These fights took place in arenas in many cities from the Roman Republic period and into the Roman Empire times.
Gladiators were trained at special schools originally owned by private citizens, but later taken over by the imperial state to prevent the build up of a private army.
Gladiators trained like true athletes, much like professional athletes do today. They received medical attention and three meals a day. It is said, that their training included learning how to use various weapons, including, of course, the sword, the war chain, the net, a trident, a dagger, and even a lasso.