Pankratiasten-400Pankration - From Greece: meaning "all powerfull" - a mixed martial art of ancient Greece that was first introduced into the Olympic Games in 648 B.C., at the 33rd Olympiad. The art was founded as a blend of boxing and wrestling but with almost no rules save disallowing biting and gouging the opponent's eyes out. The term comes from the Greek παγκράτιον [paŋkrátion], literally meaning "all powers" from πᾶν (pan-) "all" + κράτος (kratos) "strength, power". Spartans were taught to use this ancient technique with the sole purpose of fighting and killing on the battlefield. For that reason, Spartans were not allowed to participate in any competition that included other Greeks.
Modern mixed martial arts competitions have come to feature many of the same methods that were used in pankration competitions in the ancient Greek world.

The athletes engaged in a pankration competition-i.e., the pankratiasts employed a variety of techniques in order to strike their opponent as well as take him to the ground in order to use a submission technique. When the pankratiasts fought standing, the combat was called anō pankration and when they took the fight to the ground, that stage of pankration competition was called katō pankration. Some of the techniques that would be applied in anō pankration and katō pankration, respectively, are known to us through depictions on ancient pottery and sculptures, as well as in descriptions in ancient literature. There were also strategies documented in ancient literature that were meant to be used to obtain an advantage over the competitor. For illustration purposes, below are examples of striking and grappling techniques (including examples of counters), as well as strategies and tactics, that have been identified from the ancient sources (visual arts or literature).


Below is a video about Pankration from The History Channel TV Series Human Weapon



Please refer to our references as we have used a few different sources for the basic explanation of each martial art discipline. Many of our direct links, images and text will be from the site Wikipedia which is not known for the most accurate information when it comes to doing a thesis or studying for ones P.H.D. but does have a large collection of data that is well organized. Much of the text regarding martial arts styles on Wikipedia seems to generally sum up each discipline as good as many other sources. We do not intend to re-invent the wheel, but we do want to roll you in a good direction in order to get a glimpse of each style.