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Use of Protective Suits Could Add Weapons to Mixed Martial Arts

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.

HT: DiscoveryNews, Unified Weapons Master

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  1. Caleb says:

    They have been talking about incorporating this for some time now. It could help in developing a weapons division in mixed martial arts, but I do not think we are there yet.

  2. Fehrgus Mac'Swebnuie of Caid says:

    The SCA has been doing this for almost fifty years and on a far larger scale. Forget the one-on-one duels at tournaments. That’s just two guys is metal exchanging blows with wooden sticks yelling “light” every time they take a shot to the side of the head. Watch the battles. Formations of thousands colliding together, shield to shield with pikes thrusting overhead. You can find videos online. According to a friend, the Estrella War of 1991 actually appeared on ESPN2. I was in that mess with thousands on each side in the middle of the Arizona desert — turtled up under a massive Celtic war shield as I was being speared from all sides. Good times…

  3. Nikman says:

    People have been saying for years that the Society for Creative Anachronism should televise some of their events and tournaments. Full contact medieval combat, using ratan instead of steel for safety, has often drawn many spectators. Obviously, a suit with sensors would be required for scoring. But without blood, will the general public have their interest held after the first few fights?

  4. I would be more impressed if they were using full force against the suit. They are not.

    @KidJihad – There are already combat sports with weapons, Check out American Combat League (ACL)! If this suit was useful you could take out some of the “Look like a Knight” elements. But ACL is full force combat, with metal weapons (rebated) against metal armor. I fight with rattan weapons, so much fun. Makes me want to step up to steal.

  5. KidJihad says:

    As a competitor in combat sports, I don’t want weapons added. If the suits are so protective that we can use weapons on one another, then where is the element of risk/danger? Sounds kind of dumb for competitive reasons, why not shoot for something more practical, like protecting our soldiers?

  6. Seth Squires says:

    No one is asking the important question: how well does it stop zombie bites?

  7. Killer_Sharkz says:

    I wonder if this could be adapted for football and hockey.