“It is also a deliberate step taken to ensure that the guys gain as much experience in the lists as possible. The fighters of the youth team are selected for many clubs and teams. The best get into the youth team and this team performs at events. For example, this team took part in the mass category at the Recon festival. In addition, this year the youth team participated in a tournament in the Czech Republic”.
The third direction was created several years ago specifically to support new, young teams. Through the efforts of the curators of HMB Russia, the HMB First League was created and a series of tournaments for this League were developed. It includes teams that are just starting their journey in sports, but already having ambitions to get into the Higher League, which also exists in the country. Over the years, already established calendar of the First League tournaments. There are 7 tournaments throughout Russia every year – in Vladivostok, Moscow, St. Petersburg, in Stavropol or Krasnodar, in Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. Teams winning these regional tournaments are invited to the final tournament of the First League, which takes place in St. Petersburg as part of the great military and historical festival “REKON”.
For example, the NSK team from Novosibirsk, which fought at the REKON in the First League tournament and took its place on the winners podium and the very next day they competed with teams from the higher league.
To date, there are no analogues of the HMB First League in the world. However, Evgenij Galushin emphasized that the creation of the League was due to the large number of HMB teams, the different skill levels of these teams and, moreover, the territorial aspect played an important role.
In Russia, a very large number of people are involved in the HMB and all these athletes have different levels of skill. It should not be forgotten that Russia is a huge country and the HMB clubs which are located in distant regions should not be aside from the development of the sport. They should participate at events, but it’s still hard for some of them to fight with a strong opponent. The First League and the organization of tournaments throughout Russia contribute to the steady and qualitative development of sports in the country.
“The similar experience is applicable worldwide if a country has a large number of teams. For example, if in a certain country there are about 10-15 (or more) teams, they will take part in the national team selections having different levels of skill… Probably, it also makes sense for them to divide into leagues.”
It is worth talking about teams and fighters involved in HMB for about a year, who are literally without any experience. According to Evgenij Galushin, in Russia there are opportunities to enter the lists within the framework of current HMB tournaments for beginners as Courage of Ages holds several more relevant events – the “Heirs to Traditions” tournament at the beginning of January, the Alexander Nevsky Cup at the end of May and the Spirit of Time in September.
“We are holding experimental tournaments. They never get ratings for the fighters, of course, but are aimed at beginners. For example, in the Alexander Nevsky Cup we had the 3 vs 3 category, where only 1 experienced fighter could be in the team, the rest of the fighters in the team are those who have been engaged for one year.”
The tournaments for beginners, as well as tournaments of the First League, help to improve not only fighters skills, but also that of the marshals. Almost all the tournaments organized by Courage of Ages and their colleagues here in Russia necessarily invite the “trainees” marshals where they can their train and develop their level.
Such innovations are regularly discussed, including at the HMBIA summit, which takes place every year. The leaders of the HMB movement of Russia share experiences, discuss, and offer their own groundwork.
“I’m planning to make a small report on the development of HMB sports in Russia at the summit this year. We have things to share, there is something to tell both about the First League and about the HMB Schools. We are experimenting, trying something new, refining, seeing results and we can share our achievements with the world community. If the First League is spread worldwide, it makes sense to organize a separate international event, but such a serious issue should be discussed at the summit.”