Ancient Pankration had two basic forms: kato (literally, down) pankration and ano (up) pankration. Ano pankration was a less severe form of the art, in which the pankrationists had to remain standing. Ano pankration was essentially a form of advanced kickboxing that combined blows from the hands, feet, elbows, knees and head. No limit was placed on the body parts that could be used.
In keeping with this, modern Pankration combines a similar approach to different forms of sports testing. In Australia, these competitive formats are run as amateur bouts in keeping with local laws. They are restricted to ensure safety and avoid competitors having to register as professional combat fighters. This makes for an excellent starting point for all martial artists looking to compete. It also makes for an excellent training ground for judges, coaches and referees to develop skills to prepare them for professional MMA tournaments.
The main sports competition formats held in Australia are:
Striking (Pix La): A competitive striking format. Rules do limit striking to the body and torso (no head strikes allowed) but also includes take-downs and throws. Athletes use boxing gloves and shin guards to minimise impact risk.
Submission Grappling: A combination of modern wrestling and submission grappling this no-gi format puts emphasis on throws as well as submission techniques.
Pankration: Equivalent to amateur MMA, it fuses both Striking and Submission Grappling rules to where athletes can combine a wide range of striking, throws and submission methods. Striking on the ground (ground and pound) is allowed and the same rules as stand up striking apply.
General rules applicable to all tournament formats can be found here.
A breakdown of the competition divisions can be found here.