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'Warriors come out to play': Unified Weapons Master prepares for combat (pictures)

On the back of its IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, the high-tech gladiatorial combat sport looks to refine its armour and prepare for live bouts.

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Nic Healey
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
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1 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Ultimate Weapons Master

Unified Weapons Master aims to be the mixed martial arts of weapons-based combat and it has kicked off a crowdfunding IndieGoGo campaign to get started.

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2 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

New look Lorica

Since first showing off the concept last year, UWM has been refining the carbon fibre armour known as the Lorica.

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3 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Bespoke sensors

As well as protecting its wearer, the Lorica houses the bespoke sensor system that analyses the placement and power of any blows received.

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4 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Static bench testing

Some of the early tests of the sensors involved a 'static' bench: basically hitting the armour as hard as possible with a UWM weapon.

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5 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

'Live' testing

But when the team turned to testing the armour while worn, they saw some interesting results.

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6 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Use the force

The force received was lower than that on a static test, meaning they will be able to shave some weight off the armour.

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7 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Mobility testing

It's not just protection that matters, of course. Combatants must be able to move freely while wearing the Lorica.

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8 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Fast combat

This ensures that the armour allows freedom of movement for many different martial forms.

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9 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Fists of fury

Depending on the prefered fighting style of the combatant, moves may includes kicks, fist strikes and even headbutts.

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10 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Number crunching

The data received from the tests not only informs the design choices, it's going to help shape the format of the sport itself.

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11 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Helmet cam

UWM CEO David Pysden is excited to embrace the televisual aspects of the sport, and this includes a mounted head cam for a first-person look at combat.

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12 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Personality driven

The Lorica helmet is also being redesigned for easier removal, both for cooling off between bouts and to let fans catch a glimpse of their favourite fighters.

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13 of 13 Masanori Udagawa/UWM

Ready to rumble in 2016

After the IndieGoGo campaign concludes, UWM will hold small "underground" trial bouts throughout 2016, with an aim to heading to the US in 2017 for the first formal fights.

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