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Pahlevani and zoorkhaneh rituals
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pahlevani and zoorkhaneh rituals is the name inscribed by UNESCOfor varzesh-e pahlavani (Persian: آیین پهلوانی و زورخانه‌ای‎‎, "heroic sport") or varzesh-e bastany (ورزش باستانی; varzeš-e bāstānī, "ancient sport"), a traditional Iranian system of athletics originally used to train warriors. It combines martial arts, calisthenics, strength training and music. Recognized by UNESCO as among the world's longest-running forms of such training, it fuses elements of pre-Islamic Persian culture(particularly Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Gnosticism) with the spirituality of Shia Islam and Sufism. Practiced in a domed structure called the zurkhaneh, training sessions consist mainly of ritual gymnastic movements and climax with the core of combat practice, a form of submission-grappling called koshti pahlevani.
History
Traditional Iranian wrestling (koshti) dates back to ancient Persia and Parthia and was said to have been practiced by Rustam, mythological hero of the Shahnameh epic. While folk styles were practiced for sport by every ethnic group in various provinces, grappling for combat was considered the particular specialty of the zourkhaneh. The original purpose of these institutions was to train men as warriors and instill them with a sense of national pride in anticipation for the coming battles. The Mithraic design and rituals of these academies bear testament to its Parthian origin (132 BC - 226 AD). The zourkhaneh system of training is what is now known as varzesh-e bastani, and its particular form of wrestling was called koshti pahlevani, after the Parthian word pahlevan meaning hero.

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Additional Photos by saber monajati (sabermonajati) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1423 W: 63 N: 886] (11533)
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