Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in German 1883. As a child, he suffered from asthma and other ailments. He turned to athletics to battle and overcome them and studied anatomy and various exercise to expand his knowledge. He became skier, diver, gymnast, and boxer.
In 1912 he went to England where he was a self-defence instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard. After World War I broke out he was interned as an "enemy alien" with other German citizens. During these years he started to develop his method and train other internees. Joe attached springs to hospital beds to enable bedridden patients exercising against resistance. This later lead to designing other equipment.
After his release, he returned to Germany. His exercise system become known to dance community. After he was asked by German officials to teach his method to the army, Joe decided to emigrate to United States.
In 1926 during his journey, he met his future wife Clara Zeuner. They opened their fitness studio in New York City.
By 1960s his system gained popularity among New York City Ballet dancers.
He taught until his death in 1967, at the age of 87.
The Pilates Method stood the test of time!