Jim Arvanitis Resurrects Pankration The First Mixed Martial Art. judo. ancient greek pankration. ancient pankration. bo. grappling technique. Jim Arvanitis is world-renowned as Greek Pankration’s “Renaissance Man” and the Founder of Neo-Pankration, a cohesive blend of the remnants of the ancient. Jim Arvanitis stands out in the martial arts community as a trailblazer and an innovator, one who has dedicated his life to advancing the arts. World renowned as.

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Jim realized that to increase awareness of this, teaching classes was not enough. Many tend to compare my concepts with his, but the fact is that our backgrounds are entirely different. Considered as both an innovator and a visionary, Jim was among the first who integrated skills from various systems at a time when stylized martial arts such as karate, taekwondo, and kung-fu were most popular.

The Modern Greek Karate Jul 01, You are commenting using your Twitter account. The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia: When I first arrived in Los Angeles in to shoot the landmark cover story for Black Belt magazine, the editor wanted to arrange a meeting with Bruce Lee. In addition to his contributions to the martial arts world, he is also a former boxing and wrestling champion, and a multiple world record holder for thumb pushups.

They consisted of a hardcore group who were looking for something more realistic in terms of a no-holds-barred street brawl. These sources became his “blueprint” in resurrecting pankration into a contemporary form.

He has since appeared on multiple covers and in hundreds of articles over the past forty years. Email required Address never made public.

Rather than practicing on padded mats all the time, he and his students would jlm and spar on sand to simulate the ancient skamma jin arena of the ancients, and on pavement.

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Jim Arvanitis Part 1: The First Mixed Martial Artist | JohanMMA

Only 13 left in stock more on the way. Bruce emerged primarily from a classical wing chun background and branched out later in his ideology, whereas I came xrvanitis Western combat sports where freedom of expression and movement were already ingrained in my cognitive and physiological makeup. Arvanitis pursued a teaching career in mathematics but had wanted to promote his art on a full-time basis.


Magazine stated that “Jim Arvanitis’ endeavors were far ahead of the curve in that he included many aspects of combat that no one else did. His father, George Arvanitis, thought introducing his eldest son to combat sports would give him more self-respect. Jim also did one-arm pushups on two fingers and thumb pushups with his arms extended in front of him.

Even this McGregor fellow who arvqnitis so much PR for the UFC needs to improve his skill-set on the ground, especially if he draws a arvanifis grappler such as Khabib Nurmagomedov. Arvanitis was featured on the cover of Black Belt magazine in where he discussed neo-pankration.

He trained like a fanatic combining all of his studies into one hybrid system.

The cover story changed everything for Arvanitis, he said. Arvanitis opened his first Spartan Academy in in Boston, and used the original pankration as a blueprint for his core curriculum.

Martial arts legend shares no-holds-barred stories

Arvanitis’s system was geared to reality-based street fighting but was very similar to today’s MMA in that it included standup arvaniitis ground tactics, along with an amalgam of strikes, joint locks, takedowns, throws, and anything else that he felt was effective. At a seminar in Canada in the earlys, Arvanitis’ punch broke the sternum of a student holding a thick mim to his chest, and one of his kicks propelled another equipped with an air-filled shield through a wall.

Athletics played an important role in the family. Arvanitis’ athleticism arvanitsi reflected in his strength and endurance. With this philosophy in mind and the fact that mixed fighting was not yet popular, his following was always small but constant. Game of the Gods: Eventually, this led to Arvanitis attempting and completing a push-up on only his thumbs. He also gives seminars across the country.


My talk with Arvanitis lasted well over two hours. Like any pioneer with a radically different approach, he received a great deal of criticism but it only fueled his efforts.

Unfortunately, he died a few days later. Provide feedback about this page. The Greeks incorporated the pyrrhic dance to help develop rhythm in combat, are there similar exercises you incorporate? Arvanitis was a decorated high school athlete in track and basketball for which he set a arbanitis league record for points scored in a single game and in a season.

Other accomplishments include two-finger arrvanitis on one arm, doing thumb pushups with his arms extended in front of his head, holding a static pushup position on his thumbs jlm several minutes, and doing his thumb pushups with his feet elevated on a chair.

Jim also demonstrated up to seventeen consecutive one-arm thumb pushups on television talk shows throughout the s. While at Greek school, Arvanitis saw pictures of ancient Olympic games lining the walls, including some depicting pankration. Throughout his training, he adopted a functional approach to martial arts by assimilating or discarding techniques based on combat effectiveness. High to Low Avg. This site uses cookies. He officially set the world record for thumb push-ups with 45 in 51 seconds, then broke his own record by completing 61 in 47 seconds on The Guinness Game show three years later.

I have always emphasized fluidity of motion in combat from the outset. As an instructor, Arvanitis was very selective in his students emphasizing quality rather than quantity. From my study of boxing, I found that boxers that bob and weave and slip punches effectively were much more difficult to hit squarely or knock out.

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