Have you always fancied having a good old-school dust-up using the weapons from Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings or your favourite video game?
Well, we still wouldn't advise it, unless you put on some special new high-tech armour by Australian start-up Unified Weapons Master.
Lorica is a new intelligent body armour that allows people to be hit by real weapons like European and Japanese swords, machetes and tomahawks, and experience the force and trauma damage that they would sustain, without actually causing them any harm.
A suit full of sensors
The carbon-fibre suit contains 40 sensors in the head and torso, which detect the force and impact from a strike 6,000 times a second, then take that data and measure it against medical algorithms, which calculate how much damage a strike would inflict on an unprotected body.
In less than 100 milliseconds the data is sent wirelessly from the suit to a computer, where an advanced scoring system allocates points according to analysis of each strike against the suit.
Tests of the prototypes against a multitude of blunted, real weapons have been successful, and now the company is looking to build improved versions of the armour for commercial release using the data from the tests.
"The data captured revealed some interesting facts. The most damaging strike recorded in the UWM Unleashed series was a spinning backfist to the temple, using the butt of a tomahawk, measuring 6.1 kilonewtons or about 1,371 pounds (623kg) of force," said Unified Weapons Master CEO David Pysden.
"[The strike caused by the tomahawk] would have fractured bones in the right fronto-temporal region of the skull, causing serious injury or worse to an unprotected fighter," confirmed Dr Nick Fletcher, a doctor who helped to design Lorica's fracture profiling algorithms.
An opportunity to fight, the ancient way
Dr Fletcher used historical medical literature from the 19th century together with new medical research to hone the system – the first time this type of data has ever been used in a sports environment.
Unified Weapons Master is now working on putting technology into the Lorica suits that can monitor heart rates, oxygen saturation levels and body temperature of fighters.
The firm's goal is to bring back the 96 ancient martial arts as a fighting sport and hobby that anyone can get into. The armour could also be useful for military and law enforcement training.
The first live competitive battle events are set to be launched next year, where people can wear the suits and become UWM Gladiator members. The suits will go on sale in either 2015 or 2016, but no price has been listed yet.