This apparently unusual blend is not unique, even within Iran.  It continues today in the varzesh bastani (“traditional exercise”), the Iranian martial art, sometimes also referred to as zurkhaneh (“house of power”) for the building in which it is traditionally done.  In the zurkhaneh,  men dressed in leather short pants do calisthenics and amazing feats of strength, to the rhythmic accompaniment of chanting from the Shahname of Ferdowsi.  Zurkhaneh is also performed in public.  There is at least one varzesh bastani organization in Southern California.