MEDIEVAL PORTRAIT
Edgardo López Sánchez
TEAM: Slavyanskiye Voiny
COUNTRY: México
 

First of all, would you like to tell us how did you find the sport and what got your attention?

Since I was twelve years old, I started practising contact sports, but it wasn’t until I was fourteen that I began fighting. I used to train kickboxing, Muay Thai and Taekwondo, but mostly Muay Thai, as it was the sporting discipline where I formally started fighting. I loved to fight; the adrenaline of preparing for an specific combat, and the communion between both fighters inside the ring, were fascinating for me… However, for one reason or another, I had to stop training, and consequently, fighting. You know, real life stuff like studies and family, that eventually require our full attention.

But a fateful day I went to a medieval festival with my family. In that festival, there wasn’t even an HMB or medieval combat team, it was just a choreographed combat presentation. I had a lot of fun that day, but I kept thinking about it, because as many others in this sport, since my childhood I have loved both medieval history and fantasy.

I remember that we were returning from that festival and I was talking with my younger brother, who also trained Muay Thai with me, and I said, almost joking: “It would be great if there was a medieval contact sport, you know, with armors and everything, where you could fight with swords and axes without sharp edges”. And my brother answered: “Why don’t you look for it? It probably already exists”. Just to satisfy our curiosity, I Googled it and… Surprise! I found that not only it did exist, but they also had a team in Mexico, and some of the training centers were only 20 minutes from home!

That same weekend they were going to have an exhibition session, and the rest is history. I fell totally and completely in love. This was the perfect mixture between two of my passions, and it were just starting in Mexico. I had the opportunity to be part of that spearhead of this sport in my country. Now, I can’t imagine my life without medieval combat.

Was everything like you expected or you found unforeseen difficulties?

It was everything I had expected and more. What surprised me the most, I think, was the level of camaraderie between fighters. Among the difficulties, I supposed that getting an armor would be the hardest one. But, in fact, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. When you start researching a little, a new world opens in front of your very own eyes. I had no idea of the number of blacksmiths that existed around the world, and it really surprised me to find many Mexican blacksmiths too.

Once you had your own equipment, how did it felt to fight the first tournament wearing your own armor?

It was not all at once… I used to buy or craft another piece of equipment after participating in a tournament, and finally I had an armor completely mine. My first time with my own full equipment was at last year’s Battle of the Nations in Prague.

By that time, the difference could be felt… Not a piece disturbed me. I felt safe and well protected, even while getting into a 21 vs 21 against Poland. Having your own customized armor definitely boosts your morale and self-confidence.

How did it feel to fight your first world championship? Do you have any other unforgettable memories of another tournament?

At my first world cup I was fascinated. When I was new in the sport, I used to see my participation at Battle of the Nations as a far dream, so I was ecstatic when I finally could represent my country. It was like a medieval Disneyland; blacksmiths everywhere, meeting and living with fighters I admired, and even fight against them… It was an impressive blast of sensations.

One of my favourite moments since I started this sport, happened during the international tournament of Terramágica in Mexico. As many other fighters, I got to know medieval combat through Igor Parfentev’s videos, so he was a hero to me. At that tournament, we had the opportunity to train with Igor in one of his seminars, and then he fought as a mercenary for my team. During one of the combats, there were only three men left on my team and two opponents. At a moment, I realized I was fighting shoulder to shoulder with the fighter I admired the most, both hitting and adversary without any mercy in one of the list’s corner. I swear that moment happened in slow motion, with the Chariots of Fire song in my head –laughs–. Even though it was just an instant, because the combat ended short time after that, I believe that is my favourite moment inside the list until now.

What are your next steps or goals to achieve?

To drastically improve our level. For now, our training system allowed us to have a great performance and to stand out from other national competitors, but the international scenery is very different. Now we have had the opportunity to speak and exchange ideas with the icons of this sport, and this season begins with a complete reorganization of our trainings. With enough effort and dedication I am sure we will be able to raise our level and improve Mexico’s performance. That is our goal.

I’m hopelessly in love with this sport and it’s my deepest desire to see this sport grow.

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