Iranian Traditional Sport Club
Zurkhaneh, literally meaning ” house of strength” is the traditional Iranian sports club which was originally used to train Persian warriors since the time of the Achamenid Empire. At the club a group of men perform exercises at the center of a pit in the floor. The athletes kiss the floor and ask for permission (Rokhsat) and start exercising after the Morshed gives them permission (Forsat). The Morshed is a man who sings poems of Hafez, Shahname and other famous Persian poets and plays drum while reciting the poems. All the exercises are set by the beat of the Morshed’s drum. The athletes are all men but both men and women can watch. At the beginning the Morshed recites a poem in praise of Prophet Mohammad and the exercise starts. During the exercises eating, drinking, smoking, talking, and laughter are forbidden. Visiting Zurkhaneh is a short journey through history, don’t miss it.