Carl van der Linde (b. 1993) Is a South African photographer based in Cape Town. Carl has a catalytic love for image-making and is drawn to the emotion and romanticism captured within a still image.

About Combat Hopak Saber-tooth – words by Carl van der Linde:

I caught wind of a martial arts group in Ukraine based mainly in the city of Lviv, close to the Polish border in the West of the country. There is a school called the Saber-tooth School of Combat Hopak, which is a Cossack martial art originally from Ukraine. The practice includes techniques of traditional Ukrainian folk fist fighting, folk wrestling, Cossack saber fencing, and Cossack war dances like the Hopak and the Metelytsia.

I contacted the organization and eventually broke through one of the starkest language barriers I’ve ever experienced and was able to execute a personal form of Gonzo-Esque journalism, where I joined the school to learn some martial art but more so to document the story of these fighters as try to balance traditional, nationalistic Ukrainian values with a rapidly modernising country.