Roman Empire had no less than 100 gladiator schools. The most famous were the school in Capua where Spartacus was trained and the school in Pompeii. The last one disappeared in 79 AD, in the eruption of Vesuvius. In Rome, there were four schools - Ludus Magnus which was the largest and the most important, Ludus Dacus, Ludus Gallicus, and Ludus Matutinus, specialized in fighting with animals. All the schools had barracks for the gladiators and training ground and only the large ones had seating for spectators or even special boxes for the emperor.
Becoming a gladiator required some particular steps – swearing to give their lives to the gods of the underworld, signing a contract with a gladiator manager about the number of the shows performed, the money given for fighting and victory and also the kind of weapons to use. They also had to get through a physical examination.
The once accepted were given a fee, good food and high quality medical care. The gladiators as well as slaves and criminals had tattoos on the face, legs and hands to identify them.
The gladiators were trained by some teachers called “Doctores”. They learned a series of “numbers” and even how to die correctly. The acts they performed were more like choreography so, in real life they were not considered good soldiers.