year we saw many fights which were won by those who just have a better stamina and can strike hard a bit longer. Only hard long competition and training helps to build physical and psychological endurance. Small events where you have 5 fights a day won’t go for it.

And now the “new teams”. For these I mean all the other teams  (I hope I don’t offend anyone).
Communicating with many people in different countries I noticed that there is such a phenomenon which can be described by an easy formula “you go to the BoN not because you are cool, but you are cool because you go to the BoN”. What does that mean? The one who manages to make the team, he has the rule. It is not a bad fact, as often these are people who really want to make a difference, but it can lead to such a problem like if he has some opponents in views, they can hardly get to the team even if they are strong enough. It is a normal process of sharing sphere of “power” in sport (that always happens) and we just need to take this to account. It is the same as if the new federation of HMB appears, it can get in conflict with HMBIA just because they have the same “focus group” but different “views on life”.
Sport develops and politics appears. Politics can be good but politicians always strive to get power.

I would be grateful to learn if you have ideas about any other topics which need to be covered.

Monday, 10 June 2013

My historical medieval battle circuit training 1

I have been using this circuit training for 2 months and it shows good results for stamina and general physical condition. After it the muscles are not overloaded, so you can still do some additional strength excercises or tire striking for technique.

I think it is medium level as for our "youngsters" it is rather hard, but still it is not as hard as a WOD.

I think my intensity for tire striking and for punchbag was something like 75% from maximum (you can't actually work here like in tabata).

Hint: if you want to feel the good results you must choose the heavy weapon for tire striking, heavy kettlebell (so it were hard for you to work with for a minute without stops) and a heavy hammer.

You can change the excercises, but remember that the main thing you need to pay attention to is not to overload the wrist as that way you will not be able to strike tires properly. And you need to choose excercises in such a manner so all muscles groups could work.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Konstantin Nataluha training program for "Battle of the Nations"

All people who were at this Battle of the nations knows Konstantin Nataluha  - the Ukrainian duel fighter, who took the 4th place this year and who was at the “Battle of the Nations” for the first time actually. I asked him to share his preparation training program and he honestly agreed. So this is how he prepared to the “Battle of the Nations”

1. Monday: Strength
Bench press  3 * 10
Dumbbell extension 3 * 10
P-bars push ups 3 * 30
Pull ups 3 * 15
Deadlift 3*10
Barbell shrugs, dumbbell biceps curls 3*10
Barbell squats 3*10
2. Tuesday: Circuit Training
Spurt – striking tires: one-handed, two-handed sword 10 seconds, pause for 15 seconds, 5 sets
Circuit training – striking tires, abs curls, push-ups, lunges, burpees. 5 rounds -1.5 min round - rest between rounds 2 minutes, 30 seconds between exercises.
3. Wednesday: Rest.
4. Thursday: Fencing techniques.
Spurt. Practicing strikes in the air / on tires / in pairs. Testing of combinations, holds an maneuvers. Combats with specific tasks.
5. Friday: Strength (the same as Monday)
6. Saturday: Triathlon fighting .
7. Sunday: Hand to hand fighting and wrestling.

Practicing on boxer bag hits and kicks. Fighting with different rules. All fighting with soft sword.

Every non-strength training
Striking tires:
3 circles of 3 rounds. 1 round = 1.5 minutes for hand-and-a-half sword, sword buckler, sword shield (total 9 rounds of 1,5 minutes)

Two weeks before “Battle of the Nations” – jogging every morning.

Программа тренировок по ИСБ Константина Наталухи, занявшего 4е место в номинации "1 на 1" на "Битве Наций 2013". Подготовка перед "Битвой Наций".

1. Понедельник: Силовая тренировка
Жим от груди 3*10
Разводка гантелей 3*10
Отжимания на брусьях 3*30
Подтягивания 3*15
Становая тяга 3*10
Шраги со штангой, гантели на бицепсы 3*10
Приседания со штангой 3*10

2. Вторник: Круговая тренировка.
Спурт - удары по балде: одноручный меч, двуручный меч по 10 секунд, пауза 15 секунд, 5 подходов.

Круговая тренировка: удары по балде, скручивание на пресс, отжимания, выпады, бурпи. 5 раундов по 1.5 минуты, отдых между раундами - 2 минуты, 30 секунд между упражнениями

3. Среда: Отдых.

4. Четверг: Отработка техники.
Спурт. Отработка ударов по воздуху, на балде, в парах. Отработка связок, захватов. Спарринги с заданием.

5. Пятница: Силовая тренировка (как в понедельник).

6. Суббота: бои по правилам триатлона.

7. Воскресенье: Рукопашный бой и борьба.
Отработка ударов руками и ногами по грушам. Бои по разным правилам. Все спарринга на оружии - с тямбарами.

На каждой не силовой тренировке.
Отработка ударов на балде.
3 круга по 3 раунда. 1 раунд = 1.5 минуты удары полуторным мечем, меч баклер, щит меч (то есть в общем все вместе 9 раундов по 1.5 минуты).

За две недели до "Битвы Наций" - бег по утрам.