While looking for fighters with history inside this sport, we met Enric Giménez, captain from Magna Societas Catalanorum, a Catalonian team, who dedicated some words to us about his club’s experience since its foundation more than four years ago.
– Can you tell us something about you and how you got to know this sport?
– I discovered the sport on 2012, back when the things weren’t as they are today. My first tournament was Faucon Noir on 2012, where me and a mate spoke to Anton Trubnikov, who gave us the responsibility of promoting the sport all over Spain.
We both had watched several videos about the first Battle of the Nations and started searching where we could practice this in Barcelona. We didn’t found anything in Barcelona nor in Catalonia, nor in Spain. We began by reading the rules and regulations, and found Faucon Noir tournament in Montbazon, France, on 2012. We decided to assist and that is how our club was born; the first one in the Iberian Peninsula.
I am a male nurse. What I find most interesting about this sport is being able to fight as violent as you want, without the fear of hurting the opponent, always using the allowed techniques. It also creates strong bindings between companions.
– What kind of difficulties did you have to overcome at the beginning?
– Difficulties, everything you can imagine. There were not as much experienced people as there is today. Nowadays it’s easy to get material of study or even to buy equipment through the social networks. Back on 2012 you could only find a few blacksmiths on the web, so that made very difficult to obtain our equipment.
As there wasn’t a national structure, we felt the need to create it, which made us pay a little less attention to our club. That is how the Medieval Combat League or LCM started, which is the institution that represented us in front of both international entities, HMBIA and IMCF.
– What can you say about your experiences in tournaments?
– I have many different experiences, from the frustrating ones traveling without a team all over Europe, as I did at Rise of the Knights 2013 or Faucon Noir 2012 and 2013, to the most satisfying and rewarding ones, like Jerusalem 2013, or even Dynamo Cup 2014, where we won a prize for being the best European team together with members from other Spanish teams.
– You pointed out several international tournaments, have you or any member of your club participated of any Battle of the Nations or IMCF World Championship?
– Some members of my club and I, have had the chance of being included into the Spanish National Team more than once. I participated at Battle of the Nations 2013 in Aigues-Mortes, France, IMCF 2014 in Belmonte, Spain, and IMCF 2015 in Malbork, Poland. The last year I couldn’t participate of any world cup due to labour issues, as I moved from Spain to Norway. Some fighters from Magna Societas Catalanorum also participated at Battle of the Nations 2015 in Praga.
The first world cup we assisted to was very enriching and an exciting experience. As novices we got to playoffs, which was more than what we had expected. We gave it all, but finally we lost against Ukraine. A world cup is always an incredible experience, but the first one is really special, both for the sport and personal experience. I always say that from every combat, won or lost, you must learn something to grow.
– How many people are there in Magna Societas Catalanorum?
– There are currently eleven fighters in Magna Societas Catalanorum, ten men and one woman. Many people left a year ago, but we achieved to move on and grow; it meant a great effort. We are really satisfied with the new recruits, both in a sport and personal level. There is one female melee fighter in our club, and we expect to get even more. Marta participated in the first two IMCF World Championships, winning a silver medal in Belmonte 2014 and a bronze one in Malbork 2015.
There are approximately ten clubs in Spain, but not all of them are able to complete a 5vs5 buhurt team. We are very proud, because we always have presented a complete team, even in the last qualifiers for Battle of the Nations. That motivates us!
Furthermore, our objective is completing a 21vs21 buhurt team. That’s why we are recruiting! We take Bern club, from Russia, as a reference. You have to do what the best do in order to improve!
– How difficult is it to get people interested on training? Does it depend on the zone they are from?
– I think that the main difficulty is the budget. Acquiring an armor is a process that’s not easy, nor cheap, nor quick. When there is someone interested, he must wait months until he can start practising with his own armor, which demands a lot of patience. And I don’t think that this depends on the region, each one has it’s pros and cons. Barcelona is more populated, but there are not many places to train, while other regions may have more space but less people.
– Can you tell us about your experience in the Tournoi de la Citadelle at Carcassonne?
– The tournament organized by the Fédération Française de Béhourd at Carcassonne, was the first tournament of Magna in the French league. It was also the first tournament in which participated people with less than a year in this sport; some of them had been training only for a few months! It’s been especially difficult for me and exciting at the same time, because on one hand I felt the need to be with them as their captain to take a load off their shoulders. But it was also exciting, because it’s like watching your little kid growing, learning from his mistakes and, the best of all, solving them. They went to the tournament without substitutes, as we had two injured fighters in the Spanish qualifiers for Battle of the Nations. But even when it was a hard tournament, they never gave up. We won against two French teams, achieving some points to the qualifiers of the French league, in which we will participate this year. An Argentine fighter, David Cabrera, participated in our team, and we want to thank him for fighting along with us. He traveled before Battle of the Nations to assist to this tournament with us. It was a pleasure to have him in our team.
– This year, Battle of the Nations took place in Barcelona. What did it represent to you to receive the world championship in your city?
– It’s a great pride to see how the people in your city can enjoy that thing you could only dream six years ago. I think it was also a great opportunity for Magna that Battle of the Nations took place in Barcelona, as it will help us to recruit new people, I’m convinced of that. This sport is really attractive, so to more diffusion will follow more people fighting and training… our improvement is based on competing, so I hope we can make a qualitative leap.
– How would you summarize your experience at Battle of the Nations?
– We fought in 21 vs 21, in a really hard group, against Ukraine, Poland and Czech Republic. We were all-out to win, but we couldn’t. It is in world cups where you realize what you are made of, there are no vanities nor egos allowed. We have to keep training and competing in an international level to be better.
To sum up, I would like to thank in the first place to Crónicas Bohurteras for this interview, it could have been much longer but you knew how to keep it short. In second place to my team, Magna Societas Catalanorum, for rising from it’s own ashes and giving all it was necessary to be a reference for other clubs. They are really great human beings. And in third and last place, to my fiancée Marta, for supporting me in all this adventures, for being in the good and not so good moments, and for getting so involved in this project, working from the shadows. Without you this club wouldn’t have been able to come through.
We would like to thank Enric for his time and we hope this Catalonian club’s example inspire many others to keep fighting and growing against every misfortune.
You can find more about Magna in their website (here).