By Sonia Ahmed  |  2 August 2020  

Soon after its completion, the gladiatorial games started in its arena and lasted for another 100 years. The gladiators were mostly the slaves or the prisoners of war. They were trained by Lanistas for fights and could earn dignity and honor by fighting valiantly.

The gladiators who remained undefeated throughout their prime were retired with honor and presented with a symbolic wooden sword, rudis.

Very few free men fought in the arena as gladiators. According to Livy, a Roman historian, the first-ever gladiatorial game was witnessed in 246 BCE, when Brutus, a Roman senator, fought with three gladiators to honor his father's funeral.

Venatio Colosseum | Fighting Arts Health Lab


Each gladiator had a different technique and the sole purpose of defeating the opponent, just like in modern-day MMA. MMA and wrestling are rooted in the traditional Roman Gladiatorial Games.

Renowned MMA and Wrestling Gyms in Rome

510 BC-AD 500 marked the beginning of Greco-Roman wrestling when Rome conquered Greece. Later it entered Pankration, which was included in the ancient Olympics games. The practitioners of Greco-Roman wrestling fought unarmed, using only their physical strength and will power.

Gladiators at Trier | Fighting Arts Health Lab


MMA traces its roots to Pankration and the gladiators of the Roman Colosseum. That's why MMA practitioners visit Rome to experience a gladiatorial feel.

If you're visiting Rome, you have many options to train in the gladiators city. If boxing or kickboxing is your forte, you should visit Roma Club to trace the footsteps of the Blue Champions from Roberto Cammarelle to Clemente Russo and Mirko Valentino.

Hung Mun is a premier MMA gym in Rome which is famous for its Greco-Roman wrestling. Even if you are a complete novice, Hung Mun waits to make you a veteran. Their only requirement is your keen determination to learn.

Otzuka Club is another MMA school ideal for those who have interests in martial arts and want to build a firm connection of mind and body through consistent practice. However, they are very strict in who they accept into the club. The president of the Otzuka Club interviews you first to investigate your passion and potential for martial arts.

Lupa Sports Club – the House of MMA Warriors

In Rome, Lupa Sports Club is one of the finest MMA gyms where you can polish your mental and physical skills on tour. Besides the pure oriental martial arts, Judo and Karate, they also dabble in mixed art forms such as the Olympic fight, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and personal defense.

The club is affiliated with Lupa Boxe, a company dedicated to boosting Lupa Club's students in various regional and international tournaments. Club's founder Maestro Franco Piatti is a former national champion and master of Audace for 20 years.

Lupa Boxe Roma | Fighting Arts Health Lab

His team of skilled technicians is registered with the Italian Boxing Federation. It includes former boxers and students of the Lupa sports club. So, training with Lupa Club can help you perfect your skill under Maestro's supervision and his team of veteran boxers.

Lupa Sports club is the only Italian site of American Top Team (ATT) in the country. The training is directly coordinated with ATT headquarter in Florida. So, if you train at an ATT club, you can continue the same standard of training at Lupa while in Rome.

The club receives weekly protocols from ATT head coach, Marcus Conan Silveira, and world-class instructors at Lupa implement them in their respective disciplines. 

Become a Part of Legio's Team Rome

Besides ATT, Lupa Sports Club is the only place where you can get Alessio' Legionarius' Sakara experience. It's home to Legio's Team Rome, a larger than life vision of this Italian MMA and boxing champion.

Alessio Legionarius Sakara Experience | Fighting Arts Health Lab


It's a team united by ideals and principles. Mentors like Massimo Farina and Giordano Spalletti train MMA students. Francesco Staroccia teaches BJJ and grappling, and Andrea Paonne teaches lotta. The team trains under the mentorship of Alessio Sakara himself.

They teach you the skills of the sport and help you learn humility, tolerance, and social harmony as an integral part of the training.

You don't need to be a practicing martial artist or MMA buff to take advantage of this club. They have a separate fitness zone with specifically designed fitness courses for kids, youth, and the elderly.

The gladiators' city offers you a lot of opportunities to advance your MMA knowledge and skill under the watchful shadow of the mighty Colosseum and the rich fighting arts culture.

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About the author

Sonia Ahmed is a holistic health and fitness writer who believes that we cannot lead a happy and fulfilling life unless we treat ourselves and the environment with equal care. Being a mum and a full-time professional writer, she knows how everything else takes a back seat when duties call. As a professional writer, she considers it her duty to inspire, motivate, and educate people about the miracles of a healthy and fit lifestyle, one that's in sync with the environment.

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