The principal athletic apparatus of Zurkhaneh (Persian traditional sports club)
Varzesh Bastani, meaning ‘ancient sport’ is a traditional Iranian system of athletics. Originally used to train warriors, it combines martial arts, calisthenics, strength training, spirituality, ethics, devotion, literature, art, and music. It fuses elements of pre-Islamic Persian culture (Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and Gnosticism) with the spirituality and code of ethics of Shia Islam and Sufism. Varzesh-e Bastani is practiced in a dome structure called the ‘Zurkhaneh’ which, when translated into English, means house of strength.