TEAM: Guardianes del Oeste
Since I was a child, I’ve been a fan of everything ‘medieval’, both historical and fantastic. During that time, I never even imagined that something like HMB could be real, and I was sure that I was the only madman that fantasized about using an armor and sword. I’ve performed Fencing and Kendo (japanese fencing) that even when these sports added up a lot of resources for HMB, they weren’t what I was looking for. By pure coincidence, I found out about the existence of this sport on a Facebook page. When I saw all of this, well… It’s difficult to explain. It was everything I’ve been dreaming of over the last few years and at a certain point I was starting to believe I was never going to find. Seeing that I wasn’t the only one but there was many people like me, was something unexplainable. Immediately, I writed to the site of Battle of the Nations Argentina, where Andy di Francesco replied. I asked her if there was a team in my county, Mendoza, I could join. She told me there were none, so I would have to start one myself. And so I did. It’s been a little more than two years since Guardianes del Oeste started, the one and only HMB team in Mendoza. I can assert that it was really difficult at the beginning. We are far from almost every other team in the country and we didn’t have much of an idea of what we were doing. In Mendoza the people is very closed-minded, and something so ‘exotic’ as HMB generated huge rejection. But with perseverance and time, people started coming, we got better and we began to compete. Since then, our growth never stopped. ⠀
Personally, I really like duels, mainly longsword. I have practiced Kendo for two years and I’ve been able to apply many things to this sport. I would like to have the financial resources to travel and compete more often to improve my technique, but I do what I can. I would absolutely like, and I established this as a training goal, to represent Argentina fighting in duels. I don’t know if I will have enough money to travel to the next Battle of the Nations, but I am training to do so.⠀
Soon after getting into this sport, checking the Battle of the Nations website, I saw in an announcement that they were looking after commentators for the online transmission. I applied and they chose me to be the spanish commentator and to support the english ones from home for the 2014’s edition, and did it again on 2015. It was a really good experience, apart from getting to know a lot of people who work on the Battle of the Nations’ organization. People like us, who work hardly for a sport no one else backs up. This year it was not possible to me due to not having enough time, but if I don’t get to fight on 2017 I will surely participate this way.⠀
Organizing a tournament in Mendoza was something I wanted to do since I got into this sport. In our province there is nothing medieval, no recreationist groups, no HEMA schools nor traditional archery ones. We were the first ones doing this, and at the beginning it was tough to earn our place. It was complicated to obtain every permit, knock the municipality’s door, chase the politicians, organize everything, but we did it. The tournament went pretty well in general terms, I think, specially taking into account that it was our first experience as hosts. We are sure there are lots of things to improve. The main problem we had was the distance, but the tournament could be done despite no marshal from FACoM (Argentine Medieval Combat Federation) could assist. At the moment we are negotiating to host another tournament on April 2017, in a bigger place with more support from the municipality. We hope to have a fair, artisans and everything that is usually found at those events.