Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ancient Gladiator Exercises



Here is an interesting article on the exercises the ancient gladiators used to get conditioned, add them to your training, who knows they just might bring out your inner warrior...

A List of Ancient Exercises from Galen's De Sanitate Tuenda Galen (130 - 200 A.D.)

Hailed from Pergamon, an ancient center of civilization, containing, among other cultural institutions, a library second in importance only to Alexandria itself. Galen's training was eclectic and although his chief work was in biology and medicine, he was also known as a philosopher and philologist.

Training in philosophy is, in Galen's view, not merely a pleasant addition to, but an essential part of the training of a doctor. His treatise entitled That the best Doctor is also a Philosopher gives to us a rather surprising ethical reason for the doctor to study philosophy.

The profit motive, says Galen, is incompatible with a serious devotion to the art. The doctor must learn to despise money. Galen frequently accuses his colleagues of avarice and it is to defend the profession against this charge that he plays down the motive of financial gain in becoming a doctor.

Galen's first professional appointment was as surgeon to the gladiators in Pergamon. In his tenure as surgeon he undoubtedly gained much experience and practical knowledge in anatomy from the combat wounds he was compelled to treat. After four years he immigrated to Rome where he attained a brilliant reputation as a practitioner and a public demonstrator of anatomy. Among his patients were the Emperors Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, Commodus and Septimius Severus.

Galen divides his exercises into three categories, which we may term "strong", "rapid and "violent", which is a combination of the preceding two. Galen's listing of the exercises gives us a fascinating glimpse into the everyday activities of the Paleastrae, Gymnasia and other more leisurely-areas of the ancient world.

The affinities they have with the various sporting events can be made out: kicking of the legs for Pankration, rope-climbing for wrestling, holding the arms up for boxing.

STRONG:
1) Digging
2) Picking up something heavy
3) Picking up something heavy and walking with it
4) Walking uphill
5) Climbing a rope using the hands and feet: commonly done to train boys in the wrestling schools
6) Hanging onto a rope or beam for as long as possible
7) Holding the arms straight out in front with fists closed
8) Holding the arms straight out to sides with fists closed
9) Holding out the arms while a partner pulls them down
10) The preceding three exercises but while holding something heavy such as jumping-weights
11) Breaking loose from a wrestling waist-lock
12) Holding onto a person trying to escape from a waist-lock
13) Picking up a man who is bending over at the hips and lifting him up and swinging him around
14) Doing the same but bending oneself at the hips also when picking him up
15) Pushing chest to chest trying to force the opponent backwards
16) Hanging from another's neck, attempting to drag him down

Exercises requiring a wrestling pit:
a) Entwine your partner with both your legs around one of his and try to apply a choke or force his head backwardsb) The same but using only one leg to entwine the opponents leg closest to yours
c) The same but using both legs to entwine both of the opponents legs.

Rapid:
1) Running
2) Shadow-boxing
3) Boxing
4) Hitting punching bags
5) Throwing and catching a small ball while running
6) Running back and forth, reducing the length each time until finished
7) Stand on the balls of the feet, put the arms up in the air and rapidly and alternatly bringing them forward and back; stand near a wall if afraid of losing ones's balance
8) Rolling on the wrestling-ground rapidly by oneself or with others9) Rapidly changing places with people next to one in a tightly packed group
10) Jumping up and kicking both legs together backwards
11) Kicking the legs forward alternatly
12) Move the arms up and down rapidly with open or closed fist, increasing in speed

VIOLENT:
1) Digging rapidly
2) Casting the discus
3) Jumping repeatedly with no rest
4) Throwing heavy spears and moving fast while wearing heavy armour
5) Any of the 'strong' exercises executed rapidly: presumably running uphill, swinging jumping weights forward and back, and lifting them up and down, chin-ups and so on.

Other Exercises:
1) Walking
2) bending up and down repeatedly at the hips

3) Lifting a weight up from the ground
4) Holding up an object for a long time
5) Full and loud breathing
6) Placing two weights on the ground approximately six feet from each other, picking up the one on the left with the right hand and then the one on the right with the left hand, then in turn placing them back where they came from on the ground and doing this many times with the feet stationary

The translation of this Galen text come's from an article at Judoinfo.com Submission Fighting and the Rules of Ancient Greek Wrestling By Christopher Miller

I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did, now get out there and start training like a gladiator.

Daniel Sambrano

"Keep It Simple and Savage"



20 comments:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Sarah

    http://www.thetreadmillguide.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. THIS IS A WONDERFULL, HOWEVER THE STATE OF THE WORLD AT LARGE REGUARDING THAI NECK WRESTLING IS SO LOW ITS BENEATH FUNNY!!

    EVEN THE FORMER BANGKOK CHAMPIONS COMMING TO OTHER COUNTRIES DONT TEACH FULL NECK WRESTLING..

    SO HERE WE ARE ALL MOUTH AND WRITING AND POOR NECK ACTIONS..

    ITS COME TO THE POINT THAT I THINK NO ONE SHOULD BE CALLED A MUAY THAI FIGHTER UNLESS THEY CAN DEMONSTRAGTE A FULL SET OF NECK WRESTLING SKILLS .. NO SKILLS NO NYLON SHORTS WITH THAI WRITING NOR RECOGNITION AS A THAI FIGHTER!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i know a muay thai camp in los angles california that is a chaos .. they play extra loud noise on the stereo always.. cant hear a word from any training partner .. the instructors cant speak english so thats no loss !!.
    the thai gym owner and thai trainer are alwasy smiling thats great no one is learning ..
    this is san fernando valley the temperature stays at 100 degrees all summer..hot and extra ..stinky ..
    suprizing there are many low lives who accept this and consider this the way it should be???.
    come on down and get your share of this traditional muay thai training ..
    lastly they never ever mop and sanitize the floor and every body does sit ups and push ups ..
    is this hard bodies or hard heads???
    join in the dirt storm and try learning muay thai ..you must immotate the trainer since he cant speak or you cant hear for the noise!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. IS??,
    TRAINING WITH A FORMER LUMPINEE OR RACHDERMAN CHAMPION BETTER THAN LEARNING FROM A GOOD COMMUNICATOR ..
    DOES SPEAKING FLUENT ENGLISH HELP DESCRIBE THE TECNHNIQUES ..

    DOES CHAMPIONNESS RUB OFF ON TO THE STUDENTS???

    HOW COME THE USA DONT FIGHT LIKE THAI LAND WE HAVE THAILAND NATIONAL TRAINERS????

    JUST WHO WERE THE CONER MEN AND TRAINERS OF THE CHAMPIONS WHO IMIGRATED AND TEACH MUAY THAI TO US>>

    WE NEED TO LEARN WHAT THE MAKERS OF THE FORMER CHAMPIONS LEARNED AND TOUGHT BY WHOM!!!

    LETS GET DEEP .. THE MAKERS /TRAINERS OF THESE FORMER CHAMPIONS THEN NEW FOUND TEACHERS IS WHAT WE NEED!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. take what is usfull

    WESTERN BOXING FOOT WORK HAS MUCH TO OFFER AUTHENTIC MUAY THAI.

    THE FOOT WORK OF W-B IS VERY GOOD FOR THAI FIGHTING ..THE DRILLS FOR DEVEOLOPING DISTANCE -DEPTH OF STEP ARE VDRY MUCH THE SAME..

    FOUR DIRECTIONAL STEPPING FOIR W-B IS EXCELLENT FOR MUAY THAI..

    PIVIOT STEPPING IS GREAT FOR MUAY THAI..

    ALMOST EVERY THING FROM W-B IS GOOD ,BUT WEAVING !!IS NOT RECOMMEDED BECAUSE THERE ARE GOOD CHANCES THAT A FAST OPPONENT WILL HIT YOU IN /ON THE HEAD WITH SOME MOVE..SUCH LIKE A KICK OR KNEE PERGHAPS A FORARM OR ELBOW TO THE TOP OR SIDE OF THE HEAD!!

    GRECO ROMAN WRESTLING HAS MUCH TO OFFER AN ASPIERING MUAY THAI STUDENT.. 80% OF THE STAND UP MOVES FROM G-R ARE VERY GOOD TO EMPLOY DURING A MUAY THAI MATCH-FIGHT...

    THERE ARE SEPERATE SPECIALIST WHO TEACH/COACH BOTH OF THE DISIPLINES ,BOXING AND GRECO ROMAN..

    THE SPECIALIST PERHAPS COULD BE SUPERIOR IN TEACHING THAN EXISTING MUAY THAI TRAINER/COACHES..

    DONT BE CONED OR SWINDELED BY ROTTEN TRAINERS ..

    TRY BOXING USA THE OLYMPIC SPONCERED PROGRAM FOR FINDING A FREE OR VERY BUDGET BOXING COACH!!

    GRECO RONAM IS DIFICULT TO FIND MOST CLUBS SPEND A LOT OF TIME DIRT ROLLING ,, THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR THAI NECK FIGHTING ..

    START YOUNG, PAY ATTENTTION AND LEARN AND PERHAPS YOUR WILL BECOME A TECHNICIAN = FEEMUR ..

    watch old school champion FEEMUR LEVEL muay thai fights on utube.

    look up GKFROMMTA thats a good site for many many classic muay thai fighths..

    watch the best an then you will know which type of moves are done at the championship level..

    most fighters are at beginer level whene skills are compaired to thailand!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. HELLO THERE MUAY THAI AFICIANADOS /STUDNETS AND FANS..

    THE OFFICAL MUAY THAI COUNCEL IN BANGKOK WANTS TO MAKE A PHD CERTIFICATE AVALIABLE TO ALL FOR JUST SEVEN DAYS OF SCHOOLING .. THINK OF THAT IN SUCH LITTLE TIME YOU WILL BE COME A SAYER AND KNOWER OF THE DEEPEST AND MOST SECRECT PARTS OF ALL OF OFFICAL MUAY THAI.....
    YES WE ALL HAVE PROBABLY HAVE HAD TEACHERS AND INSTRUCTORS WHO TRULY KNOW VERY LITTLE.. EVEN BIG LUMPINNEE AND RACHDERMAN STADIUM CHAPMIONS WHO ARE NOW COACHES ARE NO GOOD AT TEACHING AND EXPLAINING WHAT AND HOW TO LEARN AND EXECUTE THE MOVE THAT MADE THEM THE BEST!!!

    FURTHERMORE .. THERE IS A NEED FOR A STANDARDIZED BEGINERS AND INTERMEDIATE SYLIBUSS . A WRITTEN SPELLED OUT PROGRAM FOR WHAT ENTRY LEVEL STUDENTS SHOULD LEARN AND BE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE AND UTILZE DURING FIGHTS ..

    THE TIME OF LUCKY PUNCHES AND JUST TUFF BOYS GOING AT IT IS OVER ...

    IF THERE NEEDS TO BE RANKS MADE AND RULES OF ENGAGEMENT /MOVES ,TECHNIQUES UTLIZED DURING FIGHT THEN SO BE IT!!!!

    HACKER FIGHTERS MUST BE CALLED HACKERS!!!
    STYLE MUST BE IDENTIFIED AND PRAIZED ..

    THIS IS VERY REAL SITUATION MINIMAL KNOWLEDGE IS THE NORM ..

    FIGHT SKILLS ARE IN NEED NOT RAM MUAY DANCES OR LEARNING THE FORMS OF MUAY THAI.. SKIP THE MUAY CHIA AND MUAY BORAN THEY DONT WORK WILL IN THE RING .....

    THE U.S.A. HAS BEEN AT MUAY THAI FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND ALL WE HAVE TO SHOW IS A BUNCH OF POSSURS AND FAKES ..

    ReplyDelete
  7. How exactly can you earn a PhD in 7 days? That sounds more like cashing in on muay thai's popularity than an effort to preserve national heritage. I've been training for 15 years, teaching for 12 years, but that means nothing if I can take a week off from work and go to Bangkok to purchase a crach course in Thai history and basic ring style muay thai techniques. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I say greco roman stand up hand fighting and hooks to neck control are absloutly inseperable from muay thai.. learning pummeling all range drills for entry into neck contol is greco roman wrestling and muay thai neck fighting at the same time.

    any school -camp teaching thai fighting with out SPENDING MUCH time and efforts given to neck and knee fighting is not authentic muay thai!

    neck fighting is so important in muay thai i say make students learn neck work first for 9 months to a year before any thing else is done..

    muay thai has a problem and that is too many students know little about neck fighting .

    MAKE NECK WRESTLING THE FIRST AND FORMOST and only THING TO BE LEARNED ..

    NO NYLON SHORTS WITH THAI WRITING FOR ANY ONE WHO CANT NECK WRESTLE..

    ALLOWING EVERY ONE TO WEAR MUAY THAI SHORTS I DENIGRATING TO THE SPORT!!


    it hurts me to say the land of false smiles is the cause of this situation.

    this is the same story with the s1 ,k1 competitions.

    THE DISINAGRATION OF MUAY THAI IS OCCURING IN FONT OUR FACES..

    MMA DIRT ROLLERS AND THE COMMETATORS ARE RUINING MUAY THAI EVERY WORD THEY SAY..
    KEEP THE HYBREDIZATION OF MUAY THAI OUT OF THE AUTHENTIC GYMS THIS IS A CONTAMINATE DETRACTING FROM WHAT IS PURE..

    RING SPORT MUAY THAI HAS NO PLACE FOR THE FORMS AND ELABORATE RAM MUAY ..
    HOW MANY OF US HAVE KNOWN TEACHERS WITH MULTI MARTIAL ARTS SKILL 5 BLACK BLETS OR SOME OUT RAGIOUS NUMBER..I QUESTION THERE DEEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE COMPARED TO A SUPER SPECIALIST..

    any one considering starting training should be able to run 3 miles a day every day of the week ..
    find a real boxing coach and learn western boxing for a year have a few mtches..

    learn greco pummeling with a club -trainer ..

    if you cant invest the time and research to locate these places you will ever succeed in muay thai..
    martial arts dont count any for muay thai..

    ITS ALL THE STRONG TRUTH ..EVERY BODY HATES ME BUT I TALK STRAIGHT.

    ReplyDelete
  9. you have watched many well made muay thai instructional videos on utube and have come to relized that your coach/trainer dont know poo!

    aint that a shame putting your trust into a know nothing former champion.

    big time champion strong boy hacker with very low skills.

    very one must look at there situation and decide if continuing with a bone head trainer is worth the effort.

    look at all the slick moves of advanced muay thai and ask your self why you dont even know they existed till you checked them out on utbe.

    its all your coachers fault ..
    bad coach equals poor style fighters..

    look up samart payakaroon and see his style..
    look at dany bill and check his style ..

    every thing is on utue to see.
    look up gfrommta utube channle and see classic championship fights from bangkok ..

    watch and study the super pros and then you will know feemu style .

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great fighters aren't always the best teachers.

    ReplyDelete
  11. i think that if u follow these istructions u would feel very good and healthy not just that also very strong many people are lazy and just couse u do it a couple of days or weeks even months it doesnt mean u well get to ur full potential

    ReplyDelete
  12. bad element , slow to learn , bottom of the barrel , wont listen , untrainable !

    muay thai should be tought to young children and for free !

    there is a need for a grass roots movement to help grow muay thai sophistication , this comes about by teaching the youths authentic ring sport thai fighting ..

    the way it is , is not helping muay thai .

    its a wonder anyone learn any thing at all and no wonder no one ever learns the slick moves of the sport.. there are smooth moves that none thais dont ever learn ..

    i say the older the student the less chance they have to fully develope into a technically compedent fighter..there is not sufficient time ..to this i say older sutdents must pay tripple to therefore support the youths in thai fighing .

    we need more people training in home gyms and garages so the coach could be selective on who he gives his time to..

    ReplyDelete
  13. every one and any one who owns a set of nylon short with muay thai written on them is NOW A MASTER yes AJAN is there to help you pay and find out they probably dont know much after all!

    where are the ~~FEEMUR ~~ technicians , the knowers and practioners who demonstrate high style.

    SA SA TRA AJAN is a grand master .

    SIT YOD XYZ is high up there as well .

    just where is muay thai going it is 2012 now .
    the kings birthday fights are no comparison to what they were 15 years ago ..

    they have mma schools opening up in thailand .
    golden glory has a gym in thailand .

    watch the old fighters and compare them to the new ones ...you be the judge !

    ReplyDelete
  14. call me an irritant , however everything say is always unequivacally correct .

    presently there is such an abundance of very educational utube lessons on our beloved sport of muay thai .

    there is a terrible question ?

    why cant the practitioners of muay thai learn from all the available resources this means video lessons via UTUBE.
    this goes triple for alleged ~smoke house~ fighters and champions and ultimaly all them trainers..

    have you ever heard the bending of the word traditional ??

    its used to hide behind or to avoid depending on what you have as you knowledge base.

    is veryone smiling yet

    ReplyDelete
  15. how about that wideman vs silva knee cap stye block.

    now lets all pay absolutly no attention to the shin conditions faction out there.

    look up on utube how a knee cap block is done , eazy ..the end

    ReplyDelete
  16. let me say there is a muay thai university in los angeles that is lacking in many areas !

    with the great training video`s made by the name sake owner and the sad reality that some nobody hack is teaching there !

    yep the Arranca aka curvo is missing in action as the instructor..

    i cant mention any exact name but everything will be known sooner or later, can the muay thai public continue to take this abuse.



    ReplyDelete
  17. wow this good but ,I like your post and good pics may be any peoples not like because defrent mind all poeple , muay thai

    ReplyDelete
  18. money to burn , yep.
    disposable , extra money $$.

    when is some one truly ready to visit Thailand for training .

    you could get every training video on muay thai ever made and out fit a grage gym for the price of a month in Thailand !
    put an ad in creaigslist for training partners .
    learn boxing -plenty of amature trainers and many free !!
    don't forget your local high school and try to get some Greco roman wrestling partners for clinch works.

    this should all be preliminary , accomplished and done for several years before thinking of going to Thailand.

    you have a thai national trainer at your home country?
    how good is he , visiting Thailand will it be much better than at home ??

    if you cant learn from a vid what makes you beleave-think you are going to do better in a none English speaking environment .
    air far and accomidations are expensive remember that .
    compare the prices then think video learning or even down loading lessons and knowing what you will need to learn before doing the moves..

    this is no joke its far to real Thailand to train early on in ones development , is that such a good idea ?

    ReplyDelete
  19. muay thai stupidity rankels my shorts.

    them loud fools calling any grip plaam.

    then calling throws take downs.

    lets high five and knuckle bump hand shake for ever

    ReplyDelete
  20. we got the glory seekers fighting there brand of kickboxing.

    these un-glorious kick boxer got no clinch skills to show at all.

    there is an over statement in the glory . as in dishonor

    ReplyDelete