A lot of us have a secret or not-so-secret desire to be Batman, James Bond, or Lara Croft. And while I’m sure there are a few rich and brilliant martial arts experts who actually can play detective in the night or join MI5, the rest of us will have to settle for recreating the experience of the seriously badass though ultimately screwed gladiators at this one-of-a-kind training school in Rome. Because nothing says awesome like learning a sport that saw ancient Romans battling to the death.
At the Scuola Gladiatori Roma, students are tested on speed, strength, agility, and coordination before being trained in assault and weapons, and ultimately pitted against their instructor in battle. Gladiator-style battle. Why spend a vacation indulging in delicious food, lounging against the Spanish steps in the Mediterranean sunshine or exploring the ruins of the Forum when you can experience a sport that determined your honor by how well you faced your death?
If you decide to learn to fight like a modern-day Spartacus, be warned: It is not for the faint of heart. The training begins with a course of ropes, benches, and swinging sandbags. This is followed by a device called the Carousel, which has rotating blades at ankle and shoulder height. Try to avoid those. If you haven’t given up yet, you’re trained to use a sword (wooden) and shield, then equipped with authentic Roman armor. Then you can face the teacher, who actually knows what they’re doing, and you’ll likely leave shortly after, sore but proud.
If this sounds like your idea of a good time, feel free to sign up here.
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