Teaching Strategy - Youth

Skill Teaching Strategy - Youth

First and foremost, trainers must remember that Πάμμαχον is a traditional method of training where the base science is considered proven within the constructs of NATO. 

The competitive Pankration (Παγκράτιον) format is one small aspect of a greater whole for the youth.   The sport will be taught in the context of this greater whole that will seamlessly evolve into adult training.  Hence, all training for Level 1, although geared to the rules of the sport, is in the context of reality.

Youth students are not taught the “science” of biting. However, instructors enforce that students shift position when they are vulnerable to a biting technique; explaining why in simple “non-graphic” terms. 

Likewise, instructors do not train students in jumping (flying knees, etc) or spinning techniques.  For competition in the sport form,  they are, in fact, illegal.  These are quite risky and in a real confrontation, would mostly be a tactical error.

Although students are allowed to kick above the waist (and below the clavicle) in the sport, instructors sparingly recommend such tactics.  Trainers train students in the proper defenses against such attacks (including aforementioned prohibited "jumping" and "spinning" techniques) and take advantage of the opponents' weaknesses.  When bladed weapons are involved, kicking above the waist, spinning and jumping are extremely risky. Hence, the youth are not mislead in training.

On the ground, a Πάμμαχος assumes the top position to always be superior.  This is not only in recognition of the force of gravity, but it leaves the practitioner on top more mobile and more able to aptly deal with other threats in combative applications.  Hence, on the bottom, students should understand submissions, but the first priority is to reverse position and to get on top.

In the spirit of the top position and gravity, the superior “position” should not be forfeited to apply for a submission; always preferring mobility and being on top.

This methodology in training the youth is reinforced in the Youth Sport Pankration rules presented on this site.

In sparring and targeted pad/bag drills previous to Level 1 ranking students will be taught to tap and hit the target with non-penetrating contact. 

Students MUST wear a mouthguard and cup (for boys) when any sparring drills are engaged.  In sparring drills involving striking, headgear must be worn.  In any drills involving punches, a puncher must where the padded knuckle gloves.  In sparring drills involving kicking, a kicker must where shin pads. 

More in-depth direction in training youth (strategy, tactics, drills, kinesiology, etc)  is taught in the HPA Youth Instructor Certification Program outlined on this site with teacher advancement.