Pilates, Joseph: Matwork, Exercises, and Equipment:
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What is Pilates®?
It is a registered trademark of Pilates, Inc. It is also the last name of Joseph Pilates, developer of a very popular, extremely beneficial, and very focused discipline of physical fitness exercises. The original set of 34 exercises has been expanded and sometimes modified by trainers and certification organizations around the world. However, the main focus on strengthening and stretching the body remains an essential ingredient of all training.

What is Contrology®?
It is a registered trademark of D.A.M. Enterprises, Inc. It is also the original term coined by Joseph Pilates to define his overall program of physical fitness exercises. He was greatly influenced by the early Greeks and re-emphasized their coordination and balance of body and mind. Contrology, defined in Pilates' own words (in his 1934 book entitled Your Health):
It is the conscious control of all muscular movements of the body. It is the correct utilization and application of the leverage principles afforded by the bones comprising the skeletal framework of the body, a complete knowledge of the mechanism of the body, and a full understanding of the principles of equilibrium and gravity as applied to the movements of the body in motion, at rest and in sleep.

How About a Little Background on Joseph Pilates?
Sure. Here are what seem to be the facts.
Born in Germany in 1880, he had a difficult youth, suffering from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. To combat the effects of these ailments, he studied and learned body building, diving, skiing, and gymnastics. In 1912, Joe went to England where he earned a living initially as a boxer, circus performer, and a self defense trainer of English detectives. When World War I broke out, Joe was interned with other Germans designated as 'enemy aliens' at a camp in Lancaster. He trained other internees in his physical fitness exercises, and is widely credited with the noted fact that none of his trainees died during the influenza epidemic that killed thousands in England that year.

Returning to Germany after the war, where he continued his fitness training programs, the German government requested that he apply his training in and for the German Army. At this point, in 1926, he decided to emigrate to the United States. He met his future wife Clara on the boat trip to America and, together, they established a studio in New York City to teach and share his knowledge and fitness programs. He attracted the attention of several major dancers and dance studios, including such well-known names as Martha Graham and George Ballanchine, who sent many of their own students to Pilates. He lived to the age of 87, a fitting tribute to the effectiveness of his training methods and fitness exercises. The rest continues to be history.

What is Matwork?
Joseph Pilates first defined his series of 34 specific exercises to be performed individually, on a mat, without aid or assistance from any machinery or equipment. In the Introduction to his ground-breaking 1945 book of exercises, entitled "Return to Life Through Contrology", Pilates says:
Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.

The very idea of coordinating or balancing body and mind was itself little-appreciated in the early 20th Century by most physical fitness gurus. At the end of the 20th Century, the concept of introducing 'spirit' into the exercise equation still streches the limits of appreciation of many fitness trainers and students.

Lawsuit Status: Reported by the Ultimate Body Control Studio
Whew! The Pilates method, currently one of the hottest fitness trends in America, was the subject of a landmark decision today in Manhattan's federal court. In a case pitting Sean Gallagher, owner of the Manhattan-based Pilates Studio, against Balanced Body, Inc., a Sacramento-based company and the world's largest manufacturer of Pilates equipment, United States District Court Judge Miriam Cedarbaum ruled that Pilates, like yoga and karate, is a type of exercise, not a trademark.  The decision follows an 11-day trial last June at which the Court's decision was reserved pending submission of briefs by the parties.

The Court's 93-page opinion, which invalidated Gallagher's trademarks for Pilates exercise services and Pilates equipment, contained meticulous factual findings establishing that Pilates is a generic term. Since "consumers identify the word 'Pilates' as a particular method of exercise," the Court found, "plaintiff cannot monopolize [it]." In a stinging rebuke to Gallagher's claim that he had relied in good faith on representations made to him by a prior owner, the Court ruled that Gallagher's testimony was "evasive and lacked credibility." Gallagher was also found to have "deliberately attempted to mislead" the United States Patent and Trademark Office by falsely claiming in sworn documents that he had manufactured Pilates equipment.

The Court further rejected Gallagher's argument that only his teachers were qualified to teach the Pilates method, citing testimony by one of Gallagher's own witnesses that there were many other qualified Pilates instructors around the United States.  Some of those teachers, including trial witnesses Kathy Grant and Ron Fletcher, had studied decades ago with Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates method.  The Court noted that during his lifetime Joseph Pilates had "promoted his method of exercise and attempted to increase its use by the public" and "never did anything to prevent others from using [the] name to describe what they taught."

The decision affects several thousand Pilates teachers and studios and about a dozen manufacturers across 50 states which had been prevented by Gallagher from using ''Pilates'' in any form, including in their advertising and on their telephone answering machines. Gallagher finally met his match with Ken Endelman, the tenacious president of Balanced Body, who refused to buckle under during the five-year long litigation.  Endelman claimed victory not only for his company and the thousands of Pilates practitioners and studios, but for the public as well. "The public benefits from this decision," Endelman said, ""by being able to locate studios which until now have been prevented from saying that they teach Pilates. Wešll have more competition in the marketplace, which means better services."

To read the whole ruling:
Check this page:
select- New York Southern District Court
next page select- Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, type Pilates in the Description search field and the dates 10/15/00 to 10/20/00
the next page will give you a summary and a link to the whole ruling!

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