24 Jan 2020 16:09

The HMBIA General Assembly 2019 in Riga will remain in the memory of the HMB community as the largest, most ambitious 2 day summit with 62 representatives of the HMB community from 24 countries and 5 continents.

These figures are also very significant from our open policies perspective. As a founder and supporter of HMB sport and cultural global movement, HMBIA continues to adhere to the principles of transparency, democracy, political neutrality of the sport and to equally respect the National Federations in all countries. The commitment of the HMBIA to that principle transcends across the movement and is seen as a non-negotiable, absolute value.

The dates and venue of the HMBIA Summit and the 3rd HMB Soft World Cup among schools and clubs coincided which was specially planned to let HMBIA Presidium and other participants watch the tournament and congratulate young HMB athletes.

The 10th anniversary of the HMB World Championship Battle of the Nations took place with a record number of participants, camps, countries, categories, fights for the tournament and spectators, and the 10th HMBIA Summit also set records with the largest number of participants, represented countries and continents. This is a testament to the growth and development of the movement, and represents our togetherness within the sport.

Here you are provided with the most important announcements and plans for the further development of the Association and HMB sport that were reported and accepted during the HMBIA General Assembly 2019.

Marshals Committee

Head of Marshals Committee Sergei Miasishchev presented the common report of the Committee work starting with the statistics. The current amount of certified HMBIA marshals is 105 members in 28 countries. 7 seminars for marshals were organized by HMBIA in such countries as Russia, Serbia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, the Netherlands and the UK. That means that the Committee work hard on teaching and testing trainees as well as updating IUDEX app that can be helpful not only for marshals but fighters as well. Next year Marshals Committee will focus on reviewing the skills of the certified marshals and implementation of the new ethic code.

Some changes in documentation about authenticity and technical requirements lay ahead. In all rules (buhurt and duel), the first milestone is the requirements for the technical and authentic appearance of the fighters. For this reason, documentation about authenticity and technical requirements undergoes a process of updating in order to maintain a constantly improving standard. Technical and Authentic requirements will be removed from the fight regulations, displayed in a separate document.

The safety of the fighters is the main goal of the Marshals Committee and some major changes can be expected in the requirements from June 2020.

Based on the successful experience of the HMB Russian Federation and the reduction of foot injuries, it was suggested introducing foot protection (sabatons) as a mandatory protection for the entire community from June 2020.

Due to the fact that the number of neck injuries is becoming critical, it was proposed introducing additional plate-like neck protection as mandatory from June 2020. The introduction of additional hidden steel protection (collars, lobster tails, additional plates) greatly safeguard fighters and reduce risk in the sport.

Due to the fact that members of the Committee received a lot of requests and suggestions with proposals to change the tolerances of weapons, as well as a lot of analytical and empirical work, there was a proposal to change several points in the tolerance table that do not reduce but on the contrary expand the weapons tolerances and simplify the life of fighters.

More and more often it happens that the fighters do not fasten enough axes and halberds on the poles, and at the time of the battle they can come loose and fall off the pole and into the spectators and potentially cause injuries.  Therefore, in 2020, the axes which are not mounted on the pole strongly enough will not be allowed.  Participants are advised to use wedges, retaining nails, and secure fixtures.

Tournament Committee

The Head of the Tournament Committee, Ivan Koryagin, started his report with carrying out an analysis of the HMBIA Nations performance. Over the years a lot of countries joined us and created their National HMB Federations. It is now time to start checking their progress and discuss particular actions that will help HMBIA members to develop HMB sport in their respective countries.

The main objective of the Tournament Committee was always working on  Battle of the Nations categories, ladders and regulations and Ivan Koryagin presented the detailed results of the past BotN X with its number of new categories and unofficial activities.

The introduction of the Divisions into the 5×5 Men Category brought significant changes to the ladders structure and now allows 5×5 Teams compete to the opponents of the equal level on the beginning stage of competition. HMBIA received good feedback on the Divisions system and have plans to develop this system further.

5×5 Women Category demonstrates a relative progress in fighters’ level increase although low overall number of Women Teams still limits the potential of this Category.

Completely new category 12×12 introduced as an intermediate step between classic 5×5 and new 30×30 Categories. Provides a good field for tactical decisions and requires very good overall vision of the battle.

A replacement for the classic 21×21 – 30×30 Category brings the tactical experience and formation efficiency in the Mass Buhurt Battles to a completely new level.

Both new mass categories and Division system were well welcomed, HMBIA received good feedback on the changes and has plans to develop this system and new categories further.

The feedback on the 150×150 battles was also extremely good both from the viewers and participants side. We would like to thank all the participants for their inputs and provided suggestions for this unofficial HMBIA event. Many might notice that the organization team had to change some of the rules of the event in the very last moment – it was done to ensure the safety both for participants and spectators and we are happy to conclude that these decisions proved to be right – there were no injuries that required serious medical assistance during the 150×150 at all.

Despite that fact Battle of the Nations 2019 was stated without a doubt as the best Battle of the Nations of all the times, it uncovered some of the problems. Some of the issues are not new, but with the bigger scale of the event and  increased number of HMB fighters and fans, they start to become real problems for the organization team and participants of BotN:

  • number of fighters registered for competition in certain categories did not show up without any notice or explanation
  • some of the team Captains do not have information about their fighters and do not have the possibility to contact them
  • lack of coordination of Women fighters
  • focus is shifted to the buhurt categories, others start to become secondary
  • potential abuse of the existing Division rating system for 5×5 Men Category

To address the aforementioned problems several proposals were accepted by the Committees and participants for further work and for implementation at big official HMB tournaments of international level.

  1. Introduction of refundable registration deposit for the participants registered for certain category. Deposit is refunded if a fighter take part in competition or withdraw with prior notification of the organization team of the event. Details will be developed at the next General Assembly for voting.
  2. Introduction of the Official Duties of the Team Captain document with the list of responsibilities of the Team Captain.
  3. Introduction of the representative for women HMBIA fighters who will be responsible for coordination and facilitation of the development of women HMB categories.
  4. Bring more attention to the duel categories. Inclusion of the duels competition into the official HMB tournaments. Possible implementation of the Duel rating system.
  5. Introduction of the slight changes to the 5×5 Division system rating calculation. The points for the Nation of a certain Division will be divided by the maximum number of teams allowed for the respective Division.

Also it was decided and agreed among GA members that regulations of BotN nominations must be fixed 6 months before the event.

Authenticity Committee

Representative of the Committee Milica Kovacevic reminded the participants that in 2019, within the BotN19, the requirements of АC Helmet, Shields, Tabards and Neck Protection entered. During AC operation time and period of requirement implementation, we can clearly see the improvement in the quality of appearance of fighters in our sport.  At the same AC sees that meeting the requirements for armor is quite costly and long and received many requests to move the deadlines for the introduction of new requirements. AC meets halfway with all the fighters about the movement and postpones the deadlines for entering requirements for certain elements.

Dates of new requirements: 2020

  • Shin (June 2020)
  • Foot Protection (June 2020)
  • Hand Defense (June 2020)
  • Knee Protection (November  2020)
  • Hip Defense (November 2020)

From June 2020, the requirements for combining the elements of the fighter kit will be introduced. Documents will be displayed on the tolerances of the Western elements in the set to the East. Namely the protection of the hand, arms and legs, as well as recommendations for styling armor elements

From 2020, it will be allowed to use non-opening hand protection in HMB which is externally indistinguishable from historical analogues.

AC requirements for fighter kit were implemented at Buhurt League events starting from the OPEN class in September 2019.

One more improvement for the possible development was suggested by the Committee that would include establishing an ongoing system of pre approval for Fighters in using Authenticity Approved kits. This database would preferably also include the CDC card violations information. The overall goal is to have one place for all involved to be able to verify the status of the fighters kits and card status.

Communication Committee

Head of Communication Committee Esther Veldstra told about aims to make the Historical Medieval Battles movement as accessible and transparent as possible to anyone who seeks information. This includes but is not limited to aspiring participants, press, volunteers, visitors and fans. With such goals in mind the Communication Committee and the Russian design team responsible for all HMBIA, Buhurt League and BotN branding, worked together to create a new CMS based website. This new website is to become the primary source of information for our sport. The website is currently in it’s final preparation stage and is due to be launched in January 2020.

The Communication Committee will work to reach its goal of transparency and accessibility in the following ways:

  • Collect all up to date contact information from all national federations
  • Work together with national communication officers to ensure spread of information to the local community
  • Grow the committee with two additional members to guarantee a steady output of clear and well-written information
  • Work closely with the other committees to ensure the availability of up-to-date documents on the website

The communication committee needs contact points within every officially recognized national organization that’s why we suggest you set such role as a National Communication Representative who can be either a dedicated person, the chairman of the organization or the person responsible for the website and/or facebook page. The communication committee is currently looking for new members as well.If you are (or know) this person, get in touch with Esther by mail esther.veldstra@hmbia.com

Control and Disciplinary Committee

HMBIA President and head of CDC Committee Edouard Eme introduced the Committee members and tasks which  are fair, correct and prompt consideration and resolution of disputes. Proceedings in the Control and Disciplinary Committee should help strengthen the sporting law and order and prevent violations.

Main mission of the CDC Committee is to clarify all the conflict situations not only on the list but in HMB movement generally. You can write with questions of red and yellow cards which were done \weren’t done in HMBIA tournaments to cdc@hmbia.com.

Committee have the possibility to make strict investigation and give the final decision. Global system of counting red and yellow cards is always available for the captains.

The first part of the General Assembly was dedicated to the reports of the Committees and some really significant changes in the months to come. After a short break all the participants gathered in the meeting room for the next part of the Summit – development of HMBIA brands.

The second block of discussion was opened by the HMBIA President with the presentation of the current structure of the Association and introduction the members of the office to give the floor to the HMBIA Secretary and the main organizer of the Battle of the Nations 2019 Evgenii Galushin.

With the outstanding results and records of the BotN X underscore months of scrupulous routine work by a lot of dedicated people. The great interest of people in the experimental Full Plate Harness category was one of the main reasons for the proposition for Marshals Committee to develop a set of rules and regulations for this category and its possible including in the list of official categories at Battle of the Nations 2021 which was welcomed and accepted with most votes.

The tenth Battle of the Nations was a truly unique event, which surpassed all the events of past years in terms of preparation and coverage. In 4 days, the fortress was visited by 20,000 spectators, it was in Serbia that the first mass battles of 150 by 150 took place in history, it was here that the live stream was broadcast for the first time in 5 different languages.

Each and every participant says that the “Battle of the Nation” in Serbia has become the best event for the entire existence of such a unique sport as historical medieval battle.

Such a result would not have been possible without active participation at every stage of the national HMB Federation of Serbia, as well as the White Eagles organization.

With gratitude for the invaluable support and high professionalism, on behalf of the entire world HMB community, as well as the Presidium and the Board of the Association, it was unanimously decided to present the commemorative copy of the Cup of the Battle of the Nations to the Serbian National Federation.

Here on the hospitable land of Serbia we started a new wonderful tradition of the Battle of the Nations, from now on, such copies of the winner cups will remain in the host country.

It was announced before that HMBIA had confirmed the start of the host city bidding process, after which the Battle of the Nations 2021 host city would be selected.The approach to the choosing of the venue was completely changed with the process taking place in several phases and for joining the host city race one had to send an official letter to the HMBIA office. Several cities and venues that already joined the race were presented by Evgenii Galushin.

HMBIA PR & Marketing

HMBIA Office representative Irina Kamaeva introduced the new approach to the Association and HMB sport brand management.

According to Irina for the past year HMBIA officials have faced not only with the necessity to explain some basic facts about the sport and Association mission to the global community which expands every year but with the pressing need to protect its intellectual rights.

The activities of the Association and its members, representatives in different countries, were always focused on popularizing and disseminating knowledge. And for 10 years of the HMB sport promotion, starting with the very 1st Battle of the Nations, we’ve achieved great success. We created and developed a completely new sport with all the necessary sets of rules and regulations, marshaling and tournament system and we’re constantly improving every single element of this complicated official HMBIA structure that was created for the main goal – to make HMB recognized as an official non olympic sport and a lot of dedicated people have been working hard to make this common dream happen.

Facing the attempts of different organizations to appropriate HMBIA development projects and work that also leads to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the HMB main idea and concept among the fighters it was decided to reconsider the current identity policy to prevent the confusion of the main HMBIA brands and protect Association intellectual property.

Today HMBIA uses umbrella branding strategy and promotes several brands as a part of its portfolio.

Brands

  • Battle of the Nations
  • Buhurt League
  • HMB Soft
  • HMB Academy

Partnership

  • Courage of Ages
  • Medieval Sport  Magazine
  • WMFC

Each of them uses its own branding strategy and focuses on the particular part of the wide audience, but all of them are united under HMBIA umbrella to facilitate coordination and promotions of HMB sport worldwide. Focusing on the events and different products promotion we overlooked a bit the value of the HMBIA and HMB sport itself promotion as lead brand name.

As a part of new communication and brand management strategy for the purpose of increasing the level of transparency and brand awareness several tasks were set:

  • comprehensive policy for the use of the logo and overall graphic design and branding standards
  • official website renewal with a clear description of the Association, its structure and committees,  HMB sport and all the brands
  • partnership with other established brands; by brands we mean companies, influencers, celebrities, etc. who have good followership
  • social media upgrade with the maximum involvement of the communication officers (that was mentioned as a part of Communication Committee new tasks) and capitalizing on the trends to establish an image among our target audience
  • participation and presentation of the Association at different Business and Sports Fairs and Exhibitions
  • developing of new printed and digital promo materials

Thanks to certain developments, HMBIA is ready to assist the tournament organizers in developing presentation materials that explain the nature of sports, the attractiveness of such events and the possibility of their application from the standpoint of preserving the historical heritage, increasing the tourist flow, developing and popularizing a certain location as part of event marketing.

In addition, Irina emphasized the need for explanatory work with people who are not involved in the HMB movement with promotional materials telling in brief abstracts about sports and about HMBIA in general. The Association has a standard set of materials for negotiating, and is also ready to assist tournament organizers in creating new ones, taking into account the needs of national federations of different countries. The parties agreed to create such materials in the languages of the participants in the discussion.

Also, the need to protect HMBIA intellectual property, the use of Association content and the existing brand identity was actively discussed. Irina noted that the detailed regulations of the new information policy of the Association will be published on official resources. For additional questions and clarifications on the use of the content and identity of the Association and brands, or if you want to participate in the development of a presentation booklets in your own language, please contact directly through social networks or email irina.kamaeva@hmbia.com.

HMB Academy

One of the most anticipated report was made by HMB Academy brand manager Igor Kravchenko who presented new brand to the Summit participants. HMB Academy is the standard system for training athletes all over the world. The project started as a test case on the territory of Russian Federation and in the year of its existence has progressed at a dizzying and surprising rate.

The ultimate goal of the HMB Academy brand is training fighters to increase the number of participants and the promotion of  HMB as a sport on the international scene. HMB Academy is a system of training centres based in training gyms, having common unified system of trainings and techniques for the fighters and instructors, developed by HMBIA and created for the development and collaboration of people, involved in Historical Medieval Battles in any part of the world.

To meet the requirements of the HMB Academy the training centre should have a certain list of facilities and there must be one coach trained and admitted by HMBIA as well as fighting, boxing, MMA specialists or any other sport specialist at the discretion of the local Academy administration. The HMB manual for training basic-level fighters was created which includes training courses with different kinds of weapons and for different levels of athletes preparation.

In HMB Academies there is assessment system for gyms, instructors, fighting equipment and fighters. Any fighter can pass online test on the HMB techniques, should attend HMB seminar and take practice test.

The grand presentation of the HMB Academy training system and first exams for the HMBIA approved coaches will take place in the framework of the global project Knights & Legends in Serbia. For 3 days (May 5-7), we suggest you participate in training sessions with the strongest athletes during the free Chivalry Camp training program. Learn the secrets from the fighters at least twice a day and try the mass battles tactics. Detailed schedule of the training camp will be published closer to the date, but some big names were already announced.

Buhurt League

The statistics report presented by the Buhurt League brand manager Artem Vasilev shows a steady increase in the amount of registered teams and tournaments. 192 teams with over 2000 fighters are registered  in Buhurt League system for the moment. For the second year of its existence Buhurt League approved 30 tournaments with the Challenger class, 8 for Open and 4 for Masters.

The 2nd edition of the most prestigious HMB tournament Buhurt Prime which is the final tournament of the Buhurt League season with the participation of the strongest teams in the world will take place in Monaco on February 15th. For the 2nd time organization team managed to get the highest support of the local authorities and royal family representatives. In year 2020 Buhurt League plans to focus on the quality of the tournaments and raise the bar of the tournament class approval.

HMB Soft

HMB Soft progress report was presented by Ali Askerov, the sport discipline international curator. HMB Soft, work with children and trainers is the crucial part of the HMB sport development. HMB Soft managers organized training sessions and seminars in 5 different countries bringing the total amount of participants to almost 200.

The most significant achievement is the first medals of the young athletes who changed soft equipment for armor. As a part of the motivating and training program HMB Soft camp was organized at Battle of the Nations 2019 with 4 days of training and more than 100 participants. Young athletes from different clubs gathered here to learn and train. Children settled in the cozy rooms of the sports and tourist complex “Viminacium”. There was not a minute wasted. Every day left behind a special impression whether it was tour to Belgrade or workshops with the famous fighters.

The first national Championships were held in Brazil and China and for the 2nd time in Germany. Year 2019 brought something new to the field with the presentation of the new 5vs5 HMB Soft category and it was successfully presented for the 1st time at the World HMB Soft Championship in Riga. Representatives of Brazil, Israel, Russia, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, France and Czech Republic praised the dynamic and team spirit of a new category.

Sport and National Federation

HMBIA President Edouard Eme stressed the main goal of the Association work is the development and registration of the national federations. Edouard Eme mentioned that in the upcoming year HMBIA will focus on identifying issues in all countries as the procedure may vary, helping with the documents and providing necessary administrative support. So, if you don’t know where to start, ask for the support from HMBIA by sending mail to office@hmbia.com

One more important step to the future of the HMB Sport is creating a new cell in HMBIA in charge of Women HMB development which was suggested by the President and a majority of representatives voted for the proposed changes. It was decided to appoint or elect a female head of women HMB in each National Federation before March 2020, which will allow to have a person in charge of women HMB development on the HMBIA (international) level in the future.

HMBIA President made a number of particularly important announcements concerning official HMB tournament which is the competition recognized and approved by HMBIA or HMB National Federation (if it is in the region that is in the zone of responsibility of certain HMB National Federation) in one/several Historical Medieval Battle sport official categories listed on the official HMBIA information resources.  To be recognized by HMBIA/HMB National Federation as official HMB Tournament the event must strictly comply with the requirements which can be found in a separate document on the HMBIA website.

Behavior and Ethical Code

The HMBIA is an international organisation that promotes the values of sportsmanship, respect, self-improvement, courage, open-mindedness, and promotes the heritage of the Middle-Ages.

Our mission is to grow as an inclusive movement in which all members and participants respect each other and can develop and excel as individuals, members of their teams, and representatives of their nations. As a result, its (all) members (of affiliated organisations) and participants are required to follow this internal chart of regulations at all times.

In case of violation, the Control and Disciplinary Committee will be consulted to decide the relevance of a ban sanction. The following are considered violations of HMBIA’s values and regulations:

  • – Willingly ignoring regulations of events they take part in, as well as specific laws of the country where they practice HMB, in training or in competition.
  • – Threats made publicly or online against a person, a team or an organisation.
  • – Intentional race/gender/nationality/language/religious discrimination or offense towards a member of the HMB community.
  • – Repeated slander, libel or insults against the HMBIA or a member of the HMB community (individual or organisation).
  • – Spreading false rumors about the HMBIA or a member of the HMB community (individual or organisation).

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BATTLE OF THE NATIONS

2021

1st-4th July
Oradea Fortress, Romania