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PANKRATION-ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS

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PANKRATION-ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS

Postby kimon07 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:24 pm

During the London Olympics in August, under another thread, I said that the ancient Greek Martial Art of Pankration was the predecessor of Tae Kwon Do as an Olympic event, meaning that like Tae Kwon Do is the modern martial art included in the modern Olympics, so was Pankration the martial art included in the ancient Greek Olympics.

I was asked whether I supported that Tae Kwon Do and the other oriental martial arts were originated from Pankration and I said no, believing so at the time.

It appears I might have been wrong. Further to a research I conducted on the subject, I found that many prominent martial arts specialists, including Japanese Grand Masters, support that:

1. Pankration is definitely the oldest recorded, described in written and depicted martial art in the world and it was introduced to the ancient Greek Olympics in 648 BC, at the 33rd Olympiad.
2. That Pankration IS INDEED the PROGENITOR of ALL the oriental Martial arts, having been introduced to India by the armies of Alexander and his successors, and from India to the Shaolin monks in China from where it spread further.

Personally, not being a specialist in the field, I neither adopt nor reject this opinion. So, I will share all relevant information with you all so that those really interested in the subject my draw their own conclusions.

So, here we go:

Kalari Payatt, Martial Art of India

Steve Richards 2002

The ethnic Indian martial art of Kalari Payat (Kalaripayattu) - meaning 'Battleground' or 'Gymnasium' - (Kalari), 'Method' or 'Art' - (Payatt), has a special significance for practitioners of the Tibetan and Chinese martial arts.

In tradition, the Shaolin Temple martial art of China was introduced by the Indian Buddhist Patriarch and founder of Ch'an' (Zen) Buddhism; Bodhidharma (450-523 AD).

An intriguing suggestion has been made by several prominent martial arts historians, notably Tatsuo Suzuki, Hirokazu Kanazawa, and Masutasu Oyama, that the Greek Martial Art of Pankration (all Powers) introduced into India by the army of Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC, influenced the development of Kalari, and thence, the martial arts of China, Tibet, Japan, Okinawa and South-East-Asia. The Greeks remained in India and Afghanistan for three hundred years, during which time Greek (Hellenistic) culture pervaded that of India, even influencing China and Japan.
http://lionsroar.name/indian_kalari_martial_arts.htm


see also:

Episode 3 – Interview with Weapons Master and Pankration Master Spencer Gee
…………………

Tim: Okay. Now let’s talk about Pankration a little bit. It’s an art form I hadn’t been familiar with until I started reading up on your history. Apparently it’s a style that comes from way back when in Greece, back in 600 BC.

Master Gee: 648 BC, at the 33rd Olympiad at the Ancient Greek Olympics.

Tim: Yeah, that’s pretty neat. That’s a lot further back than a lot of the other, even Chinese arts.

Master Gee: Well I have seen some records about some of the Asian systems saying that they had some fighting techniques going on at the time and I do believe that most civilizations did have some form of fighting going on at the time, but what I was impressed with Pankration was that it’s recorded by Plato. He gives it recognition and it’s recorded in the potteries, it was recorded in the art. And, you see very graphic scenes of people practicing Pankration. You don’t just hear legends and stories about it, but you hear accounts that are well grounded in history. That’s what I respected about it. It was very detailed in terms of the various strikes and the various submissions they had. Because, it combined boxing, which includes punching and kicking, elbows, and knees and head butts with submission grappling, including throws and joint locks and chokes and things of that sort. So, they were very detailed and they had a very full account of their techniques.http://www.malineage.com/sites/default/files/Episode%203%20-%20Interview%20with%20Weapons%20Master%20and%20Pankration%20Master%20Spencer%20Gee_0.pdf


and:

Mike Elgan

Why Pankration Must Be Restored to the Olympics
https://plus.google.com/113117251731252 ... B11zPjaaV9


and:

FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF ANCIENT GREEK PANKRATION

http://www.pammachon.gr/old/pankration_analysis.htm


and:

Martial arts history: From Pankration to Karate, The easten martial arts evolution

http://everything2.com/title/The+birth+of+martial+arts


P.S. Special thanks to Bill Cobbet and Supporttheunderdog. The first for "encouraging" me to research the subject and the second for offering me the opportunity earlier today (assist pass) to bring the results of my research to the forum.
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Re: PANKRATION-ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS

Postby supporttheunderdog » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:00 am

Hi Kimon

Unarmed Combat is certainly one of the oldest activities know to man and there are a number of sources which suggest it was practiced in a number of Cultures long before it was recorded in Greece. It would indeed be very surprising if many cultures did not have some sort of full=on unarmed combat with few restrictions as a means of men showing their prowess and developing a hierarchy.
1) there are Mongolian cave paintings dating to 7000 bc showing men fighting before a crowd,
2) the Chinese possibly had some form of unarmed combat in 2000bc (from the time of the mythical Yellow Emperor) and it is certain that unarmed combat existed long before the Shaolin monks existed let alone could have had Greek knowledge imported from India as supposedly conveyed there by Alexander
3)there was depictions of unarmed combat in Ancient Egypt by 2300 bc or so
4) most significantly in terms of this topic the Mahabharata which is probably contemporaneous with , so predates the earliest Greek Olympics and in any event predated Alexander's entry to India describes a mixed martial art unarmed combat.

Where Pankration scores is that though probably not the first full on mixed technique unarmed combat sport it is one of the earliest to be fully recorded in terms of
a) technique and
b) a history of formal competition.
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Re: PANKRATION-ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS

Postby kimon07 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:05 am

Well, stud, I predict a very interesting debate between you and them:

Tatsuo Suzuki, Hirokazu Kanazawa, and Masutasu Oyama, that the Greek Martial Art of Pankration (all Powers) introduced into India by the army of Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC, influencedthe development of Kalari, and thence, the martial arts of China, Tibet, Japan, Okinawa and South-East-Asia.
http://lionsroar.name/indian_kalari_martial_arts.htm


P.S. According to my opinion the correct translation of Pankration is not "all powers" but rather "total dominance"
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Re: PANKRATION-ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS

Postby kimon07 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:09 am

kimon07 wrote:Well, stud,

1. I predict a very interesting debate between you and them:

Tatsuo Suzuki, Hirokazu Kanazawa, and Masutasu Oyama, that the Greek Martial Art of Pankration (all Powers) introduced into India by the army of Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC, influenced the development of Kalari, and thence, the martial arts of China, Tibet, Japan, Okinawa and South-East-Asia.
http://lionsroar.name/indian_kalari_martial_arts.htm


2. Your sources please? I have become quite interested in this subject now and I would love to have as much as possible information on it.

P.S. According to my opinion the correct translation of Pankration is not "all powers" but rather "total dominance"
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Re: PANKRATION-ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS

Postby kimon07 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:28 am

supporttheunderdog wrote:Hi Kimon

Unarmed Combat is certainly one of the oldest activities know to man and there are a number of sources which suggest it was practiced in a number of Cultures long before it was recorded in Greece. It would indeed be very surprising if many cultures did not have some sort of full=on unarmed combat with few restrictions as a means of men showing their prowess and developing a hierarchy.

1) there are Mongolian cave paintings dating to 7000 bc showing men fighting before a crowd,...


Fifhting how? Where were they found? Any links?

2) the Chinese possibly had some form of unarmed combat in 2000bc......


The possibility versus the positivity? :roll:

3)there was depictions of unarmed combat in Ancient Egypt by 2300 bc or so....


Also there ere many old Greek depictions as well, older than the ones depicting Pankration. But they are of boxing or wrestling. What are the Egyptian ones of? Where? Pictures available? Sources?

4) most significantly in terms of this topic the Mahabharata......


What about it? In terms of recording unarmed complex martial art I mean. Remember, the sources I linked to don't claim the Indians got martial arts from the Greeks. They say the Greek martial art influenced and enriched the then existing Indian style. Also remember that according to a Pakistani study which you posted under another thread ("When India was Grek") the presence of Greeks in India dates way before Alexander.

Where Pankration scores is that though probably not the first full on mixed technique unarmed combat sport.......


This time its the probability versus the positivity.

.......it is one of the earliest to be fully recorded in terms of

a) technique and
b) a history of formal competition.


Yes. And last but not least:

c) Standard official Olympian/Panhellenic/International rules (in terms of the Hellenic and the Hellenistic world).
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