Agustín Binaghi
COUNTRY Argentina

How did you get into this sport?

I got to know the sport thanks to a medieval fair, the 2014 edition of Burgo del Sur. I went there with Sofía Sueldo and we stopped by a stand where they told us about medieval combat. We were late to see the exhibition, but they shared us their address and we decided to try out a few classes. We went and, as I got in, I never left.

I had been a Boy Scout for fourteen years. The Scouts foundations are highly influenced by the Middle Ages. The creator of the movement was inspired by a lot of chivalry codes; so one of the things that captivated me the most, was the possibility to put those codes into practice, not only as a Scout, but also as a knight in this sport.

How did you feel in your first lessons?

I was comfortable and eager to learn and know more about medieval combat. For obvious reasons, you barely have any idea about the sport in your first day. In fact, I had never been aware of what it really was until my first tournament, in August of that same year. It’s hard to explain with words what I felt, but it was absolutely awesome. I fell in love with the sport.

The experience was amazing, I was incredibly nervous and full of adrenalin… You lose track of what you’re doing, I mean, you forget that you’re dressed up in your armor, fighting with steel weapons. You’re just applying everything you’ve learned, and things finally come out. In the tournament, the nerves never go away, but once it’s finished, the best thing of the sport comes out: you become aware of all the things you’ve done. As it was my first tournament, I was completely happy to live that experience, but I also felt that I had a lot to improve. And I still have.

Were you scared of getting injured?

I’ve never had a severe injury. I never broke any bone, nor did I suffer more than a hard blow or a cut. Anyway, almost all my wounds were caused because of my level of exigency with myself while training, for doing movements not allowed by the rules.

You don’t have to be afraid, but respectful. If you get inside the list with fear, you’ll hurt yourself, because you won’t be putting your mind on what you are doing. You’ll be thinking the hole time that you’re going to get injured and you won’t pay attention on how to defend yourself. Keep your mind clear and focus on doing the movements the right way, and you’re going to be ok. Serious injuries are very rare. Personally, I never think about fear, but I have a lot of respect for the person in front of me, and I know they can hurt me, but I use that to take the necessary precautions and act appropriately. You neither should underestimate the enemy.

Did you choose to contribute to the growth of the sport in any way?

I’m one of my club instructors. In addition to training, I try to teach everything I know about medieval combat to the people who attend. I’m trying to help and give back to the sport something of all that it gave to me.

How do you see new people that comes into the sport? What difficulties do you face when teaching them?

People come with the fantasy that this is like the movies, just like I did. The first thing that comes to one’s mind is Braveheart, A Knight’s Tale, all those movies. But then, those who have more experience bring down all those ideas explaining that these things don’t happen, and they are right. It takes a while to assimilate it and learn to differentiate between the beautiful moves and the acrobatics, from what is really sporty and works inside the list.

What were the best experiences you had?

Among the best, definitely the 2014 Dynamo Cup in Russia. I was 19 years old, and had only 7 months in the sport, and they were sending me to Russia. It was a big shot of reality. I love to travel, and to have that possibility, that honor of representing the club and Argentina for the first time, was an unforgettable experience. Not to mention the fact that in that competition we were named as the best foreign team.

On the other hand, I have to mention other 2017 tournaments, where I got the first place in duels. The Grifo Cup, “El Dragón Dorado” Tournament in Córdoba, and HMB Argentina Cup were also incredible experiences.

Among all the disciplines you do, which do you consider your favorite?

Sword and shield duels. In my opinion, it is the most complex category there is, because you have to coordinate the sword and the shield, and try to hit the person in front of you, who is as covered as you are. It’s an extremely demanding one minute and a half.

I’d love to fight in the World Cup in this category, and obviously be among the best, but I have a long way to go yet.

Did you have the opportunity to face any duelists who were worthy of your admiration in that category?

Yes, I had the opportunity to fight in the 2017 HMB Argentina Cup against Sergey Ukolov, one of the best in the world. And it was a truly thought-provoking experience. He showed me everything that I still have to practice, everything that needs to be corrected… but above all, he also showed me that it is not impossible.

One thought on “Medieval Portrait: Agustín Binaghi

  1. Genial Agus. Sos un grande como deportista y como persona. Me encanto la entrevista. Realmenre esta muy bueno sentirse apasionado por un deporte. Es lo que uno despues replica en todo el resto de las cosas de su vida.

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