Enter your e-mail address below & watch for a free weekly Training Tip on some aspect of martial arts, blade craft, conditioning, self defense, health, physical culture, history, mind training, attribute development & more

What's New - Timeline - Articles - Techniques - Catalog - Seminars - Links - Contact Us

Modern Knives DVD Specials
Just $25 Each / 5 For $100 / All 11 For $198

All 11 Issues of Modern Knives Just 198

Any 5 Issues Just 100

Modern Knives #1: The Spanish Fighting Arts
Cinco Teros Sword & Dagger Method (Pete Kautz)
Spanish Notch & Trapping Guards (James A. Keating)
Spanish Navaja Knives (James Loriega)

Modern Knives #2:
South East Asian Fighting Arts
Kerambit Hook Knife (James A. Keating)
Thrusting Triangle Drills (Pete Kautz)
Filipino Knife (Kelly Worden)

Modern Knives #3: Modern Knife Concepts
The Keating / Spyderco Chinook Folding Knife (James A. Keating)
Comtech Drawpoint Level I : Extensions & Variations (Pete Kautz)
Defeating the Surprise Knife Attack (Dale Seago)

Modern Knives #4: The Western Martial Arts
ingle-Action Revolver Twirling (James A. Keating)
Dagger of Medieval German Master Andre Lignitzer (Pete Kautz)
Basic Dagger from Master Fiore DeLiberi, 1410 (Bob Charron)

Modern Knives #5: The American Bowie Knife
The Bowie Knife & Revolver Method (James A. Keating)
The Bowie Knife & Saber Connection (Pete Kautz)
Defending The Snap Cut To The Hand (Dwight McLemore)
Forging The Fighting Bowie (Bill Bagwell)
Wearing The Bowie Knife Concealed (Mike Sastre)

Modern Knives #6: Filipino Stick Fighting
Filipino Police Stick Tactics - Releasing & Locking (James A. Keating)
Functionalizing Siniwali For Combat (Pete Kautz)
The Visadario (Counter the Counter) of Modern Arnis (Dr. Remy Presas)
The Sibat Filipino Long Staff ("Big" Ken Smith)

Modern Knives #7: The Grappling Arts
Knife Grappling From The 1992 Riddle Of Steel (James A. Keating)
3-Stage Lock Flow Sequences Out Of Hubud (Pete Kautz)
Western Catch Wrestling Conditioning & Submissions (Dr. Les Moore)
Fighting From The Ground VS. A Standing Opponent (Mark Hatamaker)

Modern Knives #8: Combative Drills & Skills
Snake Rope Solo Training & Applications (James A. Keating)
The Figure-8 Stick Fighting Method (Pete Kautz)
Combat Escrima Knife & Stick Drills (Ed Lawson)

Modern Knives #9: World Arts
Fighting Bandanna Quick Start Guide (Pete Kautz)
Comtech Spear (James A. Keating)
Sikaran Kicks, Sticks & Blades (Rob Simons)

Modern Knives #10: Fire & Steel - Gun & Knife Combat
Pistol & Walking Cane (James A. Keating)
Cinco Teros Knife Method (Pete Kautz)
Handgun Marksmanship (Laci Szabo)

Modern Knives #11: Savate, Sungkiti & The C.A.T.
Sungkiti Concepts - The Reverse Thrusting Line (James A. Keating)
Circular Attack Training (C.A.T.) Dummy Construction & Drills (Pete Kautz)
Savate Defense Dans La Rue Old School Savate Street Fighting (Craig Gemeiner)

Gladiator Exercises Of The Ancient World
Copyright Pete Kautz 2010/17

Howdy all!  Do you know that old saying "The more things change the more they stay the same"?  Well, today's Training Tip is about ancient physical conditioning but as you'll see, it meshes with the latest breakthroughs and training methods.

These exercises come from a book called "De Sanitate Tuenda" ("Hygiene" in English) written by Galen (130 - 200 A.D.).  He spent his early years as a physician caring for the gladiators in Pergamon where he gained hands-on practical experience with anatomy and the treatment of wounds.  He later moved to Rome where his fame grew with his patients including even the emperors themselves!

In his work Galen divides exercises into three categories; "strong", "rapid", and "violent" which is a combination of the first two.  Galen's list of exercises gives us a fascinating glimpse into the varied training activities of athletes in the time period.

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 the 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 backwards
b) 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.

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 alternately bringing them forward and back; stand near a wall if afraid of losing one's balance
8) Rolling on the wrestling-ground rapidly by oneself or with others
9) 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 alternately
12) Move the arms up and down rapidly with open or closed fist, increasing in speed

1) Digging rapidly
2) Casting the discus
3) Jumping repeatedly with no rest
4) Throwing heavy spears and moving fast while wearing heavy armor
4) 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 and object for a long time
4) Full and loud breathing
5) 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

Note how many of these exercises mesh with today's CrossFit kind of workouts and the whole move towards "practical" strength training over the old body-building standard we grew up with!

Sharp-eyed readers probably noticed one of the last on the list "Full and loud breathing" as being another universal strength developing exercise.  As the great American wrestler Farmer Burns said "Deep breathing alone has made many a week man strong, and made many a sick man well!"

All my very best to you,

Pete Kautz

PS - Like this Article?  Sign up for the Training Tips at the top of the page and get an original article like this sent to you by e-mail every week on Tuesday!

Check Back Next Week For A NEW Special!
What Will It Be???

What's New - Timeline - Articles - Techniques - Catalog - Seminars - Links - Contact Us