After the war, he trained the Military police in Hamburg, Germany before deciding to move to New York. Together with his wife Clara, he opened the first Pilates studio in 1926. Throughout his life, Joseph Pilates worked on his exercise regiment, which he called “Contrology.” However, pretty soon his clients simply called it “Pilates.” He invented every apparatus that is still in use all over the world. For over 50 years, he tried, changed and reinvented the equipment and his method until he had perfected them.
Back in the day, many famous dancers worked with Joe, but not only dancers–everybody was welcome in his studio. He even had a special treatment area behind a curtain, where he would work with clients that suffered from various injuries.
Later in life he was known for being a good sportsman, liking not just boxing but also skiing and running. He went for a run in Manhattan every morning, undeterred by any weather conditions.
After his death in 1967, his wife Clara continued teaching the method of Contrology, together with his protege, Romana Krysanowska. When Clara Pilates retired, Romana took over and was devoted to the method–now officially known as Pilates–until her death in 2013.
During his lifetime, Joseph Pilates tried very hard to get his method acknowledged by health professionals, but never succeeded. I think he would be really proud to see his method taught in thousands of studios all over the world. Today, it is not only acknowledged by many health professionals, but also executed by them.