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Varzesh-e pahlavāni is a traditional system of athletics originally used to train warriors in Iran and adjacent lands. Outside Iran, zoorkhanehs can be found in Azerbaijan, and they were introduced into Iraq in the mid-19th century, where they seem to have existed until the 1980s[2]. It combines martial arts, calisthenics, strength training and music. Recognized by UNESCO as the world's longest-running form of such training, it fuses elements of pre-Islamic Persian culture (particularly Zoroastrianism, Mithrāism and Gnosticism) with the spirituality of Shia Islam and Sufism. Practiced in a domed structure called the zurkhāneh, training sessions consist mainly of ritual gymnastic movements and climax with the core of combat practice, a form of submission-grappling called koshti pahlavāni.