Mr.Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. He was a very sick, frail child with asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. He was however extremely determined to become strong and started to study anatomy books. By the age of 13 he had regained so much strengh, that built himself so strong he himself was modeling for anatomy books.
He named his self-strengthening method, "The Art of Contrology".
In 1912 Joe went to England, where he worked as a self-defense instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard. During the outbreak of World War I, Joe was interned as an "enemy alien" with other German nationals. During his internment, Joe refined his ideas and trained other internees in his system of exercise. He attached springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to a spring-based exercise system, later designed to be used in conjunction with the mat work.
After his release, Joe returned to Germany. When German officials asked Joe to teach his fitness system to the army, he decided to leave Germany for good.
In 1926, Joe emigrated to the United States. During the voyage he met Clara, whom he later married. Joe and Clara opened a fitness studio in New York, sharing an address with the New York City Ballet. He focused his attention on core postural muscles that help keep the human body balanced and provide support for the spine.
Joseph and Clara Pilates soon established a devout following in the local dance and the performing-arts community of New York.
Joe continued to train clients at his studio until his death in 1967, at the age of 87