1 May 2017, Monday, 3:39

Vital Hurkou: Native language is necessary self-identification for any nation

Vital Hurkou
Photo: charter97.org

Vital Hurkou, honoured master of sports of Belarus, speaks about his career, music, Mikhalok and the role of the native language.

Vital Hurkou aka Hurych, a multiple Muay Thai champion and member of Brutto band, recovers after injuries and attends Minsk-based fitness club Moby Dick, Belgazeta writes.

“I often attend this gym for workouts,” Vital Hurkou notes.

Vital had to take a pause in his sporting career: “I need a month more to recover. I need to treat my old injuries and return to the optimal physical condition to be ready for new fights.”

About career and ambitions

One of the best Belarusian Muay Thai fighters added his first WBC Muaythai title to the list of amateur champion titles. “I am now transiting to a heavier weight class. It became hard to go on a diet and lose 10 kilogrammes before every fight, so I chose not to defend my title and decided to take care of my joints, ligaments and tendons and change the weigh class. In principle, I can now end my sporting career undefeated. But I have sporting ambitions and a couple of years to put a period to my career.”

Vital speaks with regret about the sport where, until recently, it was easier to became world champion rather than Belarus champion: “It is really unusual for any sport to have such a large number of championships in the same city. It will end soon. Muay Thai is developing rapidly all over the world, but we win at the cost of old coaches and sportsmen, at the cost of old methodologies and training systems. We have promising young fighters, but the managerial staff does not facilitate further development. I think our sport in Belarus will face a decline in three years.”

About music and Mikhalok

The famous sportsman joined Brutto, a punk band organised by former Lyapis Trubetskoy's leader Siarhei Mikhalok, last year. “If someone had told me when I was 10, 'Do you see that bearded fat man in the video? You'll become friends in many years, he will be a brutal muscled guy, and you will play together in a group”, I would have believed it only if had been said by Master Joda a little green creature with big ears. Sometimes unbelievable things happen. I got acquainted with Siarhei 8 years ago. I can say now that he is my old reliable friend. I always liked his music. I was a witness of his recent changes of the past few years. I like that he already has deep profound knowledge, but he is ready to learn new things from a younger generation. We are finishing our new album. Our first album was a kind of an ABC book, the first book you read, while the new album is a more serious book.”

About culture and traditions

Honoured master of sports of Belarus Vital Hurkou is the first sportsman who received the National Human Rights Award for courage. His remarks about Belarusian history, national symbols and the role of the native language make him stand out among other sportsmen: “I don't know why it can still surprise anyone, because many people, among them sportsmen, respect our history, culture and language. Understanding the historical depth of the land where you live, knowing your culture and loving your native language are the necessary self-identification for any nation.

Hurkou draws strength and inspiration from national traditions and respect for the ancestors: “Muay Thai is the sport closely resembling a real fight with elements of martial arts. Our fighting character is the spirit of our ancestors, respect for our land's warriors and national culture. By practising martial arts, we draw energy of our native land from the past and history of important victories of our ancestors. The words 'fight' and 'go ahead' in Belarusian ('zmahaisia' and 'naperad') have much more spirit and energy than the Russian words 'srazhaisia' and 'vperiod'. If sportsmen are equally trained and equipped and have equal capabilities, the internal energy related to history, traditions, culture and language comes to the fore. It to a great degree explains successes of Belarusian sportsmen in Muay Thai.”