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Windr
Saturday, December 24th, 2005, 06:04 PM
Pankration

Maybe Pankration spring up already in Mycaenian civilization (2nd millenium BC). It is known that one of the Egyptian wrestling style looked like Greek Pankration. Hercules was himself considered by Greeks as the creator of Pankration, others even thought it was Theseus who killed the Minotaur.
First mention recorded in history was in 648 BC at Olympia.
The name is composed of two Greek words: »Pan« meaning »Everything« and »Kratos« meaning »Strenght«, which could be interpreted as »Eveything lis allowed in strenght« or »All power«.
However in addition to the power and force, good techniques were above all necessary, weight category being non-existent. There were two forms of Pankration: »Kato Pankration« that authorized the continuation of combat on the ground and »Ano Pankration« that prohibited it. The latter was generally used in preliminary contests and was like modern Kickboxing. Whereas striking was not allowed in Wrestling, nor was grappling in Pugilism, Kato Pankration offered all the resources and the tricks of Pugilism and Wrestling. One could even continue the combat on the ground to the death of one of the two fighters.
As long as they could stand up, their main concern was to strike terrible blows. On the other hand, once the fighters hit the ground, the combat changed of nature, becoming bitter hand-to-hand fight. Rolling on the sand or in the mud, the opponents grappled ceaselessly striking violent blows: each one trying to reduce the other to helplessness and to extract the consent of defeat from him.
The history tells that if the winner could not be decided by sunset, the combat had to be stoped, because such was the rule. The extreme violence of Pankration where everything went, except eye and nose gouging, biting, carrying a weapon or having the hands covered with gauntlets, made this Olympic discipline the most dangerous contest of which the outcome could sometimes be fatal. Indeed it was not rare to see some pankratiasts dying of their wouds after several days of agony. In these furious titanic duels, they sometimes transgressed certain rules; moreover the cases of bites had become so frequent at the time of the philosopher Demonax that he wrote: »This is not
without reason that those who follow the athlets of today call them lions.«



http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k8.jpg
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k4.jpg
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k37.jpg
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k58.jpg
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k59.jpg
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k83.jpg
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k44.jpg
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/uipda/k53.jpg

Gorm the Old
Thursday, December 29th, 2005, 03:31 PM
Martial ART ? Let's face it, pankration was nothing but brawling.

RedJack
Friday, December 30th, 2005, 01:07 AM
pankration was nothing but brawling.

All right! Probably works well, then. :thumbup

Blutwölfin
Thursday, March 9th, 2006, 01:19 AM
The origin of Pankration is lost in the mists of time reappearing abruptly in 648 BC at Olympia where mention were made of the first Olympic Champion of Pankration, a certain Lygdamus. But it seems that it was actually former to that time for if the Olympic games were instituted in 776 BC, the various sporting contests already existed at the time of the Trojan War (2 millenniums BC).

Does one have to seek the origin of Pankration in the Mycenaean, Ionian, Minoan or Egyptian civilization (2600 BC)? For it is known that one of the Egyptian wrestling style looked like Greek Pankration.

Hercules was himself considered by the Greeks as the creator of Pankration, while others thought it was Theseus, who floored the Minotaur.

The name of Pankration is composed of two Greek words: "Pan" meaning "Everything" and "Kratos" meaning "Strength" which could be interpreted as "Everything is allowed in strength" or "All power". Although the term employed is pejorative because in addition to the power and force, good techniques were above all necessary, weight category being non-existent.

There were two forms of Pankration: "Kato Pankration" that authorized the continuation of combat on the ground and "Ano Pankration" that prohibited it. The latter was generally used in preliminary contests and was like modern Kickboxing.

Whereas striking was not allowed in Wrestling, nor was grappling in Pugilism, Pankration (Kato Pankration) offered all the resources and the tricks of Pugilism and Wrestling. One could even continue the combat on the ground to the death of one of the two fighters.

As long as they could stand up, their main concern was to strike terrible blows. On the other hand, once the fighters hit the ground, the combat changed of nature, becoming bitter hand-to-hand fight. Rolling on the sand or in the mud, the opponents grappled ceaselessly striking violent blows: each one trying to reduce the other to helplessness and to extract the consent of defeat from him.

Although popular, the art of Pankration held its technique secret and each school, each family holding this knowledge protected it at best, so that it ended up disappearing completely from its countries of birth.

The entirely naked body coated with very fine sand, the long hair swept back and tied on the occiput in a bun, the pankratiast descended in the arena the arms in high position and directed forwards, to guard his head and face. They kept their fingers bent, halfway between opened hand and closed fist, which had the double advantage of being faster as much with grappling than with striking.

The recently turned over soil was sprinkled with water and the pankratiasts were to fight until total exhaustion. Only sunset or one fighter giving up ended the onslaught.

The fights between pankratiasts ended sometimes in one of the fighter's death. One of the most famous stories of Pankration is that of Creugas and Damoxenos whose statues were erected in the Vatican.

The history tells that if the winner could not be decided by sunset, the combat had to be stopped, because such was the rule. The klimax then was applied: each adversary had the right to strike the other, once in turn, the one being struck not allowed to try the least dodging. The attacker was to tell to his opponent which posture he was to adopt before striking him.

It was Creugas who, after drawing of lots, was entitled to the first blow. He asked Damoxenos to keep his arms lowered and punched him powerfully to the face. The later took it without turning a hair. Damoxenos then asked Creugas to raise his left arm and then he inserted his fingers under his ribs and pulled out the entrails.

Arrichion of Phigalee died while gaining the victory. He was being strangled by one of his opponent's arm. Hopelessly trying to release himself from this submission, he managed to seize his opponent's foot (some say the toe) and twisted it so much that he dislocated the ankle. Unable to take the pain, his opponent raised the hand as a sign of giving up at the same time that Arrichion, choked out, breathed his last. Arrichion was proclaimed victorious on posthumous grounds. The Agonotheses crowned his corpse and this scene made the subject of a painting that Philostratos described.

Pindar celebrated some Pankration winners in the Games of Nemea and Isthmus. Pausanias, in his Eliques, tells about a famous pankratiast named Sostratos from Sikyon, who won twelve victories in Pankration at Nemea and Isthmus, two at Delphi and three at Olympia, where was erected his statue at the time the historian lived. He was called "the fingers breaker", because his favourite trick consisted in seizing his opponent's fingers and twisting them until he gave in.

Children, such as Pytheas of Egine, who won the crown of Pankration at Nemea, also practiced Pankration. These fights appeared in 200 BC in the Olympic games.

The extreme violence of Pankration where everything went, except eye and nose gouging, biting, carrying a weapon or having the hands covered with gauntlets, made this Olympic discipline the most dangerous contest of which the outcome could sometimes be fatal. Indeed, it was not rare to see some pankratiasts dying of their wounds after several days of agony.

In these furious titanic duels, they sometimes transgressed certain rules; moreover the cases of bites had become so frequent at the time of the philosopher Demonax that he wrote:

This is not without reason that those who follow the athletes of today call them lions.

Some philosophers such as Plato criticized Pankration and qualified it as brutal and little aesthetic. They thought that, in the Greek nation's interest, it was preferable to train warriors.

Pankration versus sword

At the time of Alexander's conquests and in the heart of his army, broke out a dilemma, which opposed two Greek soldiers Coragus and Dioxippus, the latter Pankration Champion.

Coragus presented himself covered of his armour and armed to the teeth. Dioxippus, as for him, arrived on the spot of the meeting entirely naked and the body oiled with, as only weapon, a stick.

After having dodged a flung javelin and avoided a blow of spear by using its stick, Dioxippus bore down on Coragus to prevent him drawing his sword and violently threw him on the ground.

As testifies this account, Pankration proved to be frighteningly effective, even against an armed opponent.

Sparta or Pankration for women

Although wrestling practitioners, Spartans refused to compete in Pugilism or in Pankration because of the rising of finger, which meant conceding defeat, and a Spartan was to never acknowledge himself defeated.

In total contradiction with Percales, who affirmed that Pankration was not practiced in Sparta, Properce, poet of the 1st century BC wrote:

O Sparta we admire the various law of your palaestra, but even more the many advantages of this gymnasium. Where the young naked girl, involved with the wrestlers, is engaged in training exercises that she is not afraid of, whereas out of her hand flew the ball, whose fast throw misled the eye, or that armed with a bent rod she set a noisy wheel turning. There, at the end of the arena, standing and dusty, a woman endures the heavy blows of Pankration. Now she shows her agile arms holding the straps of the thongs, now she throws the heavy discus making it describe a circle. She pushes a steed around the stadium; she ties a sword on her snow-white thigh, and jams on her head a bronze helmet; similar to one of these topless amazons, whose quarrelsome squadron bathes in the water of Thermodon. Or even, the frosty-white hair, she hurries a pack from Laconia, on the steep summits of Taygete, like Pollux and Castor both serving as a prelude on the sandy edges of Eurotas to future palms, in the training exercises of the thongs and the chariot racing. It is even said that then Helen, their sister, armed, the throat unprotected, pitted herself against them and than these half-gods did not blushed about it...

Athena three centuries later told us about her pleasure of having seen fighting boys and girls in a gymnasium in Chios.

In Sparta it was not rare to attend public combat of young girls, who did not hesitate to indifferently pit themselves against the men.


See more here (http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/iupad/)