If you happen to be in Rome, you can learn how to be a gladiator at the Scuola Gladiatori Roma, run by the Gruppo Storico Romano. If you are looking to find out more than just history and try your hand at gladiator combat with swords, shields, tridents and nets, this is the place to go.
The Scuola Gladiatori is a society similar to the battle re-enactment groups you find in the UK. The gladiator school puts on historical displays to portray the life of a gladiator.
Gladiator training has been used for films such as Russell Crowe in Gladiator, or for the TV series Spartacus.
You then get to progress onto steel swords. The additional weight of a sword being swung at you means that you have to not only block the attack but also to move out of the way. It is more than just swinging a sword about. There is definitely an art to it. You have to get your feet in the right place or you can easily lose your balance. Not good when there is a screaming gladiator charging you.
Moving on to fighting with the net and trident is even more of a challenge. Armed with a sword and shield, you have to use the shield to block the attacks from the net and trident. It is quite easy for your opponent to hook the net over the helmet on your head and pull you over. But while you block with your shield, don’t forget to parry the oncoming trident with your sword.