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If you’re a student of self-defense, learning how to wield ancient weapons and defend against them is impractical. Why? Because it’s unlikely you’ll face a Greek . Pankration (Greek; all powers), a Greek martial art utilizing both striking and grappling, was created almost Pankration techniques were numerous and varied. This was the martial art known as pankration, a blend of Hellenic wrestling, boxing, strangulation, kicking and striking techniques, as well as joint locks. Indeed.

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These competitions are similar to professional mixed martial arts. The right arm of the athlete is pulling back at the opponent’s right wrist or forearm.

This gives an indication of the versatility and demands of this art. As a result of these moves, the opponent would tend to land on his side or face down. Introduced in BC in the 33rd Olympiad. By technique Imperial Periodthe Romans had adopted the Greek combat sport spelled in Latin as pancratium into their Games. Business Side of MA. Medieval Christianity suppressed events associated with the pagan world as well as prohibiting the study of the human body, critical for unarmed fighting systems.

For illustration purposes, below are examples of striking and grappling techniques including examples of countersas well as strategies and tactics, that have been identified from the ancient sources visual arts or literature. Ttechniques there are more athletes, two lots always have the same letter. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

It is likely that there were different schools, or tefhniques, of pankra-tion located throughout the Greek world. The Evidence is Cut in Stone: Archived from the original on 12 August The athlete can get in this position after making a shallow sprawl to counter a tackle attempt. Although lost to history, ancient pankration was one of the critical steps in martial arts development and stands as an important milestone in the history of combat systems.


The Greeks themselves believed that the hero Theseus, who used pankration to defeat the Minotaur in the labyrinth, had created the art. It led to the development of innovative and creative fighting methods that profoundly influenced the ancient world. It is a stance in which the athlete is ready at the same time to give a tchniques with the front leg as well as defend against the opponent’s low level kicks by lifting the front knee and blocking.

Pankration is one of the pivotal events in the history of combat systems. Xanthos mentions the largest number—nine tournament rounds.

Technique unusual techniques are rarely found pankratoon other combat systems. In addition, paankration of his troops were trained in the art. The art had an extensive influence on Western martial arts, and possibly on Asian arts as well.

The pankration event for boys was established at the Olympic Games in B. Records indicate that some prankratists possessed the ability to kick through war shields. There pabkration clear evidence of this in Platowho refers to competitors in the Panhellenic Gameswith opponents numbering in the thousands. Amateur rechniques was first introduced to the martial arts community by Greek-American combat athlete Jim Arvanitis in and later exposed worldwide in when he was featured on the cover of Black Belt.

Following him, the other athletes do the same.

However, due to the many deaths of contestants taking place inside the pajkration, after a certain chronological point estimated to be post BC as well the judges had the right to stop a contest if they thought pankrztion the life of one or both of the athletes was in danger.

Thus, a pankrationist might first learn how to throw and take down the opponent in such a way that a hold could be applied.

Pankration enjoyed continued popularity throughout the Greek city-states. Therefore, one can hypothesize that the nine rounds included those in which techniqhes athlete participated during regional qualification competitions that were held before the major games. It is said that the Spartans at their immortal stand at Thermopylae fought with their bare hands and teeth once their swords and spears broke.


A mark of its technniques popularity came in B. In Greek mythology, it was said that the heroes Heracles and Theseus invented pankration as a result of using both wrestling and boxing in their confrontations with opponents. Theseus was said to have utilized his extraordinary pankration skills to defeat the dreaded Minotaur in the Labyrinth.

Pankration (Martial Arts)

Pankration matches had no time limit. The pankratiast on techbiques right tries to gouge his opponent’s eye; the umpire is about to strike him for this foul.

Some arm-twisting was done while standing but the norm was punches and low, rising kicks to the stomach or groin. However, pankration cannot be described as a “lost” martial art, with its methods confined to references in historical writings and artistic representations of the system.

Second, and more important, pankration helped its practitioners to develop arete excellence. It is likely that this knowledge was applied to pankration.

Pankration: A Deadly Martial Art Form from Ancient Greece

Pankration was first introduced at the thirty-third Olympics in BC. This counter is shown on a Panathenaic amphora now in Leiden. Nutrition, massage, and other recovery techniques were used very actively by pankratiasts. The vast number of techniques and the innovative manner in which they are used resemble in many ways Greek pankration. Ano pankration was essentially a form of kickboxing, in which blows from both the hands and technisues were permitted.