When we first discovered our friend Prime Hall and the Underwater Torpedo League (UTL), we immediately felt inspired and just knew we wanted to share this awesome team’s story with our community. Check out our exclusive interview with the Founder Prime Hall.
WHAT IS THE UNDERWATER TORPEDO LEAGUE?
UTL is an underwater sport that was built by Marine Special Forces Water Survival Instructors. It has been an underground sport within the military for over a decade, and is now available to the public in Southern California as of 2018. Soon, it will be available in the Bay Area and Las Vegas! See more videos here >
“Go deep. Live empowered.”
The goal of the game is to move the torpedo underwater and place the torpedo in the goal area without committing a foul. Each game consists of three matches. Each match is played with a point scoring round that are played to five points per match. The team that reaches five points first wins the match. The team that wins two of the three matches wins the game.
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
The club was started in 2017 with a primary goal of teaching people water confidence, safety and fun. Athletes of all different skill levels have come through our training since we began – over 100 individuals ranging from non-swimmers to Olympic athletes.
We’ve enjoyed watching everyone improve and knock down barriers each practice. We’re proud to provide a trusted environment that’s focused on building confidence and optimum performance in and out of the water.
“This is a gladiator-type, minimalist sport. It focuses on all-natural swimming abilities and could one day be the first Olympic sport where males and females can fully battle against each other because of the truest equalizer – the water.”
In the last year, UTL has gone viral with a league growing faster than ever in Southern California. Now we’re expanding throughout the west coast and nationwide, as well as running NFL Off-Season Programs, Olympic swim training with David Marsh and training for Team Elite, UFC and Bellator Fight Camp.
We also have a training program called Deep End Fitness that is gaining tons of momentum right now.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I spent twelve years in the military, starting with four years in the infantry. From there, I became a Water Survival Instructor and then finished my last eight years in Military Special Forces.
WHO IS THE IDEAL UTL ATHLETE?
Someone that is eager to make gains, and open to training in a team environment. The program is built for non-swimmers to increase natural swimming abilities. We train all levels of athletes and swimmers with our techniques of F.R.E.E. (Focus, Relaxation, Economy of Motion, and Efficient Breathing).
Our culture is the next thing that we hold close. Every session begins with instructors doing full coordination with lifeguards, and then all swimmers move into the circle of trust.
The circle begins with the lead instructor briefing current safety standards for the specific pool, followed by an introduction from each swimmer, which typically includes their swimming background, what brought them to UTL, and their goals for the day. The rest of the time is spent meeting and exceeding these goals.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?
These are the Underwater Torpedo League Ethos:
- UTL is a merit-based organization. Athletes are 100% responsible for their performance and growth.
- Obstacles promote growth. Progress cannot be made in the comfort zone.
- UTL has a “No Flex Zone” environment. The standards are set in the Circle of Trust.
- Buddy/Guardian system is always in effect.
- We respect each other, the water, and the sport at all times.
- Our training mantra is “calm breeds calm.”
- Everything we do is to benefit the team, which in turn strengthens each individual.
- We do not compromise safety standards for the sake of growth.
- We operate off of brilliance in the basics of the acronym F.R.E.E (Focus, Relaxation, Economy of Motion, Efficient Breathing).
- What is said in the Circle of Trust, remains in the Circle of Trust.
WHAT ARE THE RULES?
Safety is our number 1 priority. All of our level 1 instructors, lifeguards and in-water safeties are fully trained in establishing emergency action plans at any specific time. This is what creates a trustful training environment for all of our swimmers and athletes.
Our rules are minimalist in nature because the water keeps the game honest. All gameplay is conducted underwater. Bringing the torpedo to the surface results in a penalty drop for the opposing team. All games are played under supervision of a certified trained referee.
The rules are simple in nature, similar to Fight Club. Three big violations that will result in a swimmer exiting the water are:
- No goggles ripping
- No pulling on clothing
- No pulling of anyone that is not in possession of the torpedo.
Also, we promote natural swimming abilities and so the use of fins is prohibited. Without fins, it is nearly impossible to build enough speed to where collision will create injury.
HOW ARE YOU TRAINING WITH MYSWIMPRO?
We use the MySwimPro app on the Apple Watch with our elite athletes and instructors to help them track their heart rate and caloric burn. For those that need a structured swim workout, it’s been an awesome tool to share swim sets and record progress in.
Since the game requires you to go underwater and swim in various different directions and depths, we like to explore the Pool Swim functionality, where we can just tap ‘Start’ and let it record as we train.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF UTL LOOK LIKE?
The Underwater Torpedo League recently completed a 6-month “shark tank” business program with the San Diego Sports Innovators to build a scalable model that we are now expanding into the Bay Area, Las Vegas and beyond. We are also working with our Olympic coaches to take UTL to the Olympics as a demonstration sport in 2020 as a “halftime show” in between the swim events. This would be an awesome chance to showcase the sport and Olympic nature of playing an underwater gladiator game that’s all focused on natural swimming abilities – aka no fins!”
Need some help with your swimming? Get swim workouts, technique drills and videos in the MySwimPro app! Start your personal training plan with a free 7-day trial of ELITE >