Duality Nature Project: Pankration: The original MMA

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pankration: The original MMA

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to going back to school and as I was looking into a local college I decided to see what what athletics programs they had.

I ended up doing more reading that I needed but found out something interesting in the process. Apparently the original mix martial art is called Pankration and it was invented by the Ancient Greeks.

Contests were regularly held at the Olympic games in particular. Pankration was considered an all encompassing fighting style that combined both boxing and wrestling also with emphasis on lower body strikes and others.

Pankration, like many Greek stories and ideas, also comes with it's own mythology. In Greek mythology was said that the heroes Heracles and Theseus invented the martial art.

For anyone who's ever seen the movie 300, you can get a pretty fair idea of how ruthless and violent the Greeks could be. There was one story I found in particular on wikipedia about the Olympics:

"In an odd turn of events, a pankration fighter named Arrhichion (Ἀρριχίων) of Phigalia won the pankration competition at the Olympic Games despite being dead. His opponent had locked him in a chokehold and Arrhichion, desperate to loosen it, broke his opponent's toe (some records say his ankle). The opponent nearly passed out from pain and submitted. As the referee raised Arrhichion's hand, it was discovered that he had died from the choke-hold. His body was crowned with the olive wreath and taken back to Phigaleia as a hero."

I would personally love to know how this fighter called Arrhichion was able to break his opponents foot while being choked out. That's sounds like the kind of shit that would put Kimbo Slice to shame. If the story is true, then I would also question did this guy really refuse to surrender? Like he wanted to win so bad that he refused to give up and instead gave his last energy not to signaling he forfeits but instead to break his opponent's foot, causing him to tap out.

What could make a man do that? These people must have placed a lot of value in what we might consider extremists viewpoints. My only question is, where can I find someone to teach me pankration and how to never give up and break foots!


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