The oldest system of Mixed Martial Arts
This martial encompasses stand up techniques as well as a good ground game. Also addressing the transitions between the 2 ranges with very solid practical applications. Pankration dates back further than most martial arts. There are few older, but they don’t have anywhere close to reality-based techniques required for self-defense.
Depending on the reference Pankration is between 2700 to 3000 years old. This art calls Greece it’s home and was an actual Olympic sport. The very 1st UFCs were closest to actual Pankration. No weight classes, no time limit and very little rules.
The Spartan’s adopted Pankration as their preferred empty hand combat style and by most accounts took it to a very high level.
Most experienced martial artists will agree that the American pioneer of Pankration is Demetrios “Jim” Arvanitis. I remember in the late 70s reading about him in Black Belt or Inside Kung Fu and seeing the pictorial demos thinking that Pankration looked very cool.
But same as today as back then nary a Pankration school exists. He stopped teaching the public in 1991 and only trains fighters and a select few of his representatives which are very few and far between.
He has put out roughly 30 books and they are all a very good read.
As always…. nothing new under the sun. Just a different approach.
Train hard and look up Pankration it’s very interesting.