Gladiator Combat Juggling Games (All the Different Versions)!

Gladiator Combat Juggling Games (All the Different Versions)!




Gladiator (also known as Combat Juggling) is a favourite game of many attenders of Juggling Clubs and Conventions. It is great fun to watch, and already better fun to be in the midst of it all.

The aim is to be the last person juggling (which method you have won a round). This game is most commonly played with each person juggling 3 clubs, but can be alternation for any props depending on the skills of the people playing. The more people, the better! If you have a large number of people, you can play in teams, where the last person remaining wins a point for their team.

The game starts using the “Call of the Gladiator”. This is when everyone playing starts hitting their props together and once it becomes a synchronised sound, everyone is ready and you can start juggling. The idea is to use in any case method necessary to keep juggling whilst trying to stop your opponents from juggling (without harm coming to yourself or your opponents). Last person juggling is the winner, and then you start all over again! This game can go on for hours as people just come and go as they please. Most rounds last only a few minutes so you never have too long to wait until you can have a game! It is also a really great way to enhance your juggling skills.

When you are out (eg you have dropped something), you are expected to pick up your items (if possible without ruining the game) and leave the area so that the game can continue without you.

Here are some other versions of Gladiator for you to try out:

Devil Stick Propellor Gladiators: To play gladiators with Devil Sticks, some games you are only allowed to do propellors (this is where the devil stick regularly revolves around just one stick) or you can play with both handsticks. You may be asked to alter which direction the propellor goes in, or change hands, so you have to practice in all 4 skills!

Buddy Gladiators: Gladiators with a shared cascade. Normal procedure is to put your spare arm round the shoulder or waist of your partner.

Any prop Gladiators: As easy as it sounds. This game suits people of mixed abilities, as they can either juggle clubs, spin a plate, devil stick or in any case and nevertheless take part in the game. Choose your weapon!

Balloon Modelling Gladiators: A balloon animal is made, which has to be capable of holding a toothpick somewhere on it. If any part of your balloon animal is popped, then you are out. Last balloon animal standing was the winner! This can (seem to) go on for hours (see photo below). The elbow of the hand holding the balloon animal, has to keep attached to the side of your body.

Gandini Gladiators: A version of gladiators where people position their clubs so they form a hat which is worn on their head. You have to try and knock everyone else’s hats off!

Contact Juggling Gladiators: Contestants keep up a 4 ball pyramid, and try to knock at the minimum one ball from other people’s pyramids, until there is only one person left. The elbow of the hand holding the pyramid has to keep attached to the side of your body, and you must only nudge someone elses contact balls with your own pyramid (no finger or hand nudging!)

Team Gladiators: Teams of equal number are organised. Everyone goes into battle and when there is just one person left on the battlefield, that team get a point. You may add a rule that if there are 2 or more people left from one team at the end, that the team get more points. Lots of tactics used in this game and it is great fun to watch!

Unicycle Gladiators: Winner is the person who stays on the unicycle the longest while trying to knock others off theirs! I have seen people on giraffe (6ft) unicycles win against their much lower opponents!

Handicap Gladiators: You can insist that people hop all the time that they are playing this game, or that they have to juggle a certain pattern regularly (such as mills mess)! You can handicap people by asking them to place a club between their legs (so now they have to waddle everywhere) and you can also get people to keep up a club under each arm if they are very skilled to level the playing field!

Unicorn Gladiators: You need a Kendama (Ball and Spike prop) for this one. The Kendama is worn so that the spike is pointing out from the forehead. This involved competitors tilting their heads back slightly which makes it harder for them to see their opponents! This game was introduced during the British Juggling Convention (BJC) 2011 in Huddersfield.

Top Tip:

People tend to notice if you hang around the edges and avoid conflict, so already if you get away with this for a few rounds, you will soon be targeted! Sometimes it’s best to get in amongst the fighting and look busy, but avoid going near the top players in the hope that they knock each other out of the game!




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