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Powerful Greek Fighting Techniques

Feb 25, 2008
When most people think of martial arts, the first region that comes to mind is Asia. This is totally understandable; that continent is after all where many of the world's most popular fighting arts originated.

From Judo to Jiu Jitsu, Karate to Taekwondo, the list of hand-to-hand combat and fighting styles that came from Asia seem endless.

Did you know however that possibly one of the oldest martial arts in the world comes from Greece and not from Asia? It's called Pankration and in addition to having influenced many fighting styles all over the world, the art is still being practiced by many aficionados to this very day.

Greek fighting techniques are similar to-and can in fact even rival-many of the world's best fighting and hand-to-hand combat styles.

Pankration uses a combination of many different techniques that are also commonly used in other fighting styles, such as boxing, wrestling, striking and kicking. It is also here where techniques such as joint locking and the use of pressure points first came into widespread use.

There are many martial arts that draw focus away from-and in some cases even completely disregard-the use of strength as an effective fighting component.

Many Greek fighting techniques however rely on a considerable degree of strength. Grappling and striking techniques are good examples of these.

In fact, the very name Pankration means all strength. It is comprised of two Greek words that respectively mean "all" (pan) and "strength" or "force" (kratos).

Pankration today exists in a greatly modified form, which in some cases is closer to a hybrid style of kickboxing, than the form that was practiced 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.

All the same, this ancient Greek fighting style still survives to this day in different forms, since various fighting styles have adopted its techniques. There are even efforts to try and make Pankration part of the Olympics again.
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