It’s time for a 7th episode of Interviews with Fencers.
Bystrík Holeček’s life is basically revolving around history and historical arts. Not only that is he a fantastic fencer, but he also runs a company called Agentúra Hector that is organizing historical events, festivals, and a few other exciting things.
We added an epic video from one of his events in the interview below.
Table of Contents
- When did you begin studying Historical European martial arts and how old were you then?
- Who was your first teacher?
- What made you want to do HEMA and not Olympic fencing or any other martial art? Were there any special circumstances surrounding your discovery of HEMA?
- What are your thoughts on fitness and how do you stay in shape?
- What is your favorite strike and why? If it’s not a secret.
- What is your greatest achievement? Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
- What is the one piece of equipment you can’t live without?
- Has practicing HEMA benefited you in everyday life as well?
- What do you do when you are not practicing HEMA?
- Who’s your idol, someone that gives you motivation?
- As a professional, what advice would you give to a beginner interested in HEMA?
- Final thoughts
When did you begin studying Historical European martial arts and how old were you then?
Bystrík: When I was around 18, I started with the MS 1.33 script and studied it for a few years. After a while, I stopped and did theatre fencing for shows with my old group in our town. After a couple of years, I came back to HEMA, and I had, and I still have the luck to work and study with the best teachers and fencers.
Who was your first teacher?
Well, in the beginning, I didn’t have a teacher. We studied MS 1.33 script by ourselves. So there wasn’t any teachers but only us, our interpretations and our experiments…
Since 2013 I have the opportunity to train amazing fencers and be trained by fantastic fencers such as Anton Kohutovič and Martin Tibensky.Bystrík Holeček (TŠC/Pugiles) vs Martin Janičina (Žoldnieri)
What made you want to do HEMA and not Olympic fencing or any other martial art? Were there any special circumstances surrounding your discovery of HEMA?
It’s the connection to history. Ever since I was 14, historical arts are a big part of my life and now thanks to HEMA and my business, history is still a big part of my professional and also civil life. So that’s why I’m in love with this art.
As I said, I am not the one that “discovered” HEMA. I just love to listen and learn from my teachers, try new things, practice and always trying to improve my style of fencing.
What are your thoughts on fitness and how do you stay in shape?
Fitness is an essential part of HEMA training. A good fencer needs to be strong, explosive, and in a great condition overall. Usually, when my job and private life allows me (it’s not very often in the last 1,5 year), I visit a gym 4 times a week, for at least 2 hours per day.
So for example here’s my schedule:
– Monday – Soccer (this is cardio training for me). Running 120min behind the ball hehe.
– Tuesday – HEMA fencing (improving my techniques in the gym)
– Wednesday – Theatre fencing and shows training (a part of my job, which helps me to stay fit also for HEMA)
– Thursday – HEMA fencing (only sparring training of techniques and sparring)
This schedule, If I manage to complete it, helps me to stay in shape.
What is your favorite strike and why? If it’s not a secret.
Well, I do not have a favourite strike, but who saw me by fighting probably knows, that I have two favourite targets hehe.
What is your greatest achievement? Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
I was quite successful in the last two years on tournaments, which gives me a lot of motivation to keep working on and improving my fencing.
These tournaments make me happy. When I fence against other great fencers, I can compare myself to them, find my weak spots, and get better for the next time I face them. I just love the experience.
What is the one piece of equipment you can’t live without?
I can’t actually live without all my HEMA stuff heh. My favourite part of the equipment has to be the combination of a sword and buckler. Probably because I’ve used them when I’ve first started with HEMA.
Has practicing HEMA benefited you in everyday life as well?
My everyday life is very connected with history, and it defines me, what I am, and what my life is all about. HEMA is definitely a big part of it.
What do you do when you are not practicing HEMA?
I have my own event management agency that focuses on historical events and a few other things. So we do everything you can imagine from shows, programs, festivals, rental, films, tournaments with horses, etc.
You can follow us on our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/HectorEventManagement
Or visit our site – https://www.agenturahector.sk/(Highlights from one of the events.)
Who’s your idol, someone that gives you motivation?
I don’t have the idol. The thing that motivates me is working on myself. I always want to be better than the last time, to experiment and to learn.
As a professional, what advice would you give to a beginner interested in HEMA?
Just try it. HEMA is fun, it hurts very often and also very much, but if you like contact fighting sports, HEMA will be for sure a good choice for you.
That’s it! We’re delighted that Bystrík decided to do an interview with us. His story is amazing, and I think we all need to appreciate the work he is putting into studying, promoting, and teaching historical fencing arts. Many thanks, Bystrík for this fantastic interview.
We’ll be back next Sunday, with a new interview!
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Big congratulations to Bystrík and his club mates!
Tournament: Žilinský kumšt II.
More information here: https://www.facebook.com/terradeselinan