A newly developed body armour, complete with built-in sensors that can measure the damage a hit would cause to the unprotected body, is set to revolutionise the sport of mixed martial arts.
The high-tech armour, has been designed by Unified Weapons Master, not only to protect but also to register the real force behind each strike.
A team of engineers from Chiron Global spent four years developing the Iron Man-like armour, which is designed to be flexible enough to fight in and uses built-in sensors to calculate and display the damage a weapon hit would have done to an unprotected body.
The research team based in Sydney, Australia, includes a former armor developer, who worked on the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit films.
Unified Weapons Master, is set to run competitions later this year with bouts featuring world-class martial artists engaging in combat with weapons.
‘UWM’s vision is to create a large-scale sport and entertainment experience where martial artists can compete against each other with real weapons, with an objective measure of who would have won in a real combat situation,’ UWM CEO David Pysden says.
‘This is something that has not been possible since the days of the Gladiator,’ said David Pysden, UWM CEO and experienced martial artist.
‘We believe this new sport has the potential to generate similar levels of interest as mixed martial arts by unifying the weapons-based martial arts community.’
‘UWM will take a wide variety of ancient arts from around the world and bring them together for the first time ever, using modern technology,’ Pysden said.
UWM Chairman, Justin Forsell says he was inspired to develop UWM because he wanted to re-ignite interest in hidden weapons arts, many of which he says are at risk of being lost forever.
‘UWM is the creation of a new global combat sport that combines thousands of years of history with cutting-edge technology to create a unique martial arts experience,’ Forsell says.
‘The arts that UWM will showcase have been passed down from Master to student for generations and are closely linked to the national cultures, histories and identities of these countries.’
‘Our vision is to bring these ancient weapons arts to the global stage.’
So far, the armour has been tested by a number of well-known martial arts experts including World Muay Thai Champion known as ‘The Arch Angel’ Sone Vannathy.
Vannathy says the armour allows competitors to hit their opponent without cauing major injuries.
‘Going up against a competitor wearing the armour, I can strike them to the best of my ability without fear of causing serious injury,’ he says.
‘The experience is unlike any other, but it still feels good to hit.’
A spokeswoman for Unified Weapons Master says the armour and software are fully working prototypes and the company is currently working to raise additional capital to produce production versions of the suits.
She says the armour isn’t for sale yet, however the company intends to produce a training version for purchase. A release date for the product has not been set.
‘The first production versions will be used for our UWM competitions, where we intend to have the best weapons based fighters from around the world compete to determine the first Unified Weapons Master,’ she says.
The UWM armour features technology that objectively measures the specific location and force of strikes to a competitor’s suit of armour.
Using medical research, including fracture profiling, software calculates and represents the actual damage that would have occurred to an unprotected competitor.
It then processes a result, similar to a video game, but based on real, full-contact martial arts weapons combat, all in real-time.
The armour has been designed to withstand high-impact strikes from real,but blunt, martial arts weapons.
Damage caused by hits accumulates until a competitor is virtually ‘knocked out’ or ‘killed’, with a strike or a series of strikes of sufficient force to render an unprotected competitor incapacitated.
Competitors can have multiple ‘lives’, just like in a video game, in order to prolong the duration of the bouts.
The winner can also be determined based on a points system using impact data from the fight.