Maria Bankova


Published November 2012
 Maria Bankova And Darrin
Russian All-Round Fighting, Maria Bankova is a top women fighter who is ever present at competitions and training camps. She trains like a machine as hard or harder than many seasoned male fighters. I caught up with her at the recent R.A.F. Congress in the Ukraine.
DARRIN Richardson: Hello Maria, thank you for agreeing to this interview. May I start with what are your impressions of the International Convention this year?
Maria Bankova: Hello, I am happy to answer your questions. First of all, I would like to say thanks to organisers of this Convention and to all participants. It should be noted that the International Convention R.A.F. this year was held at a very high level. In the framework of the convention have been discussed many technical steps to combat all kinds for R.A.F. 8. I think we all learned a lot of interesting and useful things. Also, I was pleased to see new members R.A.F. U.K.: Liz Maddern and Leigh Till. I would like to thank my training partner Liz Maddern, she knew I was literally without words - in the training process, we had except miming techniques, as well to develop skills in pantomime, due to the language barrier. From the outside it looked like probably funny.
DR: Well, could you tell us what was studying Martial Arts? And what do you found interesting in the Russian All-Round Fighting?
MB: Previously, I was interested in a variety of sports, but never in the Martial Arts. R.A.F. was my first experience in Martial Arts and the experience was a success. I was attracted to R.A.F. above all because of it's effective combat system in real life and in sports. This system forms well-rounded fighters who can operate effectively in different situations. And it's not only the physical abilities of fighters, but also their moral qualities. After all, the R.A.F. is also a philosophy of life.
DR: How do you feel like a woman in a man's world?
MB: Oh, that's an excellent question, women can talk for hours on this subject. I'll try to be more brief and say that being a woman isn't easy in a man's world. Women tend to underestimate the mental and physical aspects. Men traditionally considered women the weaker sex, but it's becoming less and less that men are able and willing to protect the weak women. In today's world there is a change of social roles of men and women in almost diametrically opposed. To survive, most women can't afford to be weak.  After all, life is a struggle for survival, and it doesn't matter you are a man or a woman. Weak always lose. As I said earlier, the R.A.F. isn't only the battle system, but also a kind of psychological training, allowing to form quality and the desire to fight for the best place in the sun.
Maria Bankova And FriendsDR: Are you treated as a soldier or as a woman? Are there any special programs in the R.A.F. training for women? Or do you train as well as men?
MB: Of course, I wasn't treated as a man, because I am a woman. But in the process of training I am perceived as a fighter and respected, and sometimes with fear. For women, there isn't specific training program, we train with men, and we are working on the same techniques that periodically changing partners. There are a number of limitations in some pretty dangerous exercises, but this is a reasonable requirement that we do agree.

DR: You have competed in Russia, can you share with the readers your experiences? Have you fought in other styles besides R.A.F?

MB: Yes, I participated in competitions in Russia. Competitions in R.A.F. last two days. For every day you have the discipline to compete in with the last ending in storm fighting. The competition is a serious test and requires a lot of physical endurance and will power. Final results are derived from scores on all eight types of R.A.F. Women participate in all disciplines except storm fighting. To date, the o
Maria Applys An Arm Lockrganisation and judging of the competition is at a high level. The founders of the R.A.F. Shatunov and Rozhkov are very serious on these issues and always personally act as Chief Judges competitions in Russia. I had to compete for the beaver tail fight by the rules of other systems, as well as a fencing tournament. RAF is a self-contained system, which includes a variety of sections: bayonet fighting, stick fighting, knife fighting, wrestling one handed, belt and free, kick fighting, fist fighting, hand to hand fighting, storm fighting. As you can see, in this system, and so there is something to do.

DR: Women in R.A.F. don't storm fight, how do you feel about this?

MB: I don’t take it as discrimination. During training, we learn the tricks of  assault combat as men, but in competition, women aren't involved in this discipline. And due to the specific storm fighting, as this violent confrontation in pure form, in which there are only attacking action. I think that for women such tactics won't win the battle, so we leave the storm fighting to the men.

DR: Masha you are perfect example of a woman warrior, what are your future plans?

MB:Thank you for your appreciation of my abilities. I would like to continue to improve their fighting skills, participate in competitions and of course win.

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