Miroslav Tyrs, founder of the Sokols, was an exceptional philosopher, aesthetic, art critic, teacher and leader of men. He was above all an ardent patriot, in the finest sense of the word.
He was orphaned at the age of seven, but with the help of his uncle received a good education, graduating with honors from Charles University in Prague. He was interested in athletics, especially gymnastics. Following the example of Ancient Greece, Tyrs believed that a nation must be physically fit, morally on a high plane and intelligent in order to secure independence and retain it.
Elevated to Doctor of Philosophy at Charles University and a member of the Education Staff of Rieger’s Encyclopedia, Tyrs formulated his Sokol plan, creating an entirely new gymnastic terminology. The next twenty years of his life were devoted to Sokol. He was the first Physical Director, editor of the Sokol paper and creator of calisthenics and exercises, placing the whole system on a firm scientific basis. This created extreme hardship in his professional work, leaving him penniless.