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.