By The World Pan Hellenic United Pankration Athlima Federation

The Hellenic race knew Pankration over 10,000 to 12,000 B.C., for its’ military defense and athletic competition, (Nous Eiyeeis En Somatei Eiyeeis). We can understand that better if we read the verse 586 of the Argonauticals from the ORFICA scripts, which are the most ancient scripts in the world. Some say that these are written in the same millennium as Pankration was found. In some figures that we have found, we can see it in an ancient vase from the Greek Island, Crete, in 1700 B.C. We also know that some say that the first who found it was the great hero Hercules, or Theseus, and the one who formed it was Lefkaros the Akarnan. Plato says that the sport was “agon tis ex atelus pigmis ke atelus palis sygimenos.” meaning “A fight from imperfect boxing and imperfect wrestling.” The name of the martial art defense and sport competition is two words “pan” and “kratos.” “Pan“ means “all” and “kratos“ means “power”, or the one who has everything. It is separated into two parts. The traditional includes kicks, punches, throws, and locks. The full body competition includes kicks, punches, throws, locks, and also includes wrestling techniques.

The full body competition was not in the Olympic games from the beginning. It was used by all the Greek states and particularly the Spartans who used it for army training defense. Thus, the Greek Olympic Spirit formed the character of the ideal citizen, as a good and noble man, fit to defend his native land and the ideals of his race and culture. Athletic training was a feature of every age, and competitive games, the peak of the relationship between body and mind, were regularly held in stadiums. Among the many fervent advocates of physical exercise were the philosophers Plato and Aristotle, the father of medicine, Hippocrates, and Galenos, the medical writer and trainer of athletes and gladiators.

To be put in the Olympic games, rules were added to make it athlima (sport). It became part of the games and as Filostatos says “ton en Olympia to kalliston”, meaning “the best in the Olympic games.”

In 393 AD, by order of the Byzantine Emperor, Theodosius the Great, the Olympic Games were abolished as they were “a pagan custom”. Fifteen centuries followed during which the Olympic Flame was never lit. Yet, the flame flared in the heart of one man. A Frenchman, who was called Baron Pierre de Coubertin and whose name will go down in history. He was the man who revived the Olympic Games. Pierre de Coubertin was born in 1863 and died in 1937. He was an educator and, when the French government sent him to England to watch some sports events, he was so impressed that the idea of the revival of the Olympic Games was born. In 1892, he announced his idea and tried in every way he could to get it accepted and find supporters, not only in France but all over the world. In 1894, at the Sorbonne, where an international conference on athletics was being held, he managed to include the revival of the Olympic Games on the agenda. His idea was accepted and he then tried to put it into practice. In the beginning, he intended that the first games should be held in Paris in 1900. Yet, he was so keen on this wonderful idea that he could not wait so long. He asked the advice of a Greek friend, Demetrius Vikelas, and they decided that the first modern Olympic Games should be held in 1896 in Greece, the land of their birth. As it was impossible for them to take place in Olympia, there was no other choice but Athens.

Coubertin and his Greek friend came up against countless difficulties. It wasn’t an easy task to organize the games from nothing and hold them within such a short period of time. Fortunately, George Averoff, the great Greek National benefactor, financed the building of a marble stadium, in place of the old one that had been destroyed. Thus, in April 1896, Athens experience the excitement of the first modern Olympic Games. Naturally, the short period of time available to Coubertin and the Olympic Committee, their inexperience, the poor means of transport and communication and the lack of money did not allow their great dream to come true, in the way they had planned. Only 285 athletes took part and most of them were Greeks. Germany sent 21 athletes, France 19, America 14, Britain 8 and a few came from other European countries. The only thing was that now the Olympic Games would not be based in Olympia, not even in Greece. Any city, in any country, would have the right to hold the Olympic Games. It is a good idea to take a look at those first modern Olympic Games in Athens, which did not have the same glory as the old ones, yet filled the Greeks with emotion and pride.

Whoever was not fortunate enough to see the Panathinaiko Stadium on that historical day, missed an astonishing and magnificent sight.

On April 6th, Prince George, the President of the Olympic Committee, of which Pierre de Coubertin was secretary, opened the Olympic Games.

The idea to bring back the ancient Pankration Athlima back to Olympic Competition is not a new concept. Pankration was a sport even before it was in the Olympics before 776 B.C. In Greece it was in the Isthmia, Nemia, Pithia Games and others. Pankration was also used as defense techniques in Greece in the army. Pankration was called after 776 B.C.“En Olympia to Kalliston” - The Best Of The Olympic Games.....

In the late 60’s early 70’s, Mr. Simos Zahopoulos, Professor in the martial arts, who resides and teaches in Kavala, Greece, was the man to encourage the idea of bringing Pankration back to the Olympic Games and also the individual to took the initial step to create the Pankration Federation in Greece. This same method was undertaken by Kratios Vasilios Katsaitis, who was also teaching martial arts, so he brought the idea to the United States Of America and began to construct the World Pan Hellenic United Martial Arts Foundation in 1984. This organization is The World Pankration Information Center. In 1995, The World Pan Hellenic United, International Pankration Athlima Federation was established in The United States of America, and in 1996, a group of martial arts students of Mr. Zahopoulos, in particular, Mr. Katroumbas and Mr. Saviidis established the Hellenic Pankration Federation. Also in 1996 Kratios Vasilios Katsaitis established the American Pankration Federation. QUITTERS NEVER WIN AND WINNERS NEVER QUIT. And the Greeks and the followers of Pankration are not Quitters, maybe the associates have some differences but the goal is too meet at the Pankration Olympic Events. By the 2016 and Athens Olympic Competition. From now until 2016 don’t look back look forward with faith in your heart and wings for your dreams....Older people trust the younger because of their energy and the younger trust the older because of their experience. Today Pankration is being looked upon as again being one of the best events in the Olympic Games, En Olympia To Kalliston!

In Pankration, men, woman and children can also participate. Pankration was not only a sport but it was also a philosophy which was based on humanity purposes and religion Respect.