Mixed martial arts might be getting even more bad-ass, or gratuitously violent, depending on how you look at it. An Australian company called Unified Weapons Master is developing a suit of body armor that could allow for the use of weapons in recreational battle.
The suit, called Lorica after the form of Roman body armor, is great for those who are highly trained in martial arts weaponry, but haven’t had the opportunity to use it on something more animated than a cardboard box or retired stuffed animal. Though the use of an actual katana on an opponent in a Lorica suit would probably still be too dangerous, the suit could allow for the use of staffs or nunchakus. Eat your hearts out, Donatello and Michelangelo.
“We literally have heard from hundreds and hundreds of people who have been practicing for 20 or 30 years in weapons-based arts who have had no true way to test their skills without seriously injuring someone, or worse,” said David Pysden, CEO of Unified Weapons Master.
Below is a video of the Lorica that had to be an absolute blast to film:
The Lorica suit is highly flexible and covered in sensors that detect the impact of an opponent’s blows. This information is transmitted to a computer, where it could be used to score the fight. “We know the damage that would have occurred to an unprotected competitor if they weren’t wearing the suit, and we can display that in real time,” said Pysden.
Given the natural appeal of seeing people beat the hell out of each other, Pysden thinks the suit could generate a whole new combat sport. He is currently talking to production companies about filming and broadcasting some sort of tournament in the near future. Check out a preview of what that epic programming might look like on the Unified Weapons Master website.
Could these suits someday be rigged up with artificial muscles for even more epic battles? If you have no idea what I mean by artificial muscles, check out our coverage of said topic here.