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Combat or gladiator is a competitive juggling game played by jugglers where each, "juggler tries to knock [each] opponent's balls while somehow maintaining [their] own pattern." In its most typical form, a number of players juggle three clubs each, attempting to interfere with other players' juggling, with the winner being the last to remain juggling three clubs — not necessarily those they started with.
The basic rules are quite simple:
- At a signal everyone starts juggling.
- The last person juggling a full set of clubs wins.
The combative aspect is that players intentionally juggle so as to interfere with each other, as long at there is no excessive physical contact between players.
Combat is most often played with three clubs per player. Very experienced jugglers may play combat with four or five clubs (but the games are shorter), and it is sometimes played with balls by novices.
Basic strategies include:
- Throwing one club high, and using the time to strike an opponent's airborne club
- Turning around and backing into the opponent's clubs.
- Grabbing an opponent's club out of the air
In popular culture
Major League Combat, the World Juggling Federation's team version of Combat Juggling, has been featured on:
- ABC's Good Morning America aired on April 11, 2013.
- MSN.com Featured Video, appeared May 23, 2013.
- Colbert Report aired on August 5, 2013.
- TruTV's World's Dumbest aired August 22, 2013.
- Steve Harvey Show aired May 13, 2014.
- Wall, Duncan (2013). The Ordinary Acrobat: A Journey Into the Wondrous World of the Circus, Past and Present, p.82. ISBN 9780307271723.