Unified Weapons Master (UWM), a new combat sport that combines advanced patented technology with traditional weapons martial arts, has unveiled its Lorica Mk II, the next generation of its intelligent combat armour in the company’s first official combat test event.
Six international weapons martial artists battle tested the new armour during UWM’s Vital Target Combat (VTC) underground test event in Wellington, New Zealand last week.
Made of carbon fibre and other composite materials, the Lorica Mk II is embedded with enhanced force measurement sensors and scoring software that objectively measures the location and force of strikes to the armour, as well as the damage each blow would cause to an unprotected body.
The armour and supporting technology have been developed by Chiron Global, an Australian-based company that has spent the past six years developing, building and patenting the technology solution.
Rick Walker, UWM’s Managing Director said that since launching the first generation Lorica Mk l in 2014, the company has conducted extensive research and development to further fine-tune the armour and its technology.
“The knowledge we have gained over the past two years through extensive mobility, comfort and impact trials has enabled us to achieve significant technological milestones and take a huge step towards making the armour combat ready. The Mk II is lighter, has better articulation, more advanced sensor technology and a reduced profile. The 30 percent weight reduction from the Mk I prototype suits means the fighters can move more explosively and the Mark II suits are also cooler, allowing the fighters to compete for longer without taking a break. “
The armour has been designed to withstand high-impact strikes from blunt martial arts weapons, providing high levels of protection during combat. It consists of three layers: an undergarment with integrated harnessing and cooling, a chassis layer that is embedded with advanced force measurement sensors, microprocessors and radios, and a removable exterior shell.
A specialised team that includes defence contractors and software engineers has spent the last six months enhancing the sensor technology and scoring software. Data from the sensors is processed at a rate of 10,000 samples per second (10kHz), processed by on board microprocessors and transmitted via radio to a scoring computer, where the force and location of each blow is displayed in real-time.
Battle testing the Lorica Mk ll
Last week’s VTC event involved six fighters from various weapons styles competing in multiple unrestricted combat formats in order to push the Lorica Mk II to its limits. They represented the following weapons martial arts styles: Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA), Japanese Kenjutsu, Chinese Kung Fu and Mixed Weapons Arts. The fighters used a range of UWM’s specially designed weapons including a bokken, long staff, long sword and Kali sticks.
The fights were filmed by professional broadcasting company NEP Group. The fight footage will be edited with commentary and special effects such as slow motion action replays, with highlights available on UWM’sFacebook Page and YouTube Channel and the full fights will be available on the UWM website in coming weeks.
One of the six fighters, Shen Meng from Inner Mongolia, China, said UWM would change the face of weapons martial arts.
“After 18 years competing in weapons martial arts combat, this fight ranks as my coolest experience yet. It was awesome to be able to go head-to-head with other practitioners without fear of serious injury to them or myself. I felt completely protected in the Lorica and it gave me the chance to experience weapons combat on a completely different level.
“I’m looking forward to reviewing the data captured during the bouts as I think it will really help me improve my technique. I would urge any serious weapons martial artists to consider putting themselves forward for future fights,” said Mr Meng.
A second series of underground events will take place in Sydney, Australia later this year. Results from both events will be used to make further improvements to the armour in order for it to be ready for large-scale live events.
Mr Walker said, “Last week’s VTC event confirms that we have built the platform to allow weapons martial artists to go head-to-head in one arena with science being the judge of who was the winner. This had never been done before and was an incredible milestone for our amazing team and the people who witnessed the event. The VTC fights have provided us with invaluable insights which will help us realise our ultimate aim of bringing UWM to a global audience.”