105 Years on Guard of the Homeland!


A.A. Obvintsev, professor, Dr.Hab.
Military institute of physical culture, St. Petersburg

Keywords: Military Institute of physical culture, history of development, military physical training, special military training, event, personalia.

The distinguished military service of the Russian army in the 18th – 19th centuries has preserved the memory about the famous Russian combat leaders. I’d like to make a pointed reference to the experience, valor and bravery of our Grand Generalissimo A.V. Suvorov who inspired the military men of Russia: “The bullet is a fool, the bayonet is a fine chap”, and “Win with skills, not with numbers” the basis of his combat training was “soldiers’ skills”, the “will to win” and “physical readiness of each warrior”.

And when the results in the Crimean War (1853-1856) demonstrated the eroded authority not only of the military educational establishments but also in the Russian Army in general, it has became clear that there has to be a radical change in combat training and teaching to improve the quality of soldiers’ physical readiness.

According to the data of the officers’ training in the 30-40s of the XIX century the importance of warriors’ physical training was really high. The evaluation of the educational system in higher educational establishments has exposed many problems in teaching of the military specialists in the field of physical education.

To study the above problems the State Agency of Higher Education Institution (SAHEI) established a commission composed of specialists from different government agencies and members of the gymnast community.

SAHEI offered famous scientist, professor P.F. Lesgaft to study and analyze the best European practices in teaching military physical training specialists.

For this purpose he visited Sweden, Italy, Germany, England, France, Austria, Switzerland.

After that official mission Lesgaft was offered to organize and conduct daily gymnastics classes in the St. Petersburg Military Gymnasium №2 and also to develop the Manual for teaching rational and applied military gymnastics in higher educational institutions.

It was when the new system of teaching military physical education specialists was started to be established in our country. And since 1877 the Gymnastics training courses for training military physical education specialists in the St. Petersburg Military gymnasium №2 was organized under the scientific supervision of P.F. Lesgaft.

At the first phase the educational plan included: anthropology; theory of body exercises; history of gymnastics skill development, methodology of pedagogical gymnastics, practice of gymnastic exercises, fencing and swimming.

It was the first educational institution in Russia providing higher sports education with the applied military specialization.

In 1890 the Russian Military Department organized the additional Physical Culture Education Courses at the Cadet Corps 2, headed by colonel A.D. Butovsky.

The history of the Military Institute of Physical Training (MIPT) dates back to 1909. In May 17, 1908 the Temporary Provision of Central School of Gymnastics and Fencing was approved by the superlative dictation of the Imperial Majesty. This school was established in Petersburg and was under command of the Commander-in-chief of the Guard Troops and St. Petersburg Military District. The first academic year in the Central School of Gymnastics and Fencing began in October 1, 1909.

The establishing of the Central School of Gymnastics and Fencing is directly related with such person as colonel Mordovin A.P., who was the head of the Central School from 1909 to 1914.

Mr. Mordovin was a very talented athlete: he did fencing, gymnastics and shooting. He was the six-time holder of one of the prestigious awards - Imperial Trophy for Victories in Fencing.

Athletes from this School were the leading ones in National Teams in different sports. Sports glory and traditions of the MIPT were mostly formed in those years. Combined School Teams won National Competitions in track and field athletics and cross country skiing. CSGF won the 1st team place in the I All Russian Olympics in Kiev in 1913.

In the post-revolutionary period the CSGF was reorganized into Soviet Military Central School of Gymnastics and Fencing (SCSGF) founded in 1918 in Petrograd. In the hardest period of the Civil War thanks to valour and bravery of teaching staff and cadets the Institute received its first State Tribute.

SCSGF was awarded with the Honored Revolution Red Banner in 1921.

There also were a number of another sports and pre-conscription training courses in the period from 1918 to 1926.

The Red Bannered Military Faculty founded in 1932 in State Central Institute of Physical Culture played an important role in the development of MIPC.

Cadets and officers of the Faculty went to the battle field. The head of the Faculty colonel Makarov K.P. was assigned operational commander, but soon he tragically died.

Graduates and teaching staff of the Faculty fought bravely to save our country. 9 of them were awarded with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. They are: A.S. Zheltov, S.A. Savushkin, B.E. Kovalenko, L.V. Kudakovskiy, N.V. Kopilov, D.A. Balakhanov, V.B. Mironov, F.I. Perkhorovich, N.S. Ugryumov.

In 1943 the Institute was awarded with the Order of Wartime Red Banner for the second time.

Owing to the Great Patriotic War our Institute got many combat and sports traditions which inspired cadets of different generations.

In the post-war period the Military Faculty was reorganized into an independent Institute in Leningrad. It was established where the modern MIPC is situated now.

The head of Red Banner Military Institute of Physical Training and Sport was a merited master of Sport of USSR, famous organizer of physical training and military sports, lieutenant-general A.A. Tarasov. He was in charge from 1947 to 1956.

From that time a great number of athletes of the Institute won the Olympic titles. Today there are more then 50 champions. Among the Olympic champions are world-famous athletes V. Bobrov, N. Puchkov, N. Bazhukov, V. Belousov, P. Stolbov, F. Bogdanovskiy, V. Kapitonov, V. Kuts,  A. Vinokurov, A. Roshchin, A. Alyab’ev, D. Belozerchev, S. Sukhoruchenkov, V. Fetisov, A. Kasatonov, V. Krutov, five-time champion D. Sal’nikov and other elite athletes.

Outstanding athletes and trainers as two-time Olympic champion, merited master of sport A.N. Alyab’ev, 5 Masters of Sports of International Level, more than 70 Masters of Sports now work as teachers in the Institute, including Olympic, World, European, USSR, Russian, Armed Forces championships medalists.

The older generation of athletes was substituted by young World, European,  Russian, Armed Forces Champions D. Benidze, S. Kiryukhin, M. Fedorova, A. Petrova, R. Musina etc.

In 1960 the Institute was reorganized into the Military Faculty at P.F. Lesgaft State Institute of Physical Culture due to the reduction in the Armed Force. In 1974 the Military Faculty was reformed to the Military Twice Red Banner Institute of Physical Culture.

Military Institute of PC is a unique military school in Russia. Officers specializing in physical education and sport for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are being training there.

MIPC has the honour to hold competitions of different levels, as Spartakiad of the Armed Forces of CIS countries; International competitions in different sports.

MIPC is the only institution where officer-physical education instructors for all branches of Armed Forces of Russian Federation are being trained. In accordance with the qualification requirements a Physical Education Instructor must be a multi-skilled specialist.

Thanks to the complex system that combines educational process, mass sports events, activities in the area of applied military physical training, intelligent, physically and mentally trained specialists are trained. During 5 academic years cadets learn: National History, History of Physical Culture, Fundamentals of Philosophy, Psychology, Pedagogics, Anatomy, Physiology, Medial Support of Sports Activity and Applied Military Physical Training, Fundamentals of Tactics, Technical training, Foreign Languages, Theory and Organization of Physical Training, Information Science. In addition, cadets take courses in martial arts, team games, applied military swimming and diving training, skiing, track and field athletics, obstacles overcoming, hand-to-hand combat, gymnastics and athletic training, shooting, special combat and survival training and mountain training. Our cadets regularly take part in different championships of Institute, St. Petersburg, West Military district, of the Russian Armed Forces and in International competitions.

The correct combination of activities of our future specialist is one of the main principles of the educational process in the Institute. During the academic year all cadets must participate at least in 3-4 Institute competitions, hit the standards for the I-II sports category in 8-10 applied military sports, acquire theoretical skills in 49 disciplines and adapt to the conditions of their professional military activities. During the study some cadets achieve excellent results thanks to their efforts. From 1997 to 2014 more then 107 and 17 cadets and officers were rated Masters of Sport and Masters of Sport of International level respectively.

One of the main values of the educational system in MIPC consists in the possibility of working out an individual education plan for self-fulfillment of the cadets. There are about 20 sections operating in MIPC for sports and educational improvement.

In addition to certificate, cadets can get a driver’s license, the coach or sports judge proficiency, take part in innovative and research work. Cadet can also learn foreign languages and get the “Military translator” certificate.

In recent years command and teaching staff of the Institute make a lot for modernization of forms, technologies and organization of the educational process in the Institute. 30-35 new editions are added to the Institute library every year. The experience of computer-aided learning in special military disciplines is accumulated. The programme of professional and psychological follow-up of the educational process is being implemented.

We can address many difficult problems owing to the high scientific and methodological potential and modern training facilities of MIPC.

The current teaching staff comprises 1 Honored Worker of Science of the Russian Federation, 5 Honored Figures of Russian Higher Education, 15 Honored Figures of Russian Physical Culture, 7 Merited Coaches of the Russian Federation, 12 Members of different Academies of Sciences, 22 Doctors of science, 90 PhD’s, 34 Professors, 41 Associate professor, and 2 Senior Researchers.

According to the share of scientists in the collective, MIPC is one of the leaders among more then 50 military schools of the Russian Federation. 

Owing to well equipped gyms, weight lifting, boxing, fencing, fighting, team games halls; 2 shooting ranges, stadium, training station in Toksovo settlement with different training facilities classes, mass sports events can be conduced at a high level.

In the Institute was completely rebuilt and now cadets and officers live and study in the comfortable environment.

In recent years MIPC has been successively augmenting its scientific potential. So in the period from 1995 to 2014 the teachers of the Institute defended 28 Doctor’s theses and 137 PhD theses, 28 got the “Professor” and 36 “Associate professor” titles.

All scientific achievements of our Institute are a result of joint scientific efforts of several generations of scientists. Among them: V.K. Stasenkov, K. Grantyn’, V.V. Gorinevsky, P.A. Rudik, A.V. Korobkov, V. M. Vydrin, N.V. Zimkin, A.I. Yarotskiy, Ya.A. Kantorovich, Ya.A. Egolinsky, F.V. Sudzilovsky, T.T. Dzhamgarov, L.A. Weidner-Dubrovin, S.M. Ashkenazi, A.A. Gorelov, J.K. Dem'yanenko, R.M. Kadyrov, V.L. Marishuk, V.V. Mironov, V.P. Sorokin, V.A. Sheichenko, V.A. Shchegolev, V.I. Silin, V.L. Pashuta, N.V. Romanenko, G.G. Dmitriev, I.A. Kuznetsov, E.N. Kur’yanovich.

Our scientists take part in different International congresses and symposiums, All-Russia Physical Culture and Physical Training and Sports Conferences. Our scientists also contribute significantly to development of the theoretical problems of physical training in troops. They work out and approve the Physical Training Regulations (PTM - 48, 54, 59, 66, 78, 87, 2001, 2009). Institute’s scientists are closely collaborating with their colleagues from civil academies, universities and scientific centers.

Scientists achieved remarkable results in theoretical, methodical and legal framework of physical training of female servicemen, Suvorov, Nakhimov Military Schools’ cadets. They also learn from the experience of PT in Foreign Armed Forces.

 Institute’s scientists play an essential role in the development of the Armed Forces PT Doctrine, implemented from 1998. MTPT has a good reputation of ambitious and efficient scholar school.

The Institute has its own Dissertation Council. It began its work from 1997. Now it has two specialities: - “Theory and methodology of physical education, sports training and recreational physical culture” (13.00.04), and - “Theory and methodology of professional education” (13.00.08). People from different military schools of Russia defend their theses in our Institute’s Dissertation Council. 

One of the major directions of scientific researches in our Institute is improvement of officers’ training. In recent years the number of such researches has increased.

The Military Research society, which consists of 12 study groups and 203 members, assists in training scientists. Cadets also take an active part in Academic Olympics, Club of the Cheerful and Sharp-Witted of the military educational establishments of the Ministry of Defense of Russian Federation. All this contributes to healthy and friendly psychological environment in the military collective and culture of relationship of servicemen.

MIPT as a unique military school engaged in training of military specialists in the field of physical culture, contributes to development of fundamental of physical training and Army sports in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Nowadays leading scientists of the Institute are working to improve the normative basis, which regulates physical culture and sport in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Scientists also work on modernization of the system of physical training in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

To maintain traditional culture of the Institute, to increase dominant positions in sports (especially in Olympic sports) the Institute work on the improvement of the qualification system of perspective athletes, creates conditions for athletes, organizes a high-quality training process.

At present the Institute’s teaching and sports facilities are being remodeled and modernized. It means not only complete overhaul, but technical reequipment, computation and so on.

MIPC has an electronic library for study and special materials. The local computer network has been put into operation.

MIPC has up-to-date medical facilities for regular follow-up of cadets’ health and testing of servicemen of different arms and services, members of combined teams of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with the use of specific stress-system simulators for determination of the individual tolerance of physical load for different military categories.

MIPC seeks to arrange close relations with troops, learn from the modern trends in combat training for future officers – physical education specialists. For this purpose, since 1994, the Institute annual scientific journal “Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy podgotovki» (Theory and practice of physical training) has been published. It summarizes the best practices of PT in different arms and services. Since 2007, the MIPC peer-reviewed journal “Aktual’nye problemy fizicheskoy i spetsial’noy podgotovki silovykh struktur” (Burning Problems of Physical and Special Training of Power Structures) has been published. It addresses problems in combat and physical training, development of Army Sports and problems related to military education.

Thanks to scientific potential of our Institute MIPC is leading among educational establishments of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation regarding editorial and publishing activities.

The personnel is celebrating the 105th anniversary of our Institute in the prime of life. And in spite of the fact that the system of military education becomes more difficult, the Institute collective is not just ready to survive, but ready to enhance their activities in all spheres.

Effective work of the Institute’s collective helps solve the following tasks: realize the concept of improvement of physical training in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation; organize the academic training of physical education instructors of military units; conduct the anniversary 130th graduation and the 1st graduation of female cadets: 4 of them - gold medalists, and 6 with Diplomas with Honours.

In order to improve combat readiness of the Armed Forces, power and national defence capability, it is necessary to enhance training of physical education specialists, to provide the qualitative organization of the educational process, to increase the efficiency of scientific and research activities and to keep the leading positions of MIPC in the sphere of educational and scientific work.

Today the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have to deal with numerous pressing tasks of mastering of new weapon and military equipment system; developing the effective system of military formations, combat training and combat activities. Therefore PT of servicemen becomes more important. MIPC will provide solution of these primary tasks.

Since May 31, 2014 by the decision of Heads of the CIS States Council MIPC as a unique military school in Russia and in the world, where officers specializing in physical culture and sport for the AF are being trained, was granted the status of Base Organization of CIS States in training specialists in the field of in physical culture and sport.

 The tasks offered to be added to the Work plan on the implementation of the theoretical and practical events with MIPC as the base organization for 2015 are as follows:

- to conduct a conference on military PT and specialists training in collaboration with CIS states Armed Forces;

- to consider the cooperative research in the sphere of the base organization;

- to organize and conduct practical and demonstration events in the sphere of physical and special Training in collaboration with CIS states Armed Forces;

-  to organize and conduct seminars with CIS states Armed Forces specialists on the pressing issues of physical and special training.

In order to train specialists in applied military PT, the educational resources and facilities of the training center in Toksovo settlement are being modernized, where the Multi-agency Centre of special PC and survival will be established.

Teaching, mastering and practicing of skills of overcoming obstacles, armed hand-to-hand combat in different conditions, water rescue, terrain orientation, light diving, overcoming water obstacles, units rapid movement, skiing, weapons training, paraborne training, sea survival, combat and extreme survival, combat training, subversive and antiterrorist training are supposed to be provided at the Center.

As a director of the Institute, I highly appreciate heads of all units and teaching staff for their high professionalism, great contribution to training of PT specialists for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

In April 16, 2014 MIPC was awarded with Colours. We face a number of complex problems, but their solving will open new prospects for the development of applied military PT and sport.

Under current conditions it is MIPC that ensures combat readiness of the AF RF and society security.



  1. The Military Institute of Physical Training - 100 years. Glorious page of history. Scientific and historical publication. Coll. authors. - St. Petersburg: Ministry of Defense, MIPС, 2009. - 228 P. (In Russian)
  2. Obvintsev, A.A. Stages glorious path // Aktual’nye problemy fizicheskoy i spetsial’noy podgotovki silovykh struktur, № 3, 2009. - P. 3-12. (In Russian)
  3. Obvintsev, A.A. Prospects for the development of Military Institute of Physical Training / A.A. Obvintsev, G.A. Shashkin, S.A. Trapeznikov // Aktual’nye problemy fizicheskoy i spetsial’noy podgotovki silovykh struktur, № 1, 2011. - P. 10-20. (In Russian)
  4. Mironov, V.V. Pashuta, V.L. Place of fitness improvement in the structure of Combat troops // Aktual’nye problemy fizicheskoy i spetsial’noy podgotovki silovykh struktur, № 1, 2012. - PP. 5-10. (In Russian)
  5. Physical Education: Textbook. / Red. V.V. Mironov, V.A. Sobin. - Moscow: Military Publishing, 2005. - 547 P. (In Russian)
  6. Theory and Organization of Physical Training of the troops: Textbook. / Ed. by V.V. Mironov. - St. Petersburg.: Ministry of Defense, MIPС,   2006. - 549 P. (In Russian)
  7. History and foundations of the theory of physical culture. - St. Petersburg: Ministry of Defense, MIPС, 2005. – 296 P. (In Russian)
  8. Theory and organization of military-applied physical training, physical culture and sports: Textbook for cadets of the Institute. Part 1. / Ed. by prof. V.V. Mironov, A.A. Obvintsev. - St. Petersburg: MIPС, 2014. – 300 P. (In Russian)