Ancient Iranian power sport gets boost

Gyms with roots that predate Islam and aim to instill physical and spiritual purity are having a resurgence.

    The Iranian zurkhaneh, or "house of strength," is more than an octagonal pit where men exercise, box and wrestle, practicing varzesh-e bastani or "ancient sport".

    It is a communal ritual space where men have come to refine their physical and moral character since pre-Islamic times. Though the zurkhaneh hosted competitions with professional wrestlers, it also served to educate amateur athletes in tenets of Sufi-oriented purity.

    Now, the houses of power are undergoing a resurgence.

    Imran Khan reports from Tehran.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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