Asia is probably one of the first things that come to mind when most people think of martial arts. That makes perfect sense, because this was where many of the most famous and popular fighting arts were born.
From Judo to Jiu Jitsu, Karate to Taekwondo, the list of hand-to-hand combat and fighting styles that came from Asia seem endless.
But did you know that it is possibly Greece and not Asia that created one of the oldest martial arts in the world? This fighting style is known as Pankration. Not only did it influence many fighting styles around the world, it is still being used by fighting enthusiast to this day.
You’ll find that much of the world’s best hand-to-hand combat and fighting styles are very similar to the Greek fighting techniques. In fact, the Greek techniques often rival the others!
Boxing, striking, kicking, and wrestling are common fighting techniques that Pankration shares with plenty of other fighting styles. Pankration also first brought joint locking, pressure points, and other techniques into widespread use.
The use of physical strength when fighting an opponent is often not the focus in many martial arts styles. In some cases, strength is disregarded completely.
On the other hand, strength is important in many Greek fighting techniques. Good examples including striking and grappling techniques.
Even the name of the Greek fighting style refers to strength. Pankration is formed from two Greek words: “Pan” refers to “all,” “kratos” refers to “force” or “strength.”
Today, a modified versions of Pankration are being practiced. In some cases it’s more like kickboxing hybrid and less like the fighting art that was used in ancient Greece.
There are also fighting styles that use a mixture of martial art techniques. Actually, many of these mixed martial arts come from Greek fighting techniques from the early days of Pankration.
Even so, the Greek martial art still survives in some form when the techniques are adopted by newer martial arts. Many people are making efforts to make Pankration part of the Olympic games again.