Joseph Pilates was born in Möchengladbach close to Dusseldof in Germany in 1880. In 1912 he moved to England where he practiced self-defense classes as well as boxing. After World War 1 Joseph Pilates moved back to Germany, now to the city of Hamburg. In Hamburg. In 1925 Joseph Pilates immigrated to New York, United States where he met Clara who he soon married. Joseph and Clara Pilates lived and taught Pilates in New York until his death in 1967.