History of Indian Clubs

History of Indian Clubs – 1800’s till today 한국어 번역

Sim D Kehoe History of Indian Clubs manufactured late 1860's

Sim D Kehoe Indian Clubs manufactured late 1860’s



The ancient art of swinging clubs was used as a staple of fitness training long before it reached Europe in the early 1800’s.  Providing a fascinating history of Indian Clubs.

Indian and Persian physical culture

Club swinging was part of Indian and Persian physical culture, and was practiced by wrestlers, soldiers, police and others as part of their daily fitness routine. The ancient clubs were simple in shape and were swung in basic movements helping practitioners gain flexibility, coordination and upper body strength.

Sim D. Kehoe Indian Clubs

The first photograph shows a pair of original Sim D. Kehoe Indian Clubs, note the simplicity of the shape.

British Military

The British brought Indian Clubs to Europe, where the Germans and Czechs adopted club swinging into their physical training systems. The excellence of club swinging was noted by English troops stationed in India, club exercise was deemed to be so efficient that it was adopted by the British Army for use as part of their daily exercise drills.  Soldiers returning from India brought the simple, yet effective equipment back with them to England where clubs were quickly adopted by civilians for fitness training, and was commonly used by men, women and children.

Sim D. Kehoe's business card

Sim D. Kehoe’s business card, late 1800’s

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean

Indian Clubs were first introduced in America by German immigrants, who brought the clubs to the United States in the mid 1800’s.

An American gentleman named Sim D. Kehoe, a physical fitness enthusiast visited England in the early 1860’s. Kehoe witnessed the use of Indian Clubs by the English Military, on returning to America, he seized the opportunity, and began to manufacture and sell the clubs to the general public.  Club Swinging became a very popular fitness and exercise system based on the use of wooden clubs of various weights and sizes.

Indian Club Exercise was widely accepted by organisations like the YMCA, and heavily promoted by Christian Organisations.

Revived interest in the history of Indian Clubs

The available history of Indian Clubs recorded in old books and photographs, plus a limited availability of antique clubs, has revived modern day interest in club swinging and the benefits of circular exercise.

Purchasing and Manufacture of Indian Clubs

Due to the renewed popularity, Indian Clubs are now actively made, please follow the links below:-

Indian Clubs and Worldwide Suppliers

 Click here to read Korean translation

 My thanks to Jeong Heon Oh for translating.

For more information

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