Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

This an­cient Greek game’s pur­pose was to bring your op­po­nent as close to death as pos­si­ble, with­out ac­tu­ally killing them. Be­cause it was a blood­sport, the matches in­volved ele­ments of wrestling, el­bows, handto-hand com­bat, and kick­ing. Also, as it was a Greek sport, of course both com­peti­tors were very naked men. The com­bat sport was in­tro­duced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and founded as a blend of boxing and wrestling but with scarcely any rules. The only things not ac­cept­able were bit­ing and goug­ing of the op­po­nent’s eyes. While the goal was clearly to beat to hell out of your op­po­nent to ei­ther sub­mis­sion or un­con­scious­ness, go­ing too far and killing your op­po­nent was an au­to­matic for­fei­ture. Why?, you ask. Be­cause any fighter killed in the course of Pankration was seen as the ul­ti­mate fighter (but not an ‘‘Ul­ti­mate Fighter’’) and thus the win­ner of the match. So there’s a small up­side to get­ting beaten to death. Nice. A mod­ern ver­sion has emerged, loosley based on the orig­i­nal but ob­vi­ously not to the same ex­tremes. Be­cause that would be wrong.

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