P. Ivanov – The Man Who Conquered Nature

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2019 by John Wood
P. Ivanov - The Man Who Conquered Nature
Physical Culture exists in many forms… Here’s some from “Mother Russia” that you probably haven’t yet heard of: P. Ivanov was a man who born and raised during the troubled years of revolution and civil war in Russia. He often wondered the reasons for such suffering… and one day an idea entered is mind: an answer to his questions.

Ivanov reasoned that suffering and hardship occured when Man tried to divorce himself from nature with artificial environments. Consequently life and survival became dependent on these conditions often breeding struggle, mistrust, indifference or loneliness among people.

Instead Man should strive to live with nature, instead of in opposition to her…

It was then that Ivanov began his experiment, to free himself of these dependencies by gradually conditioning himself to wear less clothes in freezing climates and to go long periods without food or water.

Eventually he became immune to cold weather and disease. He would most of his days shirtless and barefoot in the unforgiving Russian winter. As he spread his ideas, he was often called “Master of Nature” since he no longer concerned himself with the harsh conditions that became commonplace for most people.

The 12 keys to Ivanov’s “Method” are listed below:

1. Twice a day take a cold bath in natural waters so that you feel good. Bathe in whatever you can – lakes, rivers, a bath, take a shower or pour water over yourself. Finish a hot bath with cold water.

2. Before bathing or after it, and if it is possible at the same time, go out in the nature, stand barefooted on the earth or on snow in winter for at least 1-2 minutes. Breathe in the air several times through your mouth and thankfully wish good health for yourself and all the people of the world.

3. Don’t drink alcohol or smoke.

4. Once a week, try to go without food and water for one day.

5. At 12 Sunday, walk barefooted outside and breathe in and out several times and think positive thoughts. After that you can eat all that you like.

6. Love the nature surrounding you. Do not spit around you and do not spit anything out of yourself. Get used to it – this is your health.

7. Greet everyone everywhere, especially old people. If you wish to have good health yourself make it a point to greet everybody.

8. Help people whenever you can especially the poor, ill, hurt or needy. Do it with cheer. Respond to his need with soul and heart. You will make a friend in him which will help the cause of peace in the world.

9. Win over the stinginess, laziness, egoism, fear, falseness and pride in yourself. Trust the people and love them. Do not talk unjustly about them and do not take close to your heart the negative thoughts about them.

10. Free your mind of the thoughts about illnesses, disabilities and death. This is the greatest Victory of your life.

11. Do not separate thoughts from action. You have read – good. But the most important thing is to ACT!

12. Talk of and give the experience of this business to others, but do not brag and think too highly about yourself. Be modest.

You’ll find a bit more on P. Ivanov here.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Dio Lewis

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 by John Wood
Dio Lewis was an early physical culture pioneer who was outspoken on the role of temperance, clean living and physical training as a part of education. His system of gymnastics was eventually adopted by schools and laid the groundwork for modern physical education.

George Brosius’ Gym

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by John Wood
What a great gym! – This fantastic facility was established by George Brosius, a pioneer gymnastics coach and famous “Turner” in the Milwaukee area. You can read more on Brosius and his amazing story here and here. Gotta love the Indian clubs, climbing ropes, and medicine balls. This pictures dates from about 1900.

Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2018 by John Wood
The Father of gymnastics is widely regarded as Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, the German Prussian physical culture pioneer. As a commander in the Military, Jahn was shocked at the poor physical condition of the soldiers during the Napoleonic wars of the early 1800’s. As a result, Jahn devised a system of exercises and games intended to improve strength and stamina.

This gave rise to the Turnverein Movement, or gymnastic societies, which sought not only to build military readiness but also national pride through physical training pursuits.

It was Jahn who devised early models of the gymnastic equipment which are commonly today: the balance beam, horizontal bar, the parallel bars and the vaulting horse.

The North American Gymnastic Union

Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
The North American Gymnastic Union was the oldest American institution for the education of teachers of physical training. It was originally established in 1866 and had many different homes. It began in New York City, then transferred to Chicago but eventually re-located after the great fire. This was the quite impressive location in Milwaukee during the late 1800’s. Shown here is a rare look at the inside and outside of this fantastic facility. Milwaukee was a hotbed of physical culture activity during that time largely due to the efforts of the Milwaukee Turners, and George Brosius.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

The Farmer Burns School of Wrestling and Physical Culture

Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017 by John Wood
It had to be quite an experience to train at the Farmer Burns School of Wrestling and Physical Culture. Farmer Burns believed that every athlete should train like a wrestler – and I agree.

The bulk of the training was, I’m sure wrestling — holds, take-downs, blocks, breaks and plenty of sparring. Of course, the “Old Farmer” knew that wrestling was only “part” of what made a good wrestler — physical training was important too. He had his students throw the medicine ball around, hit the speed bag, jump rope, use light dumbbells, develop their chests with breathing exercises, use traveling rings, swing indian clubs, climb ropes, and do enough calisthenics in order to make them stronger, tougher and more conditioned than any man willing to step in the ring with them. The advertisement above is from 1920.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Indian Clubs in China

Posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 by John Wood

I knew that many other cultures regularly trained with Indian Clubs but was not aware that China was one of them, at least until now. Club swinging has always been popular with young students as it is a very good way to stay physically fit as well as build upper body strength before studies begin. A short morning training session with the clubs in a school setting will go a long way in improving the educational process.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Dr. Rouhet’s Weights

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 by John Wood

Dr. Georges Rouhet, French Physical Culture

Shown is the famous French physical culturalist Dr. Georges Rouhet and some of his fantastic training equipment. Having been at this for a while now, our conclusion is that the French Strongmen had the best equipment available to train with. Also of note are the French blockweights in the foreground.

The Swedish Bars

Posted on Sunday, August 19th, 2012 by John Wood

The Swedish Bars

You have no doubt seen these along the walls in Classic Gyms but didn’t know what they were – so now you do. The Swedish Bars (also called Stall Bars or Gymnastic Bars) were created by the Swedish physical training pioneer Pehr Henrik Ling back in the 1800’s (a derivation of the climbing ladder).

They soon became a standard piece of gymnastic training equipment in physical culture gymnasiums, YMCAs and especially in the military. The Swedish Bars are used to build flexibility as well as to perform a variety of exercises, most notably abdominal work by hanging from them and performing leg lifts, etc..

The Yale Gymnasium

Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 by John Wood

The Yale Gymnasium

In keeping with the concept of ‘Mens sana in corpore sano” (A sound mind in a healthy body), at the turn of the last century, the Ivy League schools were centers for physical education in addition to academic pursuits.  Here’s a rare look at the interior of the Yale University Gymnasium, circa 1901.

This grand facility was located at 55 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut and was under the direction of Mr. William Gilbert Anderson, a famous physical education teacher and author.