50 (48)-Man Weapon Fight in Hamburg, Germany, Sept. 05, 2015

Mr. Marcus Hampel, the president and Head of Anno 1838, Hau- und Stoßfechten in Hamburg, was one of the first Hema instructors who gave his full support to conduct another 100 man fight after my first attempt in Prague on Sept 11, 2014.  I still remember his kind letter of support in September 2014  We have received different letters of support and offers to conduct other 100-man fight trials from Russian Federation, Ukraine, Finland, Germany, the UK and Germany.  I would like to thank all federations for their kind support here again.

With the kind help of FISAS in Italy and Mr. Alberto Balasso, the President of FISAS, I was able to fight 30 rounds against the professional maestri and swordsmen of Italy in Bologna on May 01. 2015. The report of this event can be found on this page here.  After the FISAS event I joined MMA Spirit Frankfurt to get in a better shape and this was next to my regular Razmafzar training with my team members.

I trained 3 times a week at MMA Spirit and in between I trained Razmafzar and also broadsword.  At MMA Spirit, a professional MMA gym in Frankfurt, Germany, I trained 3 times a week and each time at least two sessions.  It means that I trained Muaythai for one and half hours and then I joined another group such as MMA.  The whole training session lasted 3 hours. Each session consisted one half an hour conditioning, half an hour techniques and half an hour sparring.  Sometimes I took part in three coonsecutive classes compising 4,5 hoirs.  I did this to get the required stamina under pressurre.  I trained all MMA relevant disciplines auch as MMA, Muaythai. No-gi BJJ, Wrestling, Boxing.  Additionally, Mr Heiko Grosse kindly coached me how to deal against European weapons.  Once a week I went swimming and swam 100-120 laps (each 25 meters) without break.  I used crawl and breaststrokes and also isolated swimming technique trainings.  I trained 3-4 months following the hard way of training different disciplines to be prepared for the following event.   I would like to thank all my coaches who are as follows:

 

1. Mr. Heiko Grosse (European Weapon Coach, BAG)
2. Mr Andrew Sall (MMA and No-gi BJJ, MMA Spirit)
3. Mr. Samir al Mansouri (Muaythai MMA Spirit)
4. Mr. Mohamed Oulai (Boxing, MMA Spirit)
5. Mr. Saba Bolaghi (Wrestling, MMA Spirit)
6. Ms. Claudia Lachmann (Long-distance Swimming)

 

Our trip to Hamburg: Heiko and I left Frankfurt early in the morning on September 05, 2015.  We were heading to Hamburg as I was planning to fight for 50 consecutive rounds using different weapons. We tookd the train around 6,30 in the morning and arrived in Hamburg around 11:00.  We headed to the flat of our team member and friend Mr, Koursoh Emami to get a rest and prepare.  It is a always a pleasure to be with Kourosh,

The fighters who faced me in the event were:

1) Mr. Marcus Hampel, Head of Anno 1838, Hau- und 
Stoßfechten
2) Mr. Thomas Rehm, Hammaborg e.V.
3) Mr. Thomas Schipper, Anno 1838
4) Mr. Nicolai Tscherkasow, Aikido Institute Bremen
5) Mr. Denis Brückner, Hammaborg e.V. and Anno 1838
6) Mr. Heiko Grosse, BAG and Razmafzar

 

I would like to thank the professionalism, support and enthusiasm of all members during the whole event.  They were all excellent swordsmen and fighters and I really appreciate not only their fighting skills but their professional attitude. During the fights I realized that all fighters were standing in a corner the whole time.  Later, my dear friend Mr. Marcus Hampel told me that Mr. Thomas Schipper had told other participants that they could not sit down and relax during their assigned rounds when I was going through such an ordeal.  Thank you very much Thomas for your kind involvement.  This is exactly the meoment when one realizes what the world of martial arts ishould be all about.  This is what we call chivalry (javanmardi).  Thank you gentlemen.  All of you were my partners in this martial ordeal.  My respect to all of you.

The whole event was scheduled for 50 rounds and we were all under the impression that I had fought 50 rounds.  Unfortunately, later during editing the videos related to the event we realized that two rounds were miscalculated and missing.  Hence I fought 48 rounds each of 2 minutes.  After each 10 rounds, I drank some water and continued to fight immediately. It means that I fought 48 rounds of two minutes each totalling 96 minutes.  It means that I fought 1 hour and 36 minutes without sitting and taking any major breaks.  I had only short drinking breaks after ten rounds to prevent dehydration. I fought in T-shirt, gambeson and steel armor in different sessions so the short break was used to put on the respective armor. As the ground was hard we ruled out the wrestling and groundfighting for safety reasons.  But we will include both in the final 100-man fight trial.  The reason for choosing different proective gear was to be expose to duelling situation, light armor and heavy armor fighting.  I used the following weapons and armor for the 48 rounds.  For safety reasons I kept wearing my steel gauntlets (with the exception of fights with khanjar and kard due to the risk of injury to my opponent) and steel arm and steel shin protectors the whole time.  The 48 rounds consisted as dollows:


16 rounds unarmored duel combat with Persian qame (short double-edged sword)
18 rounds in gambeson fighting with shamshir and separ
4 rounds in full armor fighting with a neyze (spear)
6 rounds in full armor fighting with shamshir and separ
2 rounds in gambeson fighting with khanjar (dagger) and separ (shield)
2 rounds in gambeson fighting with kard (knife) and separ (shield)

 

The individual rounds and weapons were scheduled as follows:

Round 1: Khorasani (qame) vs Heiko Große (qame)

Round 2: Khorasani (qame) vs. Marcus Hampel (cutlass)

Round 3: Khorasani (qame) vs. Thomas Rehm (qame)

Round 4: Khorasani (qame) vs Dennis Brückner (cutlass)

Round 5: Khorasani (qame) vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (qame)

Round 6: Khorasani (qame) vs. Thomas Schipper (cutlass)

Round 7: Khorasani (qame) vs Marcus Hampel (cutlass)

Round 8: Khorasani (qame) Heiko Große (qame)

Round 9: Khorasani (qame) vs, Thomas Rehn (qame)

Round 10: Khorasani (qame) vs. Dennis Brückner (cutlass)

Round 11: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Heiko Große (shamshir and separ)

Round 12: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (katana)

Round 13: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Thomas Rehm (sword and buckler)

Round 14: Khoarsani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Dennis Brückner (saber)

Round 15: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs Thomas Schipper (saber)

Round 16: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Marcus Hampel (saber)

To see the video of these 16 rounds see the link

Round 17: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (katana)

Round 18: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Heiko Große (shamshir and separ)

Round 19: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Thomas Rehm (longsword)

Round 20: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Heiko Große (saber)

Round 21: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (katana)

Round 22: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Thomas Schipper (saber)

Round 23: Khoarsani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Dennis Brückner (longsword)

Round 24: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Marcus Hampel (saber)

Round 25: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Thomas Rehm (sword and buckler)

Round 26: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (katana)

Round 27: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Heiko Große (shamshir and separ)

Round 28: Khoarsani (shamshir and separ) in gambeson vs. Dennis Brückner (saber)

Rounds 29-30: Khorasani (khanjar and separ) in gambeson vs. Heiko Große (khanjar and separ)

Rounds 31-32: Khorasani (kard and separ) in gambeson vs. Heiko Große (kard and separ)

To see the video of these rounds click here

Round 33: Khorasani (qame) vs. Thomas Schipper (cutlass)

Round 34: Khorasani (qame) vs. Thomas Rehm (qame)

Round 35: Khorasani (qame) vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (cutlass)

Round 36: Khorasani (qame) vs Dennis Brückner (qame)

Round 37: Khorasani (qame) vs. Thomas Schipper (cutlass)

Round 38: Khorasani (qame) vs. Marcus Hampel (cutlass)

Round 39: Khorasani (neyze/spear) in full armor vs. Heiko Große (shamshir, separ and khanjar)

Round 40: Khorasani (neyze/spear) in full armor vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (katana)

Round 41: Khorasani (neyze/spear) in full armor vs. Thomas Rehm (longsword)

Round 42: Khorasani (neyze/spear) in full armor vs. Dennis Brückner (longsword)

Round 43: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in full armor vs. Thomas Schipper (saber)

Round 44: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in full armor vs. Dennis Brückner (longsword)

Round 45: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in full armor vs. Nicolai Tscherkasow (katana)

Round 46: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in full armor vs. Thomas Rehm (longsword)

Round 47: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in full armor vs. Marcus Hampel (saber)

Round 48: Khorasani (shamshir and separ) in full armor vs. Heiko Große (shamshir and separ)

To see the video of the last rounds click here

The pressure of such a long period of continuous fighting was obvious on my body.  Starting from the round 25, I started to have a bit of tunnel vision.  BUt I was very well prepared and all my training in Razmafzar, Braodsword, MMA Spirit and also long-distance swimming paid off.  I started to have swollen legs starting from the round 30, which could be obviously seen.  I remember when I finished the round 40 and was preparing for the round 41 when Mr Nicolai Tscherkasow said with admiration, "Er steht immer noch [He is still standing]".  Thank you very much Nicolai.  It was such a pleasure to cross blades with such a good swordsman from a Japanese swordsmanship school.  Having a Japanese martial arts background among others myself, it was such a pleasure and learning experience for me.  

I would like to thank  Mr. Marcus Hampel for organizing this wonderful event and for beautiful bouts.  I would also like to thank Mr. Thomas Rehm,  Mr. Thomas Schipper,  Mr. Nicolai Tscherkasow, Mr. Dennis Brückner, and Mr. Heiko Grosse for the wonderful bouts.   I would also like to thank Mr. Kourosh Emami for his support and time keeping during the bouts.  Strength and honor to all of you gentlemen.

 

After the fights: From left to right: Nicolai Tscherkasow, Marcus Hampel, Thomas Schipper, Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, Dennis Brückner, Thomas Rehm, Kourosh Emami, Heiko Große
In a Persian restaurant after the event: From left to right: Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, Marcus Hampel, Heiko Große, Kourosh Emami

I would also like to thank our armorer Mr. Sergey Gorbatko for making such a wonderful armor for this martial challenge and our staff member Ms. Andrea Duka for her support.  To see the armor click here.

This is the report of Mr. Marcus Hampel on this event which was published on ISS (International Sabre Symposium) on Facebook:

 

"Although ISS is only about sabre and backswords here’s my review of Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasanis 50-Men-Fight last weekend from my perspective as a participant. Too interesting not to share, even if some long swords and katana were in use. This should shade some light on why it is of immens value to see a man fight like Dr. Khorasanis did and be his opponent for a few rounds.

I fought 6 of the actually 48 fights, putting faith into my trusty Christmann sabre and Hau = Stoßfechten skills. I’m more or less ok with my performance, many things to get better on, namely slipping and taking measure. Structure as well. And something else, keep on reading to find out what. Watching the videos one might find more but I think what stuck in mind is what you should really work on next - that what free fights are good for in my opinion. Homework to do for me.

So what happened from my perspective? Most interesting to me was that the breaks of about 10 min between the 2 min fights were very, very refreshing. If it would had been the time to try out a 100-Men-Fight I think the „cannon fodder“ of us six opponents would go home with no or only very light fatigue afterwards. Maybe only 3 or 4 could do the trick as well.
Noticing this it immediately drove ideas at ANNO 1838, my sabre club here in Hamburg: what proportion of fighting and resting would keep up an even just intermediate fighter for hours? 2 min fighting, 2 min breaks? Or rather 5 min fighting and 15 min rest? And can we train to be refreshed after 3 sec to go on for 5 min?

I know many of the more athletic sabreur will have experienced this already in their or other fields like MMA, Marathon and similar and know the answers already. To me it was interesting as a trainer: how can I make the weakest link of my Schwadron strong enough to be a worthy fighter? This observation during our fights gave me that inspiration. High-performance/elite/olympic sports have an attraction of their own but I like the military point of view of getting my Schwadron as a group strong enough to carry out a task given by high command.

The second very interesting point form my perspective was that Dr. Khorasani as my only opponent that day was going through phases - how can I describe it differently? - being still brother in arms many of you know but - again, how should I describe it? - changing in many dimensions. The reason is obvious, he fought for 96 min/1,5 hr (!) while the attackers took breaks, had water the second they wanted, sat down, took off masks, etc. But, and that was interesting, there was no linear change, it was a change in different aspects at different times: strength, agility, precision, perception, etc. did not just „leave“ simultaneously - they sometimes „came back“, facing me with a different mix of intention, intuition, activeness and creativity. But, and that was the big woah! for me, keeping Dr. Khorasani still dangerous! (Just to remind myself and everybody: for 96 min/1,5 hr…)

This gave my a very, very good insight I had not before into ideas of tactics focusing on the state of your opponent. When to feint, when to telegraph, when to sticks with basics. Adding a new dimension to my fighting: yes, we all keep saying it, I now saw it, fighting is a matter of strength and endurance as well as other dimensions like technique and skill. No big realization that endurance is a big part of fighting but having seen it so drastically, I now know what to train on as well. It will give me many more options when I catch up in these fields as well. And, I’m now sure, some secrets of our fencing books will only be unlocked if we train hard like hell. In any field and dimension of our art.

Despite these very personal impressions I am happy to see and hear how my club mates develop. All of us four ANNO 1838-opponents were inspired by Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasanis realization of such fights. We came back from the fights with many todos but also many ideas how to actually get more into shape and what to train on next.

As a resume it’s a big thank you from my side that ANNO 1838 was part in this very interesting experiment! Thank you, Manouchehr!

Please check Dr. Khorasanis site as well (http://www.moshtaghkhorasani.com/…/26-50-48-man-weapon-fig…/). There you will find his impression how it felt like fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, … and also with his resume of being the man in the circle for 96 min/1,5 hr!"  Marcus Hampel

This is the report of Mr. Thomas Rehm, one of the fighter in the event: "We had the opportunity to help Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani in testing his stamina for almost 50 rounds of sparring. Quite an interesting experience, especially the many different weapon combinations with and without armor from different parts and periods of the world.

So, what did I learn?
- Never underestimate your opponent, regardless of his level of exhaustion.
- Structure. If I did learn anything from Roland Furmann, then this: Structure and posture protects you and makes your techniques work. Not leaning enough forward with sword and buckler? Get a cut to your legs. Not extending your arms properly? Lose your head. Not protecting your sword hand with your buckler? Keine Hände, keine Kekse.
- Communication: Context is important. The historical context of our sources as well as the context of a particular fight. The better we communicate our goals and intentions beforehand, the more fulfilling is the actual fight. I'm having a subtle feeling, that this revelation might be transferable to other parts of my life. 
- Fighting for an extended period of time seems to be exhausting. Joke aside, that was remarkable and needs special preparation and training. Doning 24kg of armor for the last 10 rounds is also quite challenging.

And it was fun."

 

Mr. Oliver Pittner, an experienced martial artist and friend of Mr. Heiko Große wrote this on his facebook account which I would like to share here:  The only thing a urban youth german can say to this is: "Was ein Tier, Bruder! Was ein Tier!".  

Thank you Mr. Pittner for your kind words.

 

My special thanks to my wife and children and my parents.

Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani