Aussie Company Tries to Resurrect Gladiator Duels with Carbon Fiber Armor

Sgt_Gath

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UWM - Unified Weapons Master: Gladiator duels with carbon-fiber suits | Digital Trends



Imagine for a moment what it’d be like if we resurrected gladiator fights in the modern day.

Not that American Gladiator, bodybuilders-shooting-tennis-balls-at-substitute-gym-teachers nonsense either. I’m talking proper Roman gladiator fights. Full contact, no-holds-barred, Russel-Crowe-style deathmatches broadcast on national TV.

Fat chance, right? The world we live in is much more civilized than the one the Romans inhabited, and that kind of brutality just isn’t considered a valid form of entertainment anymore. Nobody would stand for it.
“Our objective is to promote a new global combat sport, with weapons.”

But what if you took out the whole human slaughter part out of the equation? Imagine if you could toss two trained fighters into a ring, give them whatever weapons they want, and and let them go full-on Spartacus on each other without anyone getting seriously injured. With the death element removed, even the most die-hard pacifists would have to admit that it’d be pretty damn entertaining.

In a nutshell, that’s exactly what Australian startup Unified Weapons Master wants to do. The company’s founders are on a mission to bring back weapons-based fighting, and have spent the last few years developing a way for weapons-based martial artists to fight without eviscerating each other in the process.

“For us it’s about honoring, preserving, and reigniting interest in weapons-based martial arts — arts that have sort of slowly drifted off of people’s radar since the invention of gunpowder and projectile weapons,” explains UWM co-founder and CEO David Pysden. “Since then, there’s been no forum in which to see weapons-based marital arts practiced, and we want to change that.”

UWM Lorica Gold and Lorica Red action“Our objective,” he says, “is to promote a new global combat sport with weapons. So the unified in Unified Weapons Master is about bringing all the different weapons arts from all around the world together in a single competition. There’s roughly 300 distinct martial arts practiced around the world, and of those styles, 96 of them are either entirely weapons-based, or have a significant amount of weapons-based training in their curriculum. What we want to do is bring all of those styles together in a competition, much like UFC did with mixed martial arts.”

The only problem is that, barring all-out death matches, there’s really no way for weapons based martial artists to really test their skills. When you’re practicing with, say, a battle axe or a katana, you can’t actually follow through on the last shot because there’s a pretty good chance you’ll murder your opponent.

So how exactly do you facilitate a weapons fight without actually killing anybody? In a word: technology.





I'm skeptical that this could ever be made truly safe, or that they will be able to successfully market it to mass audiences.

If they ever do, however, count me in! This sport could be like MMA on crack!
 

martybegan

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The armor can protect against slashing, and any padding could mitigate bludgeoning, but a piercing or puncturing attack? I think that's where this idea hits a snag.
 
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Sgt_Gath

Sgt_Gath

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The armor can protect against slashing, and any padding could mitigate bludgeoning, but a piercing or puncturing attack? I think that's where this idea hits a snag.
Yea. Supposedly, there are some stab proof materials you can get these days, but I'm not sure how well they'd hold up against swords.

Either way, I'm pretty sure it'd end this sport real quick if someone were to bleed to death after being stabbed behind the knee, or under the armpit, where armors have traditionally tended to be weak.
 
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UWM - Unified Weapons Master: Gladiator duels with carbon-fiber suits | Digital Trends



Imagine for a moment what it’d be like if we resurrected gladiator fights in the modern day.

Not that American Gladiator, bodybuilders-shooting-tennis-balls-at-substitute-gym-teachers nonsense either. I’m talking proper Roman gladiator fights. Full contact, no-holds-barred, Russel-Crowe-style deathmatches broadcast on national TV.

Fat chance, right? The world we live in is much more civilized than the one the Romans inhabited, and that kind of brutality just isn’t considered a valid form of entertainment anymore. Nobody would stand for it.
“Our objective is to promote a new global combat sport, with weapons.”

But what if you took out the whole human slaughter part out of the equation? Imagine if you could toss two trained fighters into a ring, give them whatever weapons they want, and and let them go full-on Spartacus on each other without anyone getting seriously injured. With the death element removed, even the most die-hard pacifists would have to admit that it’d be pretty damn entertaining.

In a nutshell, that’s exactly what Australian startup Unified Weapons Master wants to do. The company’s founders are on a mission to bring back weapons-based fighting, and have spent the last few years developing a way for weapons-based martial artists to fight without eviscerating each other in the process.

“For us it’s about honoring, preserving, and reigniting interest in weapons-based martial arts — arts that have sort of slowly drifted off of people’s radar since the invention of gunpowder and projectile weapons,” explains UWM co-founder and CEO David Pysden. “Since then, there’s been no forum in which to see weapons-based marital arts practiced, and we want to change that.”

UWM Lorica Gold and Lorica Red action“Our objective,” he says, “is to promote a new global combat sport with weapons. So the unified in Unified Weapons Master is about bringing all the different weapons arts from all around the world together in a single competition. There’s roughly 300 distinct martial arts practiced around the world, and of those styles, 96 of them are either entirely weapons-based, or have a significant amount of weapons-based training in their curriculum. What we want to do is bring all of those styles together in a competition, much like UFC did with mixed martial arts.”

The only problem is that, barring all-out death matches, there’s really no way for weapons based martial artists to really test their skills. When you’re practicing with, say, a battle axe or a katana, you can’t actually follow through on the last shot because there’s a pretty good chance you’ll murder your opponent.

So how exactly do you facilitate a weapons fight without actually killing anybody? In a word: technology.





I'm skeptical that this could ever be made truly safe, or that they will be able to successfully market it to mass audiences.

If they ever do, however, count me in! This sport could be like MMA on crack!
By and large Roman gladiators didn't have very good armor. What would have been the point of a bloodsport if not very much blood?

I'd watch. Know I'd watch NFL football a lot more if they played sans pads and helmets. :)
 

2aguy

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The armor can protect against slashing, and any padding could mitigate bludgeoning, but a piercing or puncturing attack? I think that's where this idea hits a snag.

Just round the point so it can't penetrate.....

You want to do this right....? Go to an Island in international waters.....offer several million dollars and lifetime medical care....and do it for real........real weapons, real armor....and real outcomes.......and have people volunteer......I imagine you would have them lining up in droves for the chance.......
 

martybegan

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The armor can protect against slashing, and any padding could mitigate bludgeoning, but a piercing or puncturing attack? I think that's where this idea hits a snag.

Just round the point so it can't penetrate.....

You want to do this right....? Go to an Island in international waters.....offer several million dollars and lifetime medical care....and do it for real........real weapons, real armor....and real outcomes.......and have people volunteer......I imagine you would have them lining up in droves for the chance.......
It would basically have to be a mace to get it blunt enough to not penetrate, and if you are going for this full tilt, swords have to be part of the equation.
 
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Sgt_Gath

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Hmmm... It looks like they're planning on ignoring the armor, and simply scoring the combatants like they're fighting naked.

I guess that would prevent some of the safety issues related to fighting styles specifically meant to deal with armor (maneuvering to stab opponents in vulnerable areas like the neck, groin, armpit, back of the knee, and etca). However, it might also make for some really contrived and stupid looking fights.

I guess we'll see.
 

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