Imagine if Nerf created a professional sports team. Combine a heavy serving of the WWE and a dash of the UFC in a blender then bake with a generous portion of the movie "Kick-Ass," and you start to get the idea.
The Foam Weapon League, a new hoping-to-be professional sports franchise, will hold its first open-to-the-public bout on Saturday. And with a cast of characters that include names like Prince Harming, a Shakespeareaneske Disney Character gone wrong; Hardcore, a pro body builder with full-face tattoo and stars on his nipples; and El Macho (he's just macho), how can you go wrong?
"It's WWE for nerds," says David Ballard, Founder and Commissioner of the Foam Weapon League. "People can experience mortal combat without actually getting killed."
Local news from across Southern California
FWL's website describes itself as an alternative sports league that provides the "best of live action role play and mixed martial arts "to give spectators a "never before seen kind of one-on-one combat."
Ballard came up with the concept after stumbling on a group that does live action role playing. LARPers, as they're called, play a dungeons and dragons-eque live-action fantasy game where players act out their characters' actions.
"I've always been kind of a science fiction nerd," Ballard related.
LARPing, combined with his love of martial arts, sparked the idea. Then it took off.
"It started to snowball into this crazy subculture thing," Ballard said.
24 warriors now do real battle in crowded "Fight Club" type settings.
The object: using foam weapons, puncture water balloons with fake blood that are attached to vital parts of the body. When two of the 'blood bags' have been broken, the Warrior is out. FWL says the fights are 100% real and fans are upclose, right in the middle of the action.
"Normal people never get a chance to experience what it's like to be in a real fight," Ballard said although he's actually against violence. He hopes the FWL will let spectators see what violence is like and realize it's not a the right solution.
The live event will be held at Silver Factory Studios on December 11th from 9pm to 2am. 12 matches are scheduled along with live music from Los Nova, The Wallburds, Santoros, & The Zoo. Tickets are $8 at the door.
Ballard hopes to attract more warriors to the FWL and grow the concept into a nationwide franchise with teams in cities around the US.
"This is a chance for people to express themselves, to become stars by being their own weird selves," he said.
"All you need is a cool character name, cool costume, and can whip a foam sword."