Pangration Athlima Guatemala

History of Pangration Athlima


According to Greek traditions the heroes Heracles and Theseus invented pankration. Theseus used pankration to defeat the Minotaur in Cnossos. Heracles used Pankration against the lion of Nemea. Pankration has been practiced in Greece from the 2nd millennium BC. 
Pankration was the product of the development of archaic Greek society of the 7th c. BC. As the need in violent sport increased, Pankration was a "total contest" that neither boxing or wrestling could give. Pankration is both boxing and wrestling and even more, as the strikes with legs. It was introduced to the Olympic Games before 648 BC that is considered the official start of the Games. 
The term Pankration comes from the greek ancient word “ΠΑΓΚΡΑΤΙΟΝ” (PAGRATION), from the word “ΠΑΝ” (PAN = the whole, the total) + the verbe ΚΡΑΤΩ (KRATO = to rule). That is: The one who rules. 
Pankration was also called “ΠΑΜΜΑΧΟΝ» (PAMMACHON), from the word “ΠΑΝ” (PAN = the whole, the total) + and the word “MAXH” (MAHI = COMBAT). That is: The total combat. 
Pankration is the first fighting system that was invented in human history. Modern Pankration has many of the same methods that were used in the ancient Pankration, where knockouts were very common. The athletes were highly skilled grapplers and applied a variety of takedowns, chokes and locks. Pankration was also part of the arsenal of Greek soldiers – including the famous Spartan hoplites and Alexander the Great's Macedonian phalanx. The victories of the ancient pankratiasts became a legend in ancient Greece. Arrhichion, Dioxippus, Polydamas of Skotoussa and Theagenis of Thassos are among the most highly-recognized names. Their accomplishments were of the most inspiring and served as inspiration to, for centuries. Pausanias, the ancient roman traveller and writer, refers to these stories:
    -Dioxippus was an Athenian who won the Olympic Games in 336 BC, and was serving in Alexander the Great's army in its expedition in Asia. As an admired champion, he became part of the circle of Alexander. He accepted a challenge from one of Alexander's most skilled soldiers named Coragus to fight in front of Alexander and the troops in armed combat. While Coragus fought with weapons and full armour, Dioxippus had only a club and defeated Coragus without killing him. 
    -The fighter Arrhichion won the Game, being dead. His opponent had locked him but Arrhichion broke his opponent's ankle. The opponent submitted due to pain. Then the referee raised Arrhichion's hand, who, meanwhile  had died. His body was crowned with the olive tree and taken back to his city as a hero. 
The Romans adopted Pankration into their Games. In 393 AD the pankration, along with gladiatorial combat and festivals, was abolished by the Christian Emperor Theodosius I. So Pankration was practiced more than 1000 years in the Olympic Games. 
In Pankration there were not weight divisions or time limits. There were two or three age groups. In the Olympic Games there were only two groups: men and boys. The Pankration for boys began at the Olympic Games in 200 B.C. The referees were armed with a staff.  In fact, there were only two rules: contestants were not allowed to gouge eyes or to bite. The fight continued until one of the combatants was submitted, which was often signalled by raising his index finger. The judges had the right to stop a contest under certain conditions and award the victory to one of the two athletes. 
The athletes used a variety of techniques in order to strike their opponent as well as take him to the ground in order to use a submission technique. The athletes could fight standing or on the ground. Some of the techniques that were used are known to us from ancient pottery, sculpture and literature. 
Strikes delivered mainly with legs. kicking was a great advantage. Plato in his Laws, refers to the strategy. The athletes should understand if the opponent had a weak or untrained side and to force him to operate on that side and generally take advantage of that weakness. For example, if the athlete recognizes that the opponent is only right-handed, he could circle away from the right hand of the opponent and towards the left side of the opponent. If the opponent is weak in his left-side throws, the athlete could aim to position himself accordingly. During training the athletes learned also strategy. 
The basic instruction of Pankration techniques was conducted by the paedotribae, who were in charge of boys' physical education. High level athletes were also trained by special trainers who were called gymnastae, some of whom were successful Pankration athletes before. The methods and techniques varied, that is there were different styles. While specific styles taught by different teachers. The teacher helped the athletes to develop personal style according to their strength and weakness. 
The preparation of pankratiasts included several methods: training in certain periods, development of strength, and speed. There were also training tools, very similar to the modern. Punching bags (leather sack named “ΚΩΡΥΚΟΣ” = KORIKOS) of different sizes and other bags like the human body. Nutrition, massage, and other techniques were also used.
At the revival of Olympic Games (1896), Pankration was not included. In 1895 the Cardinal of Lyon, said to Pierre de Coubertain, the founder of the Modern Olympic Games, "Nous acceptons tout, sauf Pankration" that is "We accept all, except Pankration". So, Pankration is not in the list of "recognized sports". Some efforts were made during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, regarding the introduction of Pankration as a "demonstration sport" in the program. However, these efforts did not bear fruit. Anyway, Pankration has a revival in recent decades, since the mid-1990s.  
The athletes in the palaistra aim for victory by accumulating points which are awarded to them by judges called Ellanodikes (ΕΛΛΑΝΟΔΙΚΕΣ= ΕLANODIKES). The athletes wear white tunic, blue pants, and gloves that leave the fingers free and allow holds. The head judge has a flexible staff. He announces the beginning and end of the match or interrupts. The side judges control the ring and the area around it.  In every championship, one athlete and one judge read an oath. 
Before the beginning, the judges stand in the middle of the exterior side of the ring. Outside of the ring stand the athletes, the blue and the white. They greet each other, saying “EROSTHE” (EΡΡΩΣΘΕ = may you be well, hello).  At the end of the match, they greet each other in exactly the same way. 
An “Akoniti” (ΑΚΟΝΙΤΙ = without dust, from the word ΚΟΝΙΣ=dust) victory is awarded to an athlete if the opponent does not appear at the match. 
Conduct of the match: There are individual contests (pankration, child pankration, pux-lax) and team contests (palaismata, polydamas). The athletes can hold their opponent’s body or clothes; they can push him and can throw him from the ring. The application of pressure is allowed, in certain circumstances. A blow or a block is considered a means. Two or more blows, blocks or holds is a trick. A trick with the addition of a physical struggle is a “PALAISMA.” Holds and blows must be controlled, especially those which are near the head. Forbidden practices: choking, stomping with the foot, twisting of body parts or joins, grabbing the skin, pushing the groin, use of nails or teeth, blows to the face, neck, back of the neck, joints, and groin, the pulling of hair, ears, nose and groin, the lifting and throwing down of the opponent, and the lifting and striking of the opponent’s middle with the knee. Also forbidden is to throw the opponent down in the ring with the purpose of crushing the opponent “body to body”.  Holds to the neck are forbidden. The faking of injury is forbidden. The application of substances or objects which cover the skin (e.g., bandages) is forbidden without the approval of the doctor of the games.
In PUX-LAX “palaismas” body blocks are not permitted. 
In POLYDAMAS  the athletes above the age of 18 wear gloves. One athlete selects defensive palaismas to the attacks of 3 opponents. The wooden weapons of the attackers are: 1) Spear, with a width of 2 cm, length of 50-60, 2) Dagger, wooden or rubber, with a width of 1-2 cm, length of 20, 3) Staff. 
In  PALAISMA all the athletes partake with a free limitless program, female athletes against men and the reverse.


"ΑΥΤΑΡ ΠΑΓΚΡΑΤΙΟΙΟ ΔΩΚΕΝ ΓΕΡΑΣ ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ ΑΡΓΥΡΕΟΝ ΚΡΗΤΗΡΑ ΠΑΝΑΙΟΛΟΝ" que significa " a continuación dio a Hércules como trofeo por su victoria en Pankration, copa de plata" (en aquel entonces la plata era mas preciosa que el oro).........Orfica Argonautica 586.
Según relatos históricos el primer viaje de los Argonautas se efectuó antes que la guerra de Troya (final de 4º milenio a.C.). Hercules y Orfeo, que participaron en ella, vivieron antes que dicha guerra y sabiendo que ambos eran pankratiastas y que habían participado en la primera expedición de los argonautas, sacamos la conclusión de que el Pankration tiene mas de 5000 - 6000 años de vida.
Talvez eso sea el motivo que muchos historiadores, afirman que el Pankration es el percutor de muchas artes marciales.
En la historia griega el inventor del pangration, según Apollonio de Rodas, fue Heracles (Hércules en la mitología romana) quién mató al león de Nemea con una técnica de pankration (aun esta técnica se llama mata-león) y combinó sus conocimientos en esta disciplina con su extraordinaria fuerza, para llevar a cabo todos aquellos retos que surgieron a su paso.

Por otro lado Pausanias nos dice que fue Teseo, quién al irse a Creta para liberar a los atenienses que se entregaban como tributo al rey Minos, para que los comiese su hijo mutante, utilizó técnicas de pankration para inmovilizar y matar con su espada a Minotauro en el laberinto.

El Pankration se practicaba en la Grecia clásica como deporte de contacto y arte marcial, por lo que la práctica de esta actividad no solo era de suma importancia para las formaciones militares de la época sino que representaba un espectáculo aclamado y practicado por los griegos.

Esta disciplina encontraba sus competiciones más importantes en las Olimpiadas donde fue introducida como prueba por primera vez en el 648 A.C., en la 33ª Olimpiada. Los combates eran llevados a cabo en la ultima jornada de los juegos, después de otras pruebas atléticas importantes, como la lucha y el boxeo; por ser disciplinas que combinaba y ampliaba las antes mencionadas creando un estilo de lucha similar a las actuales artes marciales mixtas, llamándolo "to áriston tis Olympiís" o sea "lo mejor de los juegos Olimpicos".

El origen etimológico de la palabra nos da a entender las características de los combates que se sucedían dentro de este estilo. Pankration es la combinación de dos palabras griegas: pan (todo) y kratos (poder); de esta forma se puede traducir como “todos los poderes”, o “todas la fuerzas”. Esto se ve reforzado al no existir divisiones por pesos en sus orígenes, y por su mínima reglamentación, tan solo existían dos reglas: no tenían permitido meter los dedos en los ojos, ni morder.

El respeto a estas reglas se aseguraba mediante un juez/árbitro que tenía una vara con la que golpeaba a los luchadores que intentaban incumplirlas.
Este instrumento continúa siendo utilizado en la actualidad en la versión re-introducida de este deporte, pero tan solo con el fin de realizar indicaciones.

Un combate podía ser ganado por sumisión si un oponente abandonaba o era discapacitado (aunque en algunos casos el juez podía establecer un empate), los luchadores podían indicar su abandono levantando su dedo en alto, aunque esta era una práctica muy rechazada y muchos de ellos preferían morir antes de aceptar una derrota.
Luxaciones a articulaciones grandes y pequeñas eran técnicas comunes así como todo tipo de estrangulaciones.

Se hace necesario señalar que las victorias en esta disciplina eran consideradas en muy alta estima por el público asistente y que los luchadores no estaban dispuestos a perder.
Algunos historiadores datan anécdotas que refuerzan el gran rechazo que se mostraba al abandono, como el caso de un ganador póstumo, llamado Arrichion, que a pesar de encontrarse en una situación de desventaja en la que su adversario le estrangulaba, éste sacó fuerzas de flaqueza y en un último esfuerzo luxó alguna de sus falanges obligándolo a abandonar por el dolor, pero falleció asfixiado y a pesar de ello fue considerado el ganador del combate, teniendo un homenaje póstumo a su tenacidad y esfuerzo, recibiendo trato de héroe.

En la cabeza de de la lista de los pankratiastas mas famosos de la historia estan:
Arijíon de Fiagália, Diagoridas de Rodas, Theagénis de Thasos, Sóstratos de Sikión, Antínor de Atenas y Polydámas de Thesailia entre otros. Este ultimo venció a tres de los "inmortales" de la guardia real de Darío (rey persa), solo con sus manos, mientras que sus adversarios estaban armados con espada, lanza y cuchillo. Aún en la disciplina de pankration se efectúa la modalidad llamada "Polydamas" en honor a este héroe griego.
Solo asi se puede explicar, como ejércitos tan pequeños, que en muchos casos fueron lo griegos, vencían a otros centenas de veces mas numerosos, como en Thermópilas, Marathón y Salamína.

- Arvanitis, Jim. (2003) Pankration: The Traditional Greek Combat Sport and
Modern Mixed Martial Art. Ed. Paladin Press
- Atencia Henares, David. (2000) Deportes de lucha. Ed. Inde
- D. Mandell, Richard (2006) Historia Cultural del Deporte. Ed.Bellaterra
- Liederman, Earle. (1923) Science of Wrestling & The arto f jiu-jitsu.
- VVAA (2004) Historia Universal Ed. Salvat

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