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Old 06-09-2004, 02:01 AM   #1
Alexander Karatis
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I was looking over a nice big heavy book with information about all past Olympiads with a friend, when he stopped me at a page to tell me that Pankration is still being practiced today, particularly among Grappling schools.

Now I asked around and most of the responses I got was that there was a cheesy "Pankration" revival attempt during the 80's and that it had some dubious associations with more illegal forms of fighting like cage fighting.

Do you grapplers have any info with regard to its practice? Is it "federated"-are there serious schools behind this or is it just a marketing ploy?

Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2004, 11:39 AM   #2
Jason Lauer
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There is some Pankration I know of in the State of Washington. AMC Pankration is a top notch school. Matt Hume, who is very respected, runs it. Josh Barnett, former UFC heavyweight champion, trains or trained there. Aaron Riley and a few other UFC and Pride veterans also train there. I know they have actual Pankration events, which don't differ much from MMA or NHB matches.http://www.pankration.com/ That is a link to AMC. Last time I visited the site they had a lot of info. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-09-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
Craig Stovall
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The thing you have to keep in mind is that there are a lot of different people doing a lot of different things under the banner of "Pankration".

Jim Arvanitis was probably the first martial artist of the modern era to revise usage of the term. His system of Mu Tau Pankration is a synthesis of both Eastern and Western fighting methods. I believe his intent was to "revive" the concept of a martial art that addressed all ranges of combat, and to pay tribute to his Greek heritage. I don't know an awful lot about his system, but one has to remember that he was doing this WAY before the current NHB/MMA paradigm shift occurred due to the UFC, et al. In that regard, his vision was impressive in that he was ahead of the curve (accidental or otherwise).

I know that a lot of people are probably familiar with the Pancrase fighting promotion that exists in Japan. The name of that organization is an homage to the ancient Pankration. Supposedly, the great Karl Gotch was the person who helped coin the name "Pancrase". Who knows?

I'm familiar with Matt Hume. If I'm not mistaken he was one of the fighters that took part in a couple of the Battlecade Extreme Fighting shows back in the mid-90's.

I know there is also a group that has attempted an actual revival of Pankration as an official Olympic sport. I beleive the person heading that up goes by the name of John Townsley. From what I know, nothing ever became of it. The whole thing smelled fishey to me when I caught wind of it several years ago. Supposedly, they actually have events and championships.

Bottom line, there are many people doing many different things for many different reasons...all under the banner of Pankration. To my knowledge, none of them claim or can produce a direct lineage to the actual practice from ancient times. It is something that is lost to history. We know that it was a brutal event that brought to bear a wide range of skills in terms of striking and grappling...thus the name All Powers Combat (Pankration). Other than that, not a whole lot is known other than what can be gleaned from surviving artwork and writings.
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Old 06-14-2004, 10:00 PM   #4
Alexander Karatis
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Craig, Jason,

thank you for your responses. It is my understanding then, through this and the searches I made, that there is little that can be identified as "Pancratiatic". It's related with MMA/NHB and everyone adds his "historical flair" to it. So in essence, either one chooses to look for an MMA/NHB school or a Pancration school, it doesn't matter. (Except that he will find more of the former). Am I reading this right?

BTW, no disrespect to Grandmaster Arvanitis, afterall he appears to be a done a lot for his sport, but I couldn't keep from "smiling" once I visited his webpage!:biggrin:
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:12 AM   #5
Craig Stovall
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Ummmmm...let me guess. The hair? LOL!!!

Yes, I've yet to figure that one out. What's really funny is that I heard he's a school teacher by profession. Can you imagine him going to school like that?

Yes, I'd say that "Pankration" in it's current expression is really just a version of MMA/NHB.
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Old 06-15-2004, 02:59 PM   #6
Tyler Hass
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I trained briefly at the AMC Pankration gym and it was a good experience. There is an amazing amount of talent there and the instruction seemed good. There were people from all over coming in to train. Several of the regulars were UFC, K1 or Pride champs.
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