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Pankration: Art, Style and Science

Pankration was designed to be the ultimate test of a person’s physical, intellectual, and spiritual capabilities. Pankration is one of the oldest confirmed martial arts practiced by human beings. The art had an extensive influence on Western martial arts, and possibly on Asian arts as well.

Pankration techniques are numerous and varied. Techniques are divided into three categories:

  1. Striking including:

    • Punches: examples include jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts

    • Kicks: examples include straight kick or round kick

    • Knees: examples include straight or round knee

    • Elbows: examples include rising, horizontal and other variations

  2. Throws including: 

    • Single leg and double leg take downs​

    • Foot sweeps

    • Bear hug take downs

    • Fireman's carry 

    • many others

  3. Ground: includes striking on the ground (ground and pound) and a range of submission methods including:

    • Arm bars​

    • Leg locks

These categories are taught in unison so all the techniques flow from one to another.

A large part of Pankration is an awareness of testing skills in sparring and tournaments.

Therefore, a large part of the training focuses on the athletic ability and development of the mind and body. Physical fitness is encouraged and with time, students are taught to handle more and more load to improve their athletic ability. As students grow in skill, strength and athletic ability, greater forms of pressure testing are introduced to ensure they develop.

This progression in the style is tracked via the badge system which allows coaches to understand how well rounded and fit a student is expected to be.

Advancement introduces new moves, combination complexity which all underpinned with an assumption of the ability for a student to handle more and more pressure in strength, fitness, sparring and tournaments.

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