The Greek Olympic Games, Pankration and MMA: Jim Arvanitis Offers a Brief History Internationally known as the “Father of Modern Pankration,” Jim Arvanitis, the Black Belt Hall of Fame 2009 Instructor of the Year, contends that, “be it a front kick, hammerfist or shoulder throw, the lineage of each can be traced back to the ancient Greeks.” He should know, having studied pankration and both its modern-combat and mixed-martial-arts applications for decades.

When visiting the Black Belt photo studio for a technique shoot, he broke into a brief history of pankration and the Greek Olympic Games and how they tie into what we now know as mixed martial arts. Learn more in his book, THE FIRST MIXED MARTIAL ART: PANKRATION FROM MYTHS TO MODERN TIMES, available now at