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About Us


The Collegium Gladiatorium Cultural Society
and Traditional Fighting Club

 Our organization, the Collegium Gladiatorium Cultural Society and Traditional Fighting Club has been established to direct attention to the culture and history of the once-prospering ancient Roman Empire by performing gladiatorial fights as spectacular shows. Our ways proved to be highly effective: the number of our members nowadays exceeds 50 as contrasted to the original six.01_k.jpg 
    Our main objective is to reconstruct the ancient gladiatorial games alongside with the everyday lives of gladiators and present it to the public in its most authentic form. Hence the authenticity of the weapons armour and props as well as that of the duels and battles at the performances is considered to be of utmost importance. 
    We are convinced that gladiatorial tactics, similarly to Asian combat sports, belongs to the field of martial arts. For this reason, in the spring of 1994 we decided on founding the Ludus Magnus Fighters` College, based exclusively on thorough research of the ancient model, to instruct and train gladiators for the present time. The members of our society can learn how to prepare different weapons and armour and how to fight with them on regular trainings.
    We also hold international summer training camps in every August from 1995 on. Those who attend the camps can familiarize with the culture, art and philosophy of the ancient Roman times as well as develop their mastery of the weapons.
    Our membership includes people from the widest ranges of society. Many of them are university students but there are doctors, engineers, firemen, cooks, computer programmers and restorers as well.
   The society works without sponsorship or external backers. The necessary financial resources are gained through our performances and are almost immediately ploughed back to provide our members decent equipment.

The Ludus Magnus Fighters` College

    In 1994, our society laid the foundations of the Ludus Magnus Fighters` College to teach people the martial art of the ancient Roman times, that is, gladiatorial combat. Our first task was to retrace the structure of an ancient gladiator training school (ludus) and the work that had presumably been done there during trainings and preparatory sessions.03_k.jpg 
   We carried out a painstakingly thorough research on the era to get an insight into the everyday lives of gladiators, to find out what their weapons and armour could have looked like, and, the most remarkable of all, to reinvent the antique training methods and the combat techniques of the various types of gladiators carrying different weapons, having to face a serious shortage of authentic resources. Peculiar moves could be borrowed from contemporary reliefs and mosaics but we also had to take over elements from oriental combat sports and medieval swordsmanship, even from present day fencing. The pilot period has worn out by now, which enables us to employ tried and tested training methods. It may be fitting to say that gladiatorial combat has been developed throughout the recent years to meet the standards of any other martial arts.
    For the time being, we hold trainings two times a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Instruction at the College is delivered by the most experienced gladiators, the so-called magisters (instructor). They train the six types of gladiators most favoured by the visitors of amphitheatres, of which the new recruit may choose according to interest:

· veles – gladiator armed with spear

· retiarius – gladiator armed with net and trident

· secutor – gladiator using body-shield and sword, fighting solely retiarius

· hoplomachus – gladiator using body-shield and sword

· thraex – using buckler and sword

· dimacheris – fighting with double swords

    In the trainings four major areas are developed: stamina (robur), technique (ars), combat (certamen) and theory (ratio). We use three types of lances: spear (hasta), Thracian spear (hasta thraecica) and trident (tridens); four types of swords: short sword (gladius), Thracian sabre (sica), scimitar (ancinares), and Illyrian sabre (khopis); and three types of shields: fist shield (scutum pugni), Thracian shield or buckler (parma) and body-shield (scutum); alongside with dagger (pugio) and net (rete).

    According to the level of mastery over their weapons, gladiators can enter 9 different grades, demanding exams partaken before moving one grade upwards:

 I.New recruit (calvus)

 II.Rookie (tiro)

 III.Armed (armatus)

 IV.Tried minor (expectatus inferior)

 V.Tried major (expectatus superior)

 VI.Terminator minor (mortifer inferior)

 VII.Terminator major (mortifer superior)  

 VII.Master (artifex)

    In the first three of the grades new recruits acquire basic techniques of swordsmanship and later  they specialize in a weapon on taking the armatus exam. Tried gladiators master the use of their chosen weapons, then, in and above the terminator grades they learn to fight with the rest of them.
   04_k.jpgOur society organizes summer training camps where nine days of intensive training awaits the warriors, including exercises impossible to carry out indoors (e.g.: archery, spear-throwing, great battles between groups and night-time training). Besides training the body, we also set our brains in motion by attending lectures about history, culture and art of warfare in the Ancient Times.
    We recruit new members on an annual basis, usually twice, but we accept applications of people interested in this antique martial art at all times of the year.

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