NEWS & BLOGS

Underwater Torpedo, New Sport Making a Splash in SoCal

SPECTRUM NEWS 1

IRVINE, Calif. — Some sports are played on fields, other in rings, and some in pools. This new sport developed by two former military special forces members combines elements from things played on land and water – and heads underwater.

Known as "Underwater Torpedo," it combines elements of football, mixed martial arts, and water polo.

Spectrum News 1 took a deep dive to find out what the Underwater Torpedo League is all about and why the sport is making a splash in Southern California.

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Two Former Marines Captain a Game Changer in Underwater Athletics

GOLDEN STATE

A new water sport attracting active military members and veterans, MMA fighters, CrossFit enthusiasts, surfers, lifeguards, freedivers, former collegiate swimmers and water-polo players got its start here in California.

Underwater torpedo tasks two teams of five players with placing a torpedo-shaped toy into a kid’s hockey net anchored to the bottom of a 13-14 foot pool. Sound easy? It’s not. All the action happens underwater, requiring swimming skill and breathing endurance. Pop above the surface with the torpedo in hand and that’s a penalty.

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The Wild World of the Underwater Torpedo League

OUTSIDE

Sunset Beach, on the North Shore of Oahu, has long been the proving ground for aspiring pro surfers. Growing up in Southern California, Cole Houshmand had heard about its endlessly shifting peaks, territorial locals, and fierce rip current. But nothing prepared him for its punishing impact zone.

Five years ago, Houshmand, then 13 years old, paddled out on a 15-to-20-foot day. About 40 minutes in, he got caught inside the best set that day and had to ditch his board. Diving under the first wave, he was thrashed around like a rag doll for what felt like forever. After six or so upward strokes, he finally popped to the surface, seeing stars, just in time to get one good breath before the next wave pushed him back down for 20 seconds. He resurfaced, completely out of gas. Still, he had to swim a half-mile to shore with a broken board, fighting the current.

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Building Water Confidence

NATIONAL RECREATION AND PARK ASSOCIATION

“Go Deep. Live Empowered.” This slogan, which belongs to the Underwater Torpedo League (UTL), speaks to the program’s tactics and goals to build water confidence nationwide through a newly developed, water-based sport.

Played in teams of five, the game takes place completely underwater. The object is to deposit the pool torpedo into the opposing team’s goal. Players can move the torpedo forward by swimming with it, handing it off or passing it to another team member while submerged. Once the game is initiated, the torpedo must remain underwater and the player in control of the torpedo cannot break the surface — doing so results in a penalty drop for the receiving team.

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An MMA Fighter Takes a Deep Breath and Goes to Work

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Only an MMA fighter would consider a version of underwater rugby the perfect activity for a rest day. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, the undefeated Bellator women’s flyweight world champion, heads to the pool on down days to train with Deep End Fitness in San Diego.

The Hawaiian-born fighter typically hiked the trails around her San Diego home on rest days. But the downhill portions left her knees aching. Last fall, she mentioned to her high school friend, New Orleans Saints linebacker Manti Te’o, that she was looking for a low-impact...

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Disruptors Hypnotic & Deep End Fitness join forces to lead the underwater fitness revolution

LINKEDIN

Disruptive story design company Hypnotic has been named agency of record for Deep End Fitness (DEF), a partnership set to propel DEF into leadership of the underwater fitness category.

Hypnotic will help Deep End craft its disruptive story and brand it through the website, sales presentations, advertising, and marketing content. Additionally, Hypnotic will create highly-targeted landing pages and funnels to increase DEF’s conversion rates and sales.

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MEET DON TRAN OF DEEP END FITNESS AND THE UNDERWATER TORPEDO LEAGUE

VOYAGE LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Don Tran.

Don, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

Deep End Fitness (DEF) and the Underwater Torpedo League’s (UTL) training methodology was started when my co-founder, Prime Hall and I were working as Marine Corps Water Survival Instructors at Camp Pendleton together in 2010 while training to be a Marine Raider at the Marine Special Operations Command.

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DEEPEND FITNESS UNDERWATER TRAINING

FOX SPORTS SAN DIEGO

LOS ANGELES LORI REPORTS ON A NEW AND INNOVATIVE FITNESS WORKOUT

ABC7

WELCOME TO THE DEEP END FOR SWIMMING’S ANSWER TO DEEP END FITNESS

SWIM SWAM

Those are the four words the Underwater Torpedo League and Deep End Fitness were founded on in 2017 when former military special forces members and water survival instructors Prime Hall and Don Tran created their league and workout program to help build water confidence and create a positive shift within their Southern California community. And it’s worked. Since its inception, they’ve worked with 100s of local athletes, NFL All-Pros, UFC Champions, Netflix stars and even Olympic Swimmers.

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CARMOUCHE HOPES SHE'S FOUND KEY TO BEATING SHEVCHENKO -- UNDERWATER

ESPN

SAN DIEGO -- LIZ CARMOUCHE sat in her truck for 30 minutes, frustrated. She was physically and emotionally drained.

Carmouche's MMA teammate Ilima-Lei Macfarlane had invited her to do underwater training, a program called Deep End Fitness. Carmouche, while an exceptional athlete and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, had never been much of a swimmer. She didn't even know how to float or tread water in the pool.

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FIGHTING GAVE ASHLEY YODER A PURPOSE AFTER BROTHER'S DEATH

ESPN

Ashley Yoder was a 20-year-old undergrad at Indiana University studying criminal justice. She had an internship at the Monroe County (Indiana) prosecutor's office. Before that, she was a cheerleader, swimmer and her high school's homecoming queen.

But at this particular moment in 2008, she stood barefoot inside a fenced-in structure in an exhibition hall on the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Standing across from her was a woman more than two decades her senior, all sinewy muscle and life experience. Yoder was about to get into a fight, and she realized this was not at all what she had signed up for.

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POOL WORKOUTS (THAT DON'T INVOLVE SWIMMING LAPS)

ASK MEN

Taking a workout into the water doesn’t have to involve swimming endless laps. The unique opportunities that come along with exercising in water, such as increased buoyancy and all-around compression, make it a smart way to optimize a workout — and have a little fun while you’re at it.

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F.R.E.E. Awareness

The Mammalian Dive Reflex

All humans have a physiological response that gets activated when we hold our breath, when we are submerged, or our face is cooled by water. In simple terms, the Dive...

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Conqueror of the Waves

By: John Clement At first glance, when you see a surfer riding a gigantic wave, it is easy to become overwhelmed with excitement, awe, and a desire to master the...

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