ASTANA – Historical reenactment, focused on promoting and drawing attention to past events, is divided into sport and daily activities. The former emphasises fighting using ancient weapons and armour, while the latter concentrates on efforts to recreate the way of life.
The Temir Tumen Historical Reenactment Club is interested in portraying the time from the middle of 14th century to the mid-15th century. The members do not want anything to be forgotten.
“This period is very interesting for us, because armour was changed. Historical correspondence is very important not only in historical direction, but also in sport direction. For example, using armour or weapons of different periods isn’t allowed. That is why we have to study a lot, analysing numerous sources of information written by historians of different states and at different times. At that, we don’t judge any historian’s facts or events,” said club president Evgeniy Sukhotin in an Aug. 5 interview.
As a non-governmental organization, the club is financed solely by its members. The interest is an expensive one, as the group needs to rent a gym for physical and fighting training and a workshop where weapons and armour are produced.
“We usually don’t claim money from the young people of our club. Of course, we try to attract sponsors. State bodies support our club whenever possible and invite us to national events and holidays. They helped us to organise an international competition which took place recently and gathered Kazakh and Russian clubs together. We actively participated in the Astana Days and Nauryz holidays,” said Sukhotin.
Club members usually train three times each week and attend a number of events in Kazakhstan and other countries. Temir Tumen doesn’t have any gender or age limits, because everybody can find something interesting in its offerings. Of course, there are some limitations for fighters, because not every man, even one who is fit, can fight using 30-kg armour and a heavy sword. Everybody must also practice often and become experienced in this type of fighting, because it is very specialised. The fighter can see and hear almost nothing in a medieval hood, and swordcraft is an art, too. The production of ancient weapons and armour is a very difficult and long process. Chain armour, for example, is made of 10,000 rings and each must be hammered, usually requiring approximately six months to create such a piece.
Temir Tumen organises free shows for city events and other clubs. It held a spectacular show for Astana bikers and has performed in orphan homes, because the members want children to have entertainment, said Sukhotin. The group also wants to provide a diversion for the capital’s residents.
“I see a problem in Astana. This is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and the problem is that its infrastructure hasn’t been constructed as fast as it has. Thousands of people came here to live, but they don’t have really interesting places to go, to get acquainted with new friends who are as interested in hobbies as they are,” he added.
Sukhotin noted the activity is not a dangerous one, certainly no more than any other sport. The armour is designed to protect against sharp and heavy weapons.
“Only a blunt weapon is permitted in the fighting. But of course, you have to be brave enough to participate in them where up to 100 very strong and big guys wearing 30-kg armour do their best to hit each other using heavy swords, axes, two-handed swords and backswords. But I don’t know of any fatal cases in the fighting,” said Sukhotin.
The Temir Tumen President spoke about their plans to develop not only swordcraft, but also archery. He invited everybody to their club but warned that it will take time to become a member, because their team needs to accept every new member.
“It is very important, because we are one family and we go to different events together.We fight together and every club member must be sure about another one, because we cover each other in fighting,” he said.