• Denis Medvedev


When this Russian Valkyrie appeared on the HMB-horizon, casually throwing a two-handed axe on a tattooed shoulder and looking from a height of almost two meters on the bustling people below, many wondered: whom did Asgard sent to us this time and what club will be lucky to find such a fighter? "Bayard" was the lucky one, friendly ranks of which had replenished by Irina Fedorova. There is not a single indifferent man remained: some of them every time they look at her have a pulse quickening, an uncontrolled emissions of adrenaline into the blood and the little hearts glowing in their eyes, while others shout from the sofas that such muscle mass and such an aggressive image are unacceptable for a woman! And our warrioress, condescending smirking one corner of a mouth and shaking a mane of fiery-red dreadlocks, silently passes by at another training. Rumors and idle gossip – not for her. Where did she come from and what keeps her in HMB? Let's ask her!

– Everyone has his own reasons why he came to HMB: someone is looking for new acquaintances, someone wants fame and recognition, someone wants to touch the romance of the Middle Ages... How did you come?

Irina: As many processes in my life, it happened by accident. At that time I worked as a security guard at the festival "Battle of a thousand swords", where Artemij Gershvalt saw me and told urgently to come to their HMB-training. In my times, women did not fight in buhurts, but only dreamed about it. But Artemiy assured me that in HMB women have been fighting for a long time, and everything has already reached a fundamentally new level. To be honest, at first I just didn't want to. Next I thought that I'm too old for all this... But one Saturday night I had nothing to do and I showed up at their training, immediately happened to get to Sergey Vitalyevich Ukolov. The funny thing is that even after six months of training I was still not very clear why I'm doing this, everything was completely inert. Later I've got involved and just started to go to the section – I did not even know that Sergey Vitalyevich so seriously take up my training, and I will get into the Russian Team! And even now I don't really understand how I managed to get to HMB – it happened somehow in itself.

– What is HMB for you? Sports? Escape from reality and the opportunity to forget? Friends?

Irina: For me HMB is a sport, and sport is a regime. I so accustomed myself to that mode in which I hold myself as the athlete, that I don't represent the life in a different way any more. For me there is no worse punishment than the cancellation of а training, because in this case I abruptly stop to understand what to do and where to get myself and start to slow down. That is why I try to train even alone. As for "the opportunity to forget" or "escape from reality", I just do not need it all. And there is another reason – people! I really like (for the most part) people who have concentrated in HMB. I've never met an angry, insecure or aggressive people – everyone simple beat and smile. Probably because this sport gives a huge emotional discharge. I'm really glad I got to HMB! We became good comrades, even friends, with many of the people I met here. Perhaps, in any sport (though I was fond of a lot of sports) I didn't meet such picturesque contingent: dentists, coaches, managers – HMB covers a huge range of experts of absolutely different professions. There is always someone to talk to about something more than only weapons, equipment and victories. And after our journe in Serbia on Battle of the Nations as a stakeholder, I finally realized, why for a year and a half I did not get out from gyms and even sometimes stayed there for all night. For me, HMB is a way to communicate with society, the opportunity to have fun traveling with my friends and doing what I love.

– Who is the Coach for you?

Irina: For me there is only one person whom I perceive as the trainer – Sergey Vitalyevich Ukolov. Nobody trains me anymore. Of course, I go to training gatherings and participate in trainings and seminars of the known fighters with pleasure, but my only coach is Sergey Vitalyevich! Primarily HMB-training is a fighting that can be very traumatic. But even in this case, it turned out that I came to him with sick legs, and left him with healthy legs, and I am very grateful to him for that! As for strength training and working with muscle mass, I am able to prepare myself, which, in fact, I do.

– I know that for many fighters the Coach is practically the Guru, the teacher. Is Sergey Vitalyevich your Guru or is he just a great HMB-Coach?

Irina: We have a strict chain of command. He is my coach and head of the club, and in any case he does not teach me life and does not give any life advice. Our relations are reduced to relations "the ward - the coach". During training, we just do not have time to talk, before and after - it is even not necessary. We meet, work out one training and go to the next one, and if there is no next, then just spread out in the locker rooms. I do not need any life wisdom – I have a rich life experience. By the age of 28 I had a strong feeling that I lived 3-4 years for a year, so it's time to sit down for the memoirs :-D

– How did people in the HMB world accept you? And how has attitude to you changed over time?

Irina: To answer this question, I would need to make a poll from the series: "Hello! How do you feel about me?" :) Of course, everyone was wondering who is that giantess under two meters tall, and where it was dug up. I can't say for sure that I was received with joy or hostility, or with caution – I rarely pay attention to public opinion except, perhaps, the opinion of my coach, but just in matters relating to training. The people had accepted me normally, without any rough banter and jokes, nobody spoke no nasty things behind my back. And I became friends with girls-fighters quickly enough. What to say – even my tattoo-master goes in buhurts!

– Do you have any idols: in the world of sports, movies, books, etc., the image and/or the lifeway of whom you want to repeat?

Irina: I don't know why, but I've never had any idols. I never tried to be like anyone. I've been often send different pictures with warrioresses: they say that I look like them. No, it is not me looking like them - they look like me: I'm real, not a fictional character of a book or a movie! It is better to create yourself, "pumping" as a character in the game. I consider myself some unique one. The way I look and behave is not my mask, I have such a lifestyle! I like to stay in the gym for a long time, I like that I have hypertrophied (according to someone) muscle mass and such an aggressive image (although I do not consider it such). I originally did not create any image, this all is collective. For example, tattoos. Oh, cool! Let it be! Dreadlocks are cool! Let it be too! But even if it all will be deleted, I will not cease to be a fighter. The main thing – to be a fighter not outside, but inside! Because while you have strong spirit and you are strong morally, it will be very hard to break you down physically, if not impossible. I don't want "to be like...". Yes, I would like, for example, to reach the level of mastery of the sword, as Sergey Vitalyevich, but this applies only to his skill, in any case I will not copy his behavior in general.

– Speaking of tattoos! Tell me the meaning of your tattoos. Where did the idea come from? Or is it just a flight of fancy?

Irina: That tattoo hadn't any sense! I came to Olga Saykina – she is one of the best masters of Scandinavia in Russia, she understands it all very cool and her works are wonderful (by the way, she draws sketches by herself). I wanted her to get a tattoo at my hand. The tattoo has no subtext and hidden meaning, there are two symbols that I like – Aegishjalmur and Vegvisir, turning into a tiger, because I'am from Vladivostok and decided to go back to my roots. She put the image by freehand, there was no preliminary sketch. I am very glad that I act as a her model - Olya knows her job well!

– Wow! How did you get from Vladivostok to the Center of Russia?

Irina: My grandfather was a Navy captain, he was transferred to Vladivostok, and he moved there with the whole family, but almost all of our relatives remained in the Central part of Russia. In Vladivostok my mother studied, met my father there same, and then I appeared. We lived there almost until my 12th birthday, and then the whole family decided to return to Moscow. So I believe Vladivostok my Motherland.

– Do you still have a connection with the Motherland?

Irina: Vladivostok is not like Moscow at all. Kind and sympathetic people live there, and it's all different a little. Contrary to popular belief, there is no Eastern philosophy there – just ordinary Russian people, not as irritable as the inhabitants of Moscow. It is probably because the city is smaller itself, and the rhythm of life is quite different. This city is located in very unusual climatic conditions, and I really miss the pine trees and the sea. Later I met such nature only in Kaliningrad. But now, when HMB takes all my time and cash, I cannot afford to fly anywhere – I am constantly in preparation for the competition, I live from one tournament to another, and I can't do it any other way. If I'm getting ready for something, then I'm GETTING READY! Apparently, I have too serious attitude to this, so until I did not learn to relax and to train lightly. My motto: train until you fall! And it is not figuratively, but literally.

– You came to HMB from the Early Middle Ages, didn't you? And how deep was you into it and what was you doing there, according the fact, that women are not allowed even to come near fights there?

Irina: I left the Early Middle Ages about 7 years ago, and after 6 years came to HMB – so the break was quite long. I was in the "Radogast" club with Pavel Odinokov as a head, very famous man in the battle theme. I must say that I he trained me fighting too, but there were no options to go somewhere and to fight someone. There was, of course, the opportunity to participate in mixed buhurts such as “battle on the bridge”, but I think it is very dangerous for a woman. If we view in the context of sport, girls must compete with girls. It is simply traumatic for them to compete with men, and we already know many cases when mixed buhurts led to injuries, because the strength of women can not be compared with men's strength. But I also don't think that a woman's place is exclusively at the loom etc., so I decided to leave. It's good that HMB has appeared – the sport where you can come and wave an iron stick. You must agree that I am bigger and stronger than the average woman! Not every woman can go to buhurt, but I can! I am often asked: "Why are you doing this?" Because I can! I can and I want! I was always bored and hated within the limits where society tried to push me according to my gender. And now, thanks to the fact that HMB has reached a fundamentally new level (many thanks to the people who contributed to this!), there are women's nominations, it became possible to develop in this direction further and to attract new people, public attention, etc.

– Where do you work?

Irina: I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world - I work as a fitness coach and make people happy. Firstly, of course, they become unhappy, because at trainings I make they suffer. And then, when they look at themselves in the mirror, every time they become a little happier. In general, I help people become better! But that wasn't always the case. I've worked in many places. By profession, I am a lawyer, I was listed as an assistant in the Moscow regional court and I didn't become a judge only because I got up one day, turned around and left - I was insanely bored: the same thing every day. Probably sooner or later, any work comes down to this, but when you work and do not bring people any joy, it begins to depress. So I had to change my profession. But now I can live in my beloved gym around the clock, and even get paid for it. There is nothing better for a job than a well-paid hobby!

– Tell us about your training and nutrition system.

Irina: This is neither a commercial nor a military secret – I eat much and often, mostly meat. I train three times a week: first I have powerlifting training, next I have HMB, then crossfit, and sometimes I go to work after this. One day for work, one day for training – I feel comfortable so. And I don't remember if I have a weekend.

– And lastly, all of your secret and obvious fans crazy wondering whether you have a boyfriend? Come on, reassure them or upset: do they have a chance?:)

Irina: Nobody have no chance, because generally I don't like the human relationship in this direction – it makes me oppress. I don't want to find time for anything but HMB and gym. Perhaps, I don't need it. So here I am - such a boring one in this way. However, I have a friend with whom we spend a lot of time, he understands me very well and supports me in every way from a positive point of view, which is important! I don't need anything else. I get lost when I am often asked about relationships or when men begin to molest me, it is difficult to explain them that it is almost impossible to deal with me in this regard – I am very wayward and always do what I want. It is difficult with such a person in principle.

Well, it is difficult with anyone! And if it is not difficult, it is frankly boring. But "boredom" is definitely not about Irina. And by the way, did you notice? The girl who originally appeared as "the project of Sergey Ukolov", after a very short time become the bright independent fighter, revealed himself as an outstanding person and a loyal friend, and just beauty! And even if her star just ascended, we believe that her HMB-way will be straight and joyful, full of victories and new discoveries!

Written by: Maria Malakeeva Photo by: Natalya Efimova, Julia Kuznetsova, Evgeny Bogdan

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