Sometimes there are ideas that push the boundaries of what we believe is possible. Other times, there are ideas that even if possible, probably shouldn't happen. And sometimes, people ignore the fact that they shouldn't happen and go along with them anyway.
Those were my thoughts when I read about the Unified Weapons Master (UWM), a potential outlet for martial artists that practice the traditional weapons arts like kendo and kali. These arts don't have much practical use these days, but are still around because of their historic significance in some cultures.
Currently, practitioners compete in competitions that look closer to staged combat that you'd find in a 1990's Van Damme flick. They serve to showcase the techniques, but there's no danger to any of the competitors, neutering what originated as very lethal forms of martial arts. It's pretty much why these arts are considered a joke to most.
That is, until now.
UWM is a throw back to the days when men attacked each other with swords and knives. Or at least that's how it's being promoted. UWM CEO David Pysden explained to the United Kingdom's Daily Mail that they hope fans will take to it as the ancient Romans celebrated the gladiators of old.
However, in order to ensure the protection of the competitors, UWM has commissioned an Australian company to develop a "battle armor" of sorts. As you can see above, the armor looks like it's better suited to take on the Covenant in the Halo Universe than compete in a combat "sport."
Adding to the ridiculousness is how bouts (are they bouts? I guess they're bouts) are scored. Each set of armor contains sensors that will tabulate the amount of "damage" that has been done to the competitor with results being either "knocked out" or "killed."
And if you're wondering, yes, competitors will receive "multiple lives" as well. Kind of like a video game. Actually, it's exactly like a video game.
Pysden seriously believes that this "sport" will capture the same amount of interest as mixed martial arts (MMA).
Hopefully this does catch on because I'd love my own set of battle armor. Not to fight in, but to go and get my morning bagel. I figure that it'll start paying off when I start getting free bagels because who is going to charge the guy who looks like he's going to save the planet from space aliens.
So I offer this tagline to UWM: Cash poor. Bagel rich.
Seriously, this is so dumb.