TRUE STORY ABOUT HISTORY
INTERVIEW WITH THE MAIN RUSSIAN COMMENTATOR OF THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE PUBLICLY LOVED EXPERT IN HISTORY — KLIM ZHUKOV. We warmly welcome you, our dear friends! Before "Battle of the Nations" there remained a couple of weeks, and we, as promised, prepared something special in the struggle for your unflagging attention. And now here's the moment our editorial board don't need much effort looking for words to describe the respondent — Wikipedia will make it for us. Klim Zhukov is the name's all over all users of Runet, who care about the history. We are really lucky that such people are directly related to the medieval battles movement, whose light syllable, an honest look and thoughtful approach became the key to frenzied popularity among the general public. Coming out of the reenactment space, our hero is doing everything he can to help his favorite hobby to capture the minds of people, for which we are all immensely grateful to him. We with pleasure introduce this person to our lovely readers.
- Greetings, Klim Sanych! You're a member of the Russian historical reenactment movement for a long time, being the one of its key person. How the idea to become a video blogger came up, from side of history in general, and from reconstructions side in particular? What is it to be a media personality and to stay Livonian infantryman at heart?
- I didn't even try to become a video blogger, it turned out that way. It was all Goblin's fault (videloblogger Dmitry Puchkov, co-host of the program "Razvedopros" — ed.note). We have only known each other since 2002, but up until 2016 we were too shy in every way. Then we made a decision that we can't take it anymore, and stopped being embarrassed. My reenactment experience dates back to 1994, around 1996 festivals began. And then near Gaczyna, in Marienburg, the first festival took place, in which I took part as an organizer. In less than twenty years of vigorous action, the volume of knowledge has accumulated colossal. So in other words, I can already teach properly, and, in fact, I work together with Puchkov now. A Livonian infantryman is most often an candidate of science, who escaped to Pampas. It is a normal state of mind. But, alas, as before, I can not go down to the store and get some bread, the media status has a significant impact.
- Rumor has it that you will be a commentator of the Russian-language broadcast at the HMB World Championship "Battle of the Nations" in Rome, is it true? What tempted you to do that?
- It's no rumor at all, we are going to comment on it in tandem with Dmitry Puchkov. As usual, I was was also inspired by my old buds. In particular, Oleg Yukovich from the organization "Courage of Ages". As you know, their crew is the co-organizer of the championship this year.
- Medieval battles emphasize the sports-competitive component, while the main goal of historical reenactment is a reliable re-establishing of material culture. You are one of the ideological inspirers of this movement, therefore we can not help but wonder: are you ready to contemplate morally and assess the achievements of the world and domestic sports armor creation?
- Since 2000, I regularly judged at such events as the "Sword of Russia" in Moscow in the "Paninskaya dump" (Setunsky Stan, the base of the stuntman studio "Master Panin" — ed.note). Therefore, it is unlikely that I will see anything new - all levels of the deep are known to me, and I can not be scared at all. All this, as they say, has already been, just now it has reached a new organization level, a lot of people involved, it has spread to other countries, but if we talk about armor, nothing has changed since then, all of it — we've seen that before.
- Is it possible to say in this case that with all this you note some positive trend in terms of the HMB fighters aesthetics, the historicity of their armor?
- Regarding the appearance, there is no positive trend, if we talk about trend in general. Because it is clear that in 2000 the number of masters and their level were much lower than now, the experience was smaller and, accordingly, their skills were too lower. Therefore, all the sportsmen, as it was then, in terms of historicity, were dressed just in the devil knows what, so they are now dressed mostly, in terms of history, in the same "the hell knows what". Except for now, there's lots more ion reflectors — in other words, now they are dressed in "the devil knows what", but much better in terms of safety. Open competition between masters is awfully low due to the specifics of the craft and due to the lack of their opportunity to develop their production in a large scale.
- Well, who do you think could be called an approximation to the degree of so-called "True Authentic"? There are such fighters, or maybe even teams: foreign ones, Russian? But do they even exist in nature?
- I don't think about teams... but there are some individuals who look decent. Suppose there is a certain Svetlana Fyodorova (a fighter of the HMB Russian National Team, the club "Western Tower", Kaliningrad — ed.note), who will look very worthy for a high-level sporting events, under one condition: if she will throw her helmet and her gloves for catching poisonous toads. In addition, her set of armor on a solid "b+" can even be allowed for Reenactment events. Again, you know, provided that the helmet and gloves will be thrown . And, in general, this is all well and good, right up to the sabatons — it's extremely pleasant and neat, my respect to the master.
- As far as we know, you have a extensive experience in organizing and holding major historical festivals. What would you change in the championship program, or in the treatment to organizing such a grandiose event? Maybe you could give him some professional advices?
- Until now, it has not been possible for me to participate directly in any of held championships, so I can hardly give good advices. Except, perhaps, one nuance, which was noted by many viewers of the broadcast in previous years: the broadcast was non-permanent. Take, for example, the commentator talks about the first lists, then the frame is replaced sharply by a picture from another lists, but the commentator continues to describe what is happening on the first. It is clear that in such situation it is extremely difficult for an outside viewer to understand what is happening, especially when the championship took several days, and the information flow is very large and chaotic. In this regard, it is worth studying on the example of major competitions, for example, Olympics. Firstly, fencing, or boxing — there, as a rule, we can see one duel completely. The duel ended, a camera switched to another one, and so on. Even if we take into account two lists involved at "Battle of the Nations", then for such a case a film director is needed, who will decide what will be broadcast at the moment and coordinate the process. This practice is widely distributed on television, and it's pretty straightforward.
- How do you assess the prospects of HMB as a sport and the whole movement in general? Which of the vectors of development do you see as the most viable?
- The so-called historical medieval battles is a story about how to beat people. And there it happens honestly, wholeheartedly, and it is actively developing, so to speak, "from below." People hit each other harder, more violently, receive from this process a great, incomparable pleasure. This is the main prospect of development, and everything else can be attributed to "cosmetics" — all organizational efforts relate to the "top", which will always follow the whole basis. Therefore, you do not need to invent anything, you just need to welcome everyone and let them to hit each other :). It is spectacular in itself, because everyone wants to win. Fighters train for years, their combat skill is better, more people come to compete, so immediately all the necessary components of the dramatic art appear — the desire for victory and competition. And that's it! That is what has the maximum perspective, because this is exactly most interesting in the HMB for the participants, and, accordingly, for the audience. And in order to it would grow stronger and developed, it is necessary that the "basis" and the "top" go hand in hand in the same direction.
- Please, tell us, how do you feel about the inclusion in the championship program of professional full-contact fights as a new nomination? And what is your opinion about this kind of martial arts in general?
- I don't really like this nomination due to the fact that these battles are very far from history. Therefore, it's not very interesting for me to look at them because of personal taste, because I, for example, do not understand why I need to kick a person in the armor with my feet. He won't feel a thing! Let's say that fights "5 vs 5", or "21 vs 21" are good in their mass character, there is an element of tactics, and if three or four fighters with polearms hit another one, then, he will certainly feel it! I lose interest to battles "1 vs 1", in which there is full-contact interaction without stabbing motions. After all, you can take a good heavyweight guy, put an armor on him, and he will already have a huge advantage over fencing technique, because he will overwhelm anyone. Of course, except for another heavyweight guy. But in this case it turns out that the weapon in this fight is present purely nominally, although effective blows bring points. It will look like this until it develops to its logical perfection, because this kind of martial arts is still very young.
- But after all, not all the pro-fighters just struggle and throw each other. There are those who show something special, unprecedented, going to the lists.
- The issue of this sport is the issue of maximum effectiveness within the framework of specific rules. The current situation is reminiscent of the period when mixed martial arts were born, when, at first, the mix fighters doing whatever he wants until eventually was not able to reach a common position. And it happens with every sport with certain conditions in which the task is to win — logically it will all develop along the path of least resistance, this is obvious.
- You can often be seen as an honorary spectator at many major HMB competitions. Which nomination is your favorite? Do you have favorites among fighters, teams? What do you like as a spectator, and in what part would you like to participate personally?
- "21 vs 21" is my favorite nomination. Simply because it is more like the dearly loved by me mass buhurts, in which I spent more than twenty seasons. In "21 vs 21" it is certainly not just like it, but there are many people involved, there is tactics, the ability to use weapons has an enormous influence, because when three polearms come with all the heart, whether you want to or not, but you will start thinking. Among the fighters I'll single out Sergey Vitalievich Ukolov (five-time world champion, the head of the club "Bayard" — ed.note), a multiple winner of everything. With great interest I follow the US team and their team "Iron Phoenix". And since I have traditionally liked all my old friends, namely, the club "Russian Orden", which doesn't go anywhere from year to year, but I still love them. The club "Bern" has wonderful teams, also from old mates, I am very pleased to follow their competitive activities. I really like the old part of the "PLC", because, again, there are high percentage of old buddies in this team. I beat painfully all of them repeatedly, all of them beat me repeatedly too, and together we also cheerfully and painfully beat somebody. I love buhutrs for many years, among the weapons I always prefer a classic one- a polearm, with which I fight since 1997.
- In relation to the heavy workload and increasing popularity, do you have enough time to bear the proud reenactor title, to give this occupation as much attention and strength as before?
- Everything is extremely trite: once you have a lot of work, then you just get worked so bloody hard, and everything else that you like — reenactment, sports, macrame (an appropriate should be emphasized) — you have much less time, because there are only 24 hours in a day. In this regard, and also because of a certain public status, I can no longer afford to go out in public in armor, which even in small detail does not correspond to the claimed source. If I could close my eyes to some mistakes earlier and might go to fight in buhurt in such set, now I am in a long and painful process of collecting that set of armor in which would not be ashamed to get out into the world. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say, then please be consistent with this high status.
- Could you please tell us about your nearest grandiose plans, including, of course, regarding your participation in the life of the HMB movement.
- Now we are at the stage to search for money for the shooting of the film "Sevastopol 1942", this is the biggest project that we have to win. And work on it takes away about 30% of the moral forces that are physically available. In addition, I am finishing the book, which is called "The Birth of the Revolution," I expect to finish till September and surrender it. The third huge plan is a book about The Battle of Kulikovo. These are the tasks for the next year. But my wife Elena has certain plans for HMB, because she is keenly interested in this sport and actively takes part in some events as a fighter. I just need to dress her decently — and we can let her out :) And personally I do not have any special plans or ambitions in this field, because it's not about the reenactment, as I said above. I just love to watch people hit each other, the violence is always pleasant and fun!
Accordingly, we wish the Honorable Klim Sanych great success in implementing the plans and express the hope that we'll surely meet up once under the most pleasant circumstances!
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Interviewers: Svetlana Fyodorova, Marina Golovina Translator: Yulia War