• Denis Medvedev


Обновлено: 25 июня 2019 г.

When these news thundered on the Internet, only the lazy one did not repost on his page a photo of Iron Arnie with a sword and the signature “my new favorite sport”. Yes, it's true! Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger really turned his gaze to our sport and what's more – next year there will be an HMB-tournament in the framework of the Arnold Sport Festival series (a series of sports festivals all around the world bearing his name). And all the HMB-fighters, who had in their childhood a lot of posters of Conan the barbarian and Conan the Destroyer hanging above beds, of course dream to get to the event where (who knows?) it will be possible to shake hands with the mighty Cimmerian!

We asked the head of the HMB-direction of the Arnold Sport Festival – Richard Elswick, the representative of the Detroit Fight Club, what tournament will it be and will the winner get Red Sonia.

Richard: The Arnold Sports Festival is an event, officially run by the organization Arnold Medieval Fighting Invitational. HMB as an innovation was initiated by one of our club members, Boris Tuman, who reached out to the organizers last year, and I met the direct Festival organizers and proposed them to bring fights 5х5 to their event. So, as such, I became the Head of this direction to make it happen at the Arnold. We met with HMBIA-President Edouard Eme and members of the HMBIA Advisory Board at Battle of the Nations-X to discuss our event and goals. They agreed with our direction for the event, so for their part they will provide guidance and support upon our requests. It will be run and hosted by Detroit Fight Club, which is included in HMB and Buhurt League. The story of their event growth and Arnold’s involvement can be found here: https://www.arnoldsportsfestival.com/visitor-info/media/jim-lorimer/

– The main question that worries perhaps almost EVERYONE: how did Schwarzenegger himself become interested in the world of HMB? And how did HMBIA become one of the organizers of this event?

Richard: Schwarzenegger became interested in HMB thanks to his close relationship with the international Arnold Sports Festivals. HMB-fighting occurred at the South Africa Festival and then again at the Australia Festival, where he saw our sport for the first time in person. Then Arnold posted to his Instagram, that it was "his new favorite sport". It is through the efforts of HMB-members in Australia that the organizers were willing to bring it to the United States for the biggest of their events. All the Arnold sport festivals are organized under the same company. Besides those mentioned, other venues include Barcelona and Brazil. Additional information about the festivals can be found here: https://www.arnoldsportsfestival.com

– When and where will it be held?

Richard: The Invitational tournament will be held on Friday, March 6th from 2:00 till 5:30 pm EST in Columbus, Ohio, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

– What will be the format of the event?

Richard: Sadly we have only 3,5 hours to conduct our events at the Convention Center, so time is limited as well as space in the conference hall. Therefore we must restrict the number of allowed fighters that participate in. The format of the event focus on the men's tournament 5x5, also there will be demonstrations of women's fights 5x5 (or 3x3) along with a couple of outrace fights (according to the rules of WMFC Profights, but without official classification). We have additionally worked through the details of having it as a Buhurt League tournament, so stay tuned.

There are going to be some additional guidelines for safety and presentation of kits. It is of the utmost priority that injuries of fighters and spectators are minimized as in the US the law is on the first place. Fighters/clubs will be expected to submit in advance their kits, similar to Battle of the Nations. Kits need to be safe first, look good second and be authentic third. All rules and expectations will be provided to those invited to attend.

We are working on a training location in Columbus for Saturday, which we currently have a location identified, and are working on agreements to arrange the space. We have "White Company" willing to conduct the training for us. With this, we may have a chance to run a duels and WMFC-fighting at that location, however it is outside the normal interaction with the main Arnold Sports Festival.

– What HMB-fights are planned?

Richard: Men's tournament 5x5, with 2 subgroups of 8-10 teams and the top 2-4 teams fighting for the 1st place. We will have 2 women teams to run some demonstration fights to make a couple of breaks and to show off that our sport is not only for men. We currently plan to have 2 outrace fights to also highlight some of that category of fighting, again, to provide a break and such.

– What fighters can participate and on what terms? Would special invitations be sent or would it be some form of application?

Richard: We are looking for half the teams participating to be US based. We prefer whole clubs over individuals first. We already have more clubs that have applied, than we have open slots to accept teams! It is likely we will additionally have a US qualifier, since some of the world best teams (like "Bern" and "White Company") are asking to attend. We will match 2 pairs of fighters, who had the most exciting fights in the WMFC, to make a really good Profight show.

July 1st is the deadline to apply for clubs. After that date the clubs will be selected and an invitations to participate will be sent, and the coordination of the event will begin in earnest. Fighters, marshals and support can apply and get information to attend at this address: https://detroitfight.club/index.php/events/9-amfc

Direct link to application form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdZEbBCNiMb5_CmS5PpAVH-nNyQNC89JbMm0T6KBCtIvqiw9g/viewform

– What should I do (or whom should I be :)) to participate in?

Richard: You should contact your club team captains or get some fighters together and form a team to participate, then submit your registration by July 1st. If you are single fighter, then fill the form out declaring your desire to participate. If you desire, you can also reach out to the Detroit Fight Club directly or contact Richard Elswick (painbank@gmail.com) for more information.

– Will the Big Boss himself take part?

Richard: He has no time scheduled to do something with us. However, he attends all (or most) of the festivals that bear his name - at those, he walks around and sees everything. With us being in the main hall for 3,5 hours, the likelihood of him wandering by is quite high. There is, of course, no guarantee, and if it happens, probably for only a short time.

– What entertainment program is planned?

Richard: At this time, there is no entertainment programs planned outside of our normal fighting as an event. We likely would not have time for much with the amount of fighting we are expecting. The one area I am looking to fulfill is a hypeman on the mic to get the crowd educated and excited about the fighting they will be seeing.

– What is the prospects of the event in HMB-world? How do you see the development of this direction of the event in the future?

Richard: The prospects are the expanded participation of our sport in Arnold Sports Festivals worldwide, providing an avenue for greater exposure to other athletes and sponsors that are looking for that next great idea. Directly, I see this venue as potentially being the event to attend year in and year out in the United States for HMB. My hope is to be able to have a full day and area dedicated to just our sport next year, which might not be in the Convention Center, but would allow us to enjoy a proper tournament. Perhaps, there will be even highlighting WMFC or HMB Soft for kids next year as well. The exposure to a new audience, which is fitness focused, is exciting and the potential to gain sponsors cannot be overstated. We need to present the best of our sport both athletically and socially. With over 22000 athletes and over 200000 attendees for the weekend, the potential for exposure is quite huge!

And we are sure that the event of such a scale and focus will definitely make friends with HMB and will keep up with it, opening up new horizons of cooperation. And every time at the closing the phrase “I'll be back!” will sound and everyone will look forward to the next year to return and plunge once again into this world of glorious good ultra-violence!

Written by: Maria Malakeeva

The article used photographic materials from the movies: Conan The Barbarian (1982), Conan The Destroyer (1984), Red Sonja (1985), Terminator 2: Judgment day (1991).

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