How To Learn Pankration (Online Training & Local Schools)

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Pankration is a kind of martial art that has a deep history in Ancient Greece and is still studied today in practice and even competition.

Modern Pankration is something you can participate in and learn. However, it can be difficult for some people to find a school or coach specializing in it. It can depend on where you are in the world.

In this article, I’ve researched to help you discover how to learn Pankration, whether finding a school or in your own home. Let’s get to it!

Finding Pankration Training In Schools Near Me

Two fighters wrestling in Pankration school

Finding a school could be the best option if you want to get really stuck in learning Pankration hands-on.

It can be challenging to find a school or MMA gym with classes for Pankration and even harder for specialization. But I’ll describe some of the best methods you can use to find one.

Search Online For Pankration Near Me

The simplest method to try and find a Pankration school is to search online for it. Search engines will likely show martial arts results near you.

The main issue with this method is that search engines generalize Pankration as “martial arts.” You can typically find martial art gyms that are not exactly what you’re looking for (Pankration).

So you might need to dig a little deeper to browse the websites of the gyms you find to see if they specifically mention Pankration.

Tip: One tip that could help is to search for “Wrestling gyms near me” because, more often than not, Pankration aligns with Wrestling martial arts schools as they have a lot of similarities in their practice, dominate an opponent and take them down to the ground.

Pankration is quite different from martial arts like Kung Fu or Karate, so it’s better to stay away from striking gyms. Then you stand a better chance of fighting the right teacher.

Browse the websites of gyms you find and their social networks to see if they talk about or show the practice of Pankration. Try contacting them by email or phone if you think they might but don’t have concrete evidence.

Search Local Maps

Like before, you can run a search for “Pankration” on the app you use for maps and see if anything comes up nearby.

Most likely, it will recognize it as martial arts and show you a variety of schools nearby. But you can always just contact them directly to ask about Pankration.

You can prioritize by focusing on grappling and Wrestling schools because they are typically more likely to have them. Keeping an eye out for Sambo could help because it is similar to Pankration.

Online School Directory

To find a Pankration school, you might be able to try an online school directory that compiles martial arts and grappling schools together.

One of the primary ways to find a Pankration school to attend for youths is by using the United States Fight League directory.

The USFL has a vast network for training young people to learn Modern Pankration (synonymous with MMA). They can then take those skills to fight professionally in various combat sports, mostly MMA cage fighting.

For adults, looking for an MMA gym or a grappling-focused gym is the best option for finding Pankration or Modern Pankration lessons.

Another directory exists for grappling schools collected by Grapplearts here.

Run a “find on page” for Pankration and check the results. With this, you will find Pankration specialized schools because it’s in their gym name.

But you might be able to also find schools that teach Pankration on there that don’t have it in the name. As described earlier, grappling or Wrestling gyms have classes for Pankration that they don’t publicize widely.

In that case, it’s a good idea to look for gyms on that list near you (by city or state) and contact them directly to ask about Pankration classes. You might be in luck!

Here’s a list of some other directories and resources you can try to find your Pankration school:

How To Learn Pankration Online

Learn Pankration online with an online school

With Pankration challenging to find in most places around the world locally, it gets even harder to find an online school for learning Pankration in your own home.

After research, I came across online training by the Pankration Academy based in Ireland.

They offer a trial for one week, after which you can subscribe for $8.99 per month.

I haven’t studied their programming myself to understand if it’s accurately teaching ancient or modern Pankration, so you might have to find out for yourself.

When comparing Pankration vs. MMA, it can be hard to tell the difference. It really falls to the pure materials studied alongside training.

After all, Pankration is ancient and has had many adaptations. Modern combat sports like MMA in competitions like the UFC and Bellator are evolving.

Suppose you are hoping to find educational materials that help you study the history of Pankration and interpretations of its fighting styles. In that case, this resource of the Historical Pankration Project could be handy.

Here are some other Pankration resources to learn the historical background and modern interpretations:

Learn The Rules Of Pankration

Pankration has different rules depending on the ancient style and modern Pankration, more like MMA.

Here is a summarized version of the rules of modern Pankration is below, which is taken from the International Pankration Regulations by the United World Wrestling organization:

In Pankration Traditional rules, regular punches and kicks to the body and controlled round-house kicks to the head are allowed. 

Pankration Elite rules allow punches and kicks to the body and head.

Some strikes are completely illegal: the back of the head, neck, throat, knee or below the knee, joints, kidneys, spine, and groin.

In another article, I describe these rules and how effective Pankration is in a street fight.

The regulations provided by the UWW give a good knowledge of what you can and cannot do in a Pankration match for adults.

The rules can change for youths as the rules are tightened to ensure a high level of controlled strikes.

For example, competitive youth matches in the USFL allow strikes below the collar bone and above the hip, to the front body only, and only three strikes on a grounded opponent before changing position.

Again, I’ve already detailed more about these Pankration rule differences in another article.

How To Learn Pankration Techniques

Man and woman practicing Pankration grappling techniques

To specifically learn Pankration techniques, you need to find a teacher in this specialty.

Reading up on ancient techniques from the resources I’ve described above will help you understand the basics.

But to learn how to fight in a particular style, you need to actually have a physical session to practice and drill the movements.

That also means having a partner to practice with. Ideally, this would be a coach who can support your growth from a beginner into an experienced grappling fighter.

As Pankration has many similarities to MMA, Wrestling, and Sambo, you could find many techniques already available in those classes.

Finding MMA and Wrestling classes is often much more straightforward, and so it may be worthwhile to study those grappling arts to build your base.

Many wrestlers and MMA fighters may switch between competing in Wrestling, MMA, or Pankration tournaments because they are primarily different based on their rules and illegal moves.

If you can learn how to wrestle, you’re in an excellent spot to perform in a competitive Pankration match.

Now you should have a good idea of how to learn Pankration either at home and online or by finding a school near you. Look out for grappling gyms that focus on Wrestling techniques, and you could find the right teacher for Pankration skill development!

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