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Interview with Igor Magdenko

Legendary Festival “Powder Tower” through the eyes of the organizer. Interview with Игорь Магденко.
The world of HMB is waking up from hibernation, and the closer summer is, the more good news we receive from all over the world. For example, that the traditional for Odessa tournament “Powder Tower” will take place, where rating “fives” will be held under the auspices of the Buhurt League.
Igor “Maiden” Magdenko is one of the most famous fighters of Ukraine, and also the main organizer of the “Powder Tower” festival. We decided to ask him a few questions about the upcoming event and recall his past exploits.
Igor, tell us how you came to HMB?
I came to HMB in that distant time when it was difficult to name HMB. Inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien, we just chased each other through the woods, and instead of steel swords, we had sticks rewound with duct tape and road sign shields.
Actually, it was the distant 1996. After one of the student parties, my good friend and I were invited to a meeting of this respectable audience, which took place on the slope above the Lanzheron beach. We were promised that there would be real “knights” and right “they are fighting.” Most likely, this bribed us.
That’s how my friend and I stayed in this company. By the way, the HMB community will now know how the current HMBIA Knight Marshal Vitaly Makaryan got into motion because he was my friend.
How many years have you been engaged in historical medieval combat, what team do you play for?
Again, it depends on what the term “HMB” is because it is quite new. Earlier it was called “historical fencing”, even earlier “Tolkienism”, if you speak decently.
I came, as mentioned earlier, in 1996, and my first steel tournament took place in 2000. In addition to club tournaments, there were also annual meetings between the national teams of Ukraine and Russia, and in 2002 I became a member of the national team of my country for the first time. Since then, I have been constantly participating in all this wonderful action without interruption, except for the injuries that force me to stop active action.
Basically, I play for my club “Tangar”, I am a member of the Ukrainian national HMB team, and in the international arena of Buhurt League I am a member of the “Warriors of Light” team.
On June 12, a large annual festival will take place in Odessa, within the framework of which the tournament of “fives” will be held. As far as we know, you are the organizer. Tell us, is it difficult to combine the roles of an organizer and a fighter? Will you play at this tournament?
At a festival of this size and level, it is no longer possible to perform fully both as a participant and as an organizer. Certainly one of the directions will sink.
At the tournaments that took place during our youth, it was quite possible. I have repeatedly combined the work of a marshal and an organizer with the position of a fighter, and in principle there is nothing difficult, especially if you write the schedule of the event and remember it thoroughly.
But now, when, in addition to your sports load, you also have to solve organizational issues and interact with the press, officials and other important people, it is no longer possible to participate in everything at the same time. Therefore, at this tournament, unfortunately, I will not act as a fighter.
What makes your festival unique, to whom and how will it be interesting?
It is unique for a number of reasons, I will try to formulate them.
Firstly, at the moment it is the largest event of this kind in our entire region.
Secondly, it is a great venue. Everything takes place in the central city park, where residents and guests of the city relax, walk or walk through it to the beach.
Thirdly, it’s still Odessa! This always, and especially in summer, ensures a good turnout of participants, allows fighters from neighboring countries, in particular Moldova and Israel, to come without any problems. In addition, our festival has always been distinguished by a very friendly atmosphere, despite the rather tough opposition of the fighters on the lists.
Well, the traditionally tight and busy schedule of the event itself is interesting to fighters of different profiles, gender and age.
How many and what teams do you plan to see at your event?
Now it is difficult to talk about this, in view of only recently lifted strict quarantine restrictions, not all teams have yet confirmed their desire and opportunity to participate. But I hope that traditionally all the strongest Ukrainian clubs will be represented, both in group nominations, and top fighters in the individual tournament.
What nominations, besides the rating fives, do you plan to hold?
In addition to the rating fives, we will hold 12×12 team fights for men and 3×3 among women.
There will also be individual fights in the nominations “sword-shield”, “buckler-sword”, “bastard sword”, the NEMA tournament in the nominations “rapier-dag” and “military saber” and a tournament in modern sword fighting (SMB) among children and adolescents under 16 years of age.
Well, the main decoration of our festival will traditionally be the final battle of the “knights’ courts” in the modern knightly nine-race.
Tell us more about the knightly nine-race. What is this nomination?
On the one hand, this is a fan nomination, on the other, it combines all the hardest nominations that are in HMB, and brings variety to the world of endless “shield-sword” and “5×5”. Invented and performed at our Powder Tower festival.
“Knight’s nine-race” is a team competition, where in each team (party) there is a division into classes of fighters, conventionally into “knights” and “squires”. In the classic version, the composition of the team (party) provides for the presence of 2 “knights” and 8 squires, but variations are possible.
Accordingly, there are 2 scenarios for the participation of fighters: only within their class or mixed. Some nominations are a stylization of medieval knightly tournaments, others are purely sporting, modern ones.
In each nomination, one or several rounds take place, and each round brings 1 point to the winner – the representative (or representatives) of the party. The winner of the competition is the party that scored the most points after all nominations have expired. Each nomination is held according to certain rules.
At the moment, the competition includes: “Long sword”, “Two-handed axe / halberd”, “2×2” (prof), “Sword and Shield” (prof), “Knight’s spear”, “Lodeynya”, “Battle on the bridge”, Capture the Flag and Battle of Knightly Parties.
Do many new people come to HMB after the tournament? Are there children and youth among them?
Actually, this is one of the reasons why every year, regardless of any organizational and not only difficulties, we hold our festival – popularization. HMB is our everything! People come after each festival, some immediately, some a little later, but in any case there is an influx. There are more children and young people than adults, but they also happen.
How do you generally assess the level of HMB in Ukraine? How many people are into this sport?
The level of HMB in Ukraine is quite high. This is evidenced by the awards that fighters from Ukrainian clubs regularly win at various international events, and our team at the Battle of the Nations World Championship. But there is no limit to perfection. Yes, the competition in the world of HMB is constantly growing, so we need to grow as well.
I personally estimate the number of people who are interested in it as not large enough. After all, as in any sport, the more participants there are, the higher the final result in the ward as a whole. And we, as sad as it may sound, has a stable number of community members who have not shown clear signs of growth in recent years.
What are your plans for this season? What events would you like to attend?
First of all, I would just like to visit at least something, because out of 5-6 large festivals planned for this year in Ukraine, I participate in two as an organizer. And, of course, I would like to go to Europe or somewhere else abroad. The habit of “Fight & Travel” has become so ingrained that, after sitting for a year and a half in almost complete isolation, the body insistently demands a change of the picture. Well, most of all, of course, I want to go to visit Michael Morgul in the Holy Land and visit friends-ushkuiniks from the Western Tower club, otherwise they will finish building their settlement there without me).
We are grateful to Igor for a detailed story about the future festival! We wish him and his team of organizers good luck, and great fights for the participants!

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