Hasan began seriously doing sports in 1976. He studied sambo and judo like all boys, his first coach was Vakha Hasanovich Chapayev. They trained outdoors on the bank of the Sunzha until the first frost. Those who wished to train more were invited to travel to Grozny and continue studying in gymnasium. Hasan was among those who took advantage of the offer. In Grozny, he was coached by famous Felix Kutsel.

My father was against my training, he did not consider sports as a serious matter for men. I had to feed cows, I drove them out to pasture, asked a cousin to look after them and went to the gym. On the way back I drove the flock home.

The first success came in 1979 — Hasan Baiyev won the championship of Grozny, by this time he was already a prize winner of the USSR championship among juniors. After the school graduation he entered Krasnoyarsk Medical Institute, which had good conditions to continue doing sports. The result was a victory in the championship of Krasnoyarsk Territory, a victory in the USSR championship among medical schools. In 1983 Baiyev was called to Sukhumi — the USSR national team was preparing for the World Cup. Although all the qualifying “reckonings” were won, Hasan did not go to the World Cup — at the last moment he was simply removed from the flight and sent home.

I believed then and I believe now that it was a politicized decision — Chechens were tried not to be admitted to the international tournaments...

Training and participations in competitions at various levels continued until 1988 — till returning to Grozny.

After returning home, I started to work and train, Felix Kutsel was pleased with my decision to continue studying sambo and judo, I wanted to participate in tournaments for the republic. But ... I was the only specialist in maxillofacial surgery in Chechnya and the work stuck me. At first, I tried to train, but I often had to interrupt my preparation for tournaments, because my help was needed by people — there were many accidents and so on... Finally, I decided to retire from competitive sport in 1989.

Then there were the first and second Chechen wars and years of training and developed endurance were useful — I had to operate around the clock.

Incredible stress and hard work had their impact; when Hasan was allowed to leave the country, he badly needed rehabilitation and here the sport helped him. Intensive training helps to forget the horrors of war and to reset the body; in 2000, Hasan did not think about returning to the mat. In the Boston club “Tahoku”, different people trained — Chinese, Brazilians, Italians and, of course, Japanese. Many of them were quite famous athletes, winners of major international tournaments and even the world championships. They trained, sometimes arranged small tournaments for the sake of interest. Hasan won almost all sparrings, but did not think of participation in big tournaments; everything changed after meeting Oleg Taktarov who suggested registering for a tournament.

Потом были первая и вторая чеченские войны и здесь пригодились и годы тренировок и выработанная спортом выносливость — оперировать приходилось сутками напролет.

Невероятное напряжение и работа на износ не могли не сказаться, к моменту, когда Хасану разрешили покинуть страну, он остро нуждался в реабилитации и здесь ему на помощь пришел спорт. Интенсивные тренировки помогали забыть пережитые ужасы войны и перенастроить организм, тогда, в 2000 году, Хасан еще не думал о возвращении на ковер. В Бостонском клубе «Тахоку» кто только не тренировался — были и китайцы с бразильцами и итальянцы и конечно японцы. Многие были достаточно известными спортсменами, призерами крупных международных турниров и даже чемпионатов мира. Тренировались, иногда устраивали небольшие турниры — так, ради интереса. Хасан выигрывал почти все спарринги, но об участии в крупных турнирах не думал, все решило знакомство с Олегом Тактаровым, он и предложил заявиться для участия в соревнованиях.

— “Hasan, he said to me, you’re in great shape, try, this is not the Soviet Union, no one here will look into your passport...”

So after a huge, by the standards of sport, break of 12 years, Baiyev became a participant of the Massachusetts championship in judo. The championship was won with ippons, in the same breath. Next was the open championship of America, where he had to fight in two age categories — adult sportsmen and veterans. Both competitions were also won.

In 2001, French Nice hosted the World Cup. Hasan was the oldest participant of the cup. Until the semi-finals everything went well, but in the semifinals Baiyev was opposed by a representative of the tournament host country — French wrestler Michel Lelievre.

I went out on the carpet and saw that in the stands there are many of our compatriots, I really wanted to live up to their expectations, and although the young Frenchman caught me in a painful hold at some point, I thought that even if he broke my hand, I would not surrender.
Miraculously, I managed to slip out; the fight was so hard for both of us that after it we were literally carried to corners. The judges unanimously awarded the victory to me.

Then there was the final and a record quick victory over a Swedish fighter. Now Hasan recalls this tournament with a smile — he was spared by many people as he looked older than his opponents and many of them (including the Swedish coach) sincerely sympathized with him. After the fast final match, the Swedish coach said: “I know a Russian proverb — an old horse does not spoil the furrow!”.

Next, the achievement list only grew up: 5 victories at the US championships in sambo, 2 victories at the Pan American Games and the World Cup, 3 victories at the world championships in sambo; totally, for the period from 2000 to 2006 he achieved more than 17 prizes in various prestigious tournaments in sambo and judo. However, he was not able to participate in the US championships in judo since he had no US citizenship.

2006 was the last competitive year. Baiyev took part in a major tournament ... in MMA, and won it.

At this point I was determined to finish regarding my age; it is better to leave before you become disabled (just kidding).

© 2019