Pankration sounds like a very dirty cooking implement, but in fact it's TOTAL COMBAT.
It was one of the original contests in the Olympic Games and was a mixture of wrestling and boxing.
The rules were simple: no biting and no eye-gouging. Everything else was fine.
Yes, pankration really separated the men from the boys...ah, come to think about it that was another rule: they had separate boys' matches.
There were no time limits. The fight went on until there was a submission or until the referees, who carried big sticks, stopped the bout.
Pankration is said to have been invented by the two heroes Heracles and Theseus. It was a good job they did, too, because Heracles needed pankration to sort out the Nemean lion:
and Theseus needed it to sort out the Minotaur:
The best thing of all about pankration as far as I'm concerned is that it's no longer an Olympic sport.
Otherwise the Games would go on even longer.
Word Not To Use Today: pankration. This word is Greek and comes from pan, which means all, and kratos, which means power.