Burak ‘Ronin’ Urgancioglu really took to his ring name, having spent the majority of his time since UWM travelling (and training) around the world. Master-less samurai indeed. If you want to follow his adventures, check out his page The Journal of a Ronin on Facebook.
– How did you personally find VTC1?
VTC1 was an amazing experience with multiple aspects for me. Travelling so far for the first time, meeting with fellow fighters for the first time, testing my skills in the outside world for the first time. A lot of first times.
I was naive, you see, compared to you at least. When I read your article I was surprised by your expectations of other people, and then it made sense to me. I don’t even know why I expected people to be friendly. Well turned out they were, and it was lovely wasn’t it?
It was a magical, out of this world experience for me. I traveled almost as far as I could, where they put me in this futuristic armour. Breathing Martial Arts for a week. It was beautiful and I remember it with fondness.
– How was it to fight against other styles in VTC1?
Difficult. To my surprise. VTC1 humbled me you see, turns out I was too cocky for my own good. Fighting others taught me, and taught me fast. And I chose to listen rather than deny.
– Did participating in UWM influence the way you train and/or instruct in your style?
It did. Funnily enough, it coincided with the time where I was moving abroad as well. I already knew I wasn’t going to keep practising kenjutsu, and getting to know HEMA better in Wellington, I had no doubt I wanted to pursue it.
One of my biggest issues were stress in VTC1. So I promised myself to fight as many different people as possible until I’ve beaten this “Here comes a new challenger!” stress. And I did!
Your classic ‘East meets West’ scenario, with Burak sparring with Nick from the Academy of Historical Fencing. Check out their YouTube channel for more clips like this.
I also had to accept that there are a lot of better fencers out there, and I need to train hard and be patient if I want to become a recognizable fencer, or a good teacher which is my main goal, one day.
– What have you been up to since VTC1?
I got married (hehe), I moved out of Istanbul. I lived in different places in England, traveled South America, met with fencers from all around the world and sparred with them, learned from them. I am in London at the moment. I’m training HEMA now and joining as many tournaments and events a possible. I’ve recently got to win a bronze medal in a weapon that I don’t even train with, Rapier & Dagger. So the universe told me to look in to that combination, I guess, therefore that’s what I’m going to do next, I guess 🙂
– What/how are you currently training, what’s next?
I’m currently training HEMA with a variety of weapons. Whatever’s next, it’s obscure at the moment. This is the time to be patient and train and get better, fail and fail again, until I fail better.
– What do you think the future holds for UWM?
I really loved the idea and passion behind UWM, I really loved the people. I still do.
It’s very difficult to say what they are up to at the moment. It feels some things had to change after VTC1; probably one of them being their target audience. For now UWM’s future is obscure to me as much as my own.