Hosted by Mykel Hawke, survival expert and former Green Beret, each episode of One Man Army pit four operators against various military-style challenges to test intelligence, decision-making, endurance, and physical strength.
Devised with the input of active Navy SEALs, this is hands down the most intense challenge I've ever designed. Contestants, armed with only a handsaw, had a small hole at the top of the coffin to take a breath, hold it, then swim to a grate with four inch-thick aluminum bars they needed to saw through to escape. Safety was our number one priority, and a number of failsafes were implemented to evacuate the participant in a matter of seconds.
Four contestants are given 15 seconds to view a maze having one entrance and one exit. They then must crawl through the maze on their back as various distractions occur around them, including explosions, fireballs, water, brush, smoke, sandbags and thorns.
Two contestants are locked in opposing cells with various items such as clothing, hangars, a bed, a chair, etc. The objective is to "MacGuyver" a device that allow them to reach nine feet out of their cell and snag the key to their cell. First one to unlock their cell and strike the bell wins the game.
I had custom ice blocks with items frozen inside made for this speed challenge. Contestants had to obtain 5 keys, but had to decide if it was worth wasting the time breaking the bigger blocks to obtain tools that would make it easier to smash the key blocks.
Custom wall plug with freezer door was built to match the walls of the 40' freezer truck. Contestants needed to break ice blocks to get the 5 keys required to unlock each lock and finally break free of the freezing temperatures inside.
Host Mykel Hawke coaching a contestant through the harrowing obstacles of the maze from his observation post.
Little did we know at the time that this would be the only man out of 8 to successfully escape from the dreaded "Water Coffin."
Originally sketched out on graph paper--with each block representing a foot--made this an easy transition to actual construction. From this vantage point, can you find the exit?