My Prague (8): Battle of the nations (a): Category ‘Group Battles’ 5 vs. 5

The Battle of the Nations 2016 World Championship was held for the second year in Prague, on the Petrin hill. The historical medieval battle (HMB) is a full contact sport, probably the oldest, the roughest and the most bloodiest one (I didn’t even know by last Sunday that something like this was legal). We met a Moldovan fighter who told us that the previous day there were a lot of injured people, and allegedly two men were transported in a coma to the hospital (we were not able to verify the info, but the Moldovan fighter showed us his large scars from the previous years and the numerous surgeries he had, so we tend to believe him). The battle involves any kind of steel weapon that existed in the Middle Ages (swords, axes, hatchets, halberds, scepters, etc.). On the Czech website they say that for safety reasons all weapons are blunt, but I had a closer look and they didn’t seem really blunt to me (in several rounds many clothes were cut by different weapons). Anyway, you can read more about the rules and regulations on the official website.

Read about the championship on Wikipedia, on the official site or on the Czech site (in English). Watch a short 10-minutes movie made by VICE INTL about the 2013 World Championship hosted by France.

There were five full days of battles, from Thursday, the 5th of May until Monday, the 9th of May. On Sunday, the 8th of May, we bought tickets for the second block (six hours of fighting, from 15:00 to 21:00). And so we had the chance to watch the ‘Men’s category Group Battles 5 vs. 5 (Playoffs)’, the ‘Man’s Category “Duel” 1 vs. 1 (Playoffs)’, ‘Women’s Category “Group Battles” 3 vs. 3’ and finally an unexpected (because unannounced) ‘All Against All’ show – actually, a battle between the winning team in the ‘Women Group Battles’ category (Ukraine) and an international women team.

Now back to the photos: it was really difficult to select only a few out of the 850 photos made during the six hours (my all-time record, I guess) 🙂 But I will start today a 5-episodes series. Today I will post photos on the ‘Men’s category Group Battles 5 vs. 5 (Playoffs)’. The next posts will be on the fallen soldiers, then on the ‘Man’s Category “Duel” 1 vs. 1’, then on portraits of some fighters, and finally one post on the bystanders (many of whom were also dressed in medieval suits). Unfortunately, because it was too late and dark, the photos of the women’s category cannot be used. [Click on each photo to enlarge it!]

Russia vs. Canada

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Germany vs. Israel (quite a game, giving the recent history – and Israel won!)

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France vs. Italy

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Do not remember these countries, but giving the ‘three lions’ heraldic design (belonging to Richard the Lionheart) probably those in black represent the United Kingdom. And I guess those in red are Polish fighters.

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Other countries I am not remembering of…

And here is Moldova’s team (the Russian Moldovan fighter we met asked us why Romania doesn’t have any team – didn’t know what to answer)… He also told us that since the beginning (the first World Championship was held in 2009 in Kharkiv, Ukraine) in both men and women categories Russia is always the winner and Ukraine comes in the second place. His explanation is that it all depends on the number of fighters a country relies on – as an example, Russia can make a selection (for the World Championship) out of more than 600 fighters, while in Moldova there are maximum 15 fighters…

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Ukraine, one of the best teams, beats Poland (I guess…)

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Germany vs. France, Germany wins – as always 🙂
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UK vs. some other country I am not remembering of…

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And since I was talking about injuries, there was no serious one on the day we’ve been there. Still, at one point the ambulance was called, as a preventive measure:

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And here is the overcrowded arena:

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And finally, some part of their (expensive) gear. The photo was shot during the ‘Women’s Category “Group Battles” 3 vs. 3’.

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One thought on “My Prague (8): Battle of the nations (a): Category ‘Group Battles’ 5 vs. 5

  1. Pingback: My Prague (9): Battle of the nations (b): Fallen Soldiers | Andrei Stavilă's Photography

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