Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Return to the Blood and Sand of the Arena

NEWS FLASH! Stop the presses and everyone come to a screeching halt, for I come bearing news of great import for all! Australia, the home of great things like Gary the Goat, Aussie Rules Football, and Rugby, is bringing back the greatest physical contest of them all. That's right ladies and gentlemen, we are going back to the arena! "David, what arena are you talking about?" you may very well ask. Well fair citizens, I speak of the Arena, as in a return to the Colosseum of Rome. That's right we are returning to gladiatorial combat. A group called Unified Weapons Master (UWM) is pioneering this return to one of Europe's oldest blood sport.

However, this reboot of gladiatorial combat does not herald a complete return to our bloody past. All competitors will be wearing cutting edge carbon fiber suites called "Lorica," which means body armor in Latin. This new Lorica will have a carbon fiber exterior for protection from penetration, with absorbent materials underneath to absorb the impact of blows. The weapons themselves will also be made of carbon fiber and will be made to mimic the real thing. The general idea is to bring weapons disciplines from across the globe into an arena an have them duke it out to see who comes out on top. According to the article from,  many practitioners of European weapons schools are chomping at the bit to square off against Asian weapons based martial arts. Oddly this seems like a real life and practical version of the simulations that Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior would run.

UWM admits that they have a long road ahead of them before the sport really begins to take off. While they have the suit designed and some weapons made, there is no real lengthly fight schedule set. The first few fights are to take place early sometime this year and in small private capacity. This is hopefully going to generate more interest for the sport and draw a wider audience as well as proving as  a proof of concept test for the group to their audience. As a historian, I am positively geeking out on the possiblity of seeing a revival of old Roman combat styles as well as seeing later Medieval combat schools square off against Japanese and Chinese weapon based styles. While I have no predictions as to whom will beat out whom, I would honestly like to see the European schools win out as the virtues of Asian martial arts are well documented and publicized. We at the Ace of Geeks will keep our vigilant ears to the ground on this story and publish any updates as soon as possible.

David is a local historian, techie, home brewer, stage hand, gamer, and geek. He loves Star Wars and Shakespeare with equal passions and is prone to quoting it at random!

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