“..when Kozaks returned victorious after battle. Kobzars and other musicians would gather their instruments – violins, bagpipes, cimbaloms and fifes – while other participants would dance. These celebratory hopaky were performed only by male participants, as they took place in an all-male environment. The performers were young, boisterous mercenaries, and not professional dancers; as such, the dance steps performed were predominantly improvisational, reflecting the performers’ sense of manliness, heroism, speed and strength.
The steps exhibited included many acrobatic jumps. Often fights from the battlefield would be re-enacted in pantomime, with real swords, lances or other weaponry, as the performer lashed out at invisible enemies”. (Wikipedia)
So, when you look at their Hopak dance, you will not just feel the Cossack spirit, but you will see incredible martial art skills such as modern days karate or taekwondo: