The κοντάρι (staff ) is a traditional weapon of the Hellenic people.  The revered philosopher Plato ( Πλάτων - 428 - 348 B.C.) heavily advocated staff training.  The term itself arose in the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) era.  In fact, youth were taught this skill in the schools of Hellas proper and historic Greek lands including Anatolia.  The κοντάρι was not taught in the Turkish, Armenian, Assyrian,etc schools of the Ottoman Empire. 

As can be seen on this page, there is pictorial evidence (along with other samples  throughout this site) of youth training in their school in Thraki (Eastern Hellas)  during the 1880’s. 

Students may begin learning the Pammachon Kοντάρι Set under a reconized Pammachon trainer at anytime.  The set itself reinforces proper stance and movement; which is why it was traditionally taught at an early age. However, students will be not be tested until their Level 2 examination.

Parents in the Hellenic Diaspora should note that youth in schools teaching Eastern martial arts are learning other  methods  of the staff as early as 8 years old (sometimes earlier) in thousands of schools.

Below the reader can view a traditional Κοντάρι demonstration at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando in the Hellenic Diaspora.