Grandmaster Pankratiast Jim Arvanitis commenced his martial arts training at age 8 in Athens, Greece. His studies include the Western styles of boxing, Greco-Roman Combat Grappling (still taught in backyard schools in Greece), and Boxe Francaise Savate. He began his intensive research into the history and concepts of the ancient Hellenic pankration in 1963, as a young adult. Arvanitis’ supplemental training in Asian martial arts consists of Muay-Thai and Combat Judo. The innovative Greek-American athlete modified many of the techniques from this vast array of styles by adding modern principles of kinesiology and leverage. In addition, supplemental training, sound combative strategies, proper nutrition, and pragmatic skills training became emphasized elements in his regimen.
What soon materialized was a single entity that Mr. Arvanitis labeled Mu Tau (a Greek acronym for “Martial Truth”).
Jim Arvanitis, referred to as Keereeos (Greek: Patriarch) by his followers, is internationally recognized as the “Father of Modern Pankration”, having revived the ancient Greek sport as a comprehensive combat art in the late 1960’s. Although the term, itself, has always existed in Greece, the practice of the original art has been dormant for more than 2000 years. Arvanitis was the very first to rebuild the art and expose it to the international martial arts community when he appeared on the cover of Black Belt magazine in 1973.
He founded the first contemporary style of the classic pankration called “Mu Tau” in 1968. Many consider Arvanitis to be one of the early pioneers of integrating striking and submission grappling into one system.
Jim Arvanitis is the most famous martial artist of Greek heritage in the Twentieth Century, having been featured in over 200 national and international magazine and newspaper articles. He has appeared in the following martial arts publications:
Taekwondo Times; Karate/Kung-Fu Illustrated; The World’s Martial Arts Elite; Black Belt (cover story); Inside Kung-Fu; Karate International; Martial Arts Ultimate Warriors; Karate Illustrated ; Official Karate; Fighting Stars; American Karate; Oriental Fighting Arts (UK); Inside Karate; Martial Arts Masters; Martial Arts Legends; Official Karate; Fighting Champions; World of Martial Arts; Who’s Who in American Martial Arts; The Martial Arts Encyclopedia; Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People; Martial Arts Masters; Jiu Jitsu; The Karate Voice; Grandmaster Magazine; Martial Arts Illustrated (US); Martial Arts & Combat Sports to name a few.
In addition, Grandmaster Arvanitis is the recipient of several martial arts awards, is the published author of two books, and has starred in an instructional video series with more tapes currently in the planning stages. He has outstanding records in both the ring and on the street, and is the world record holder of various highly-publicized physical fitness feats including ‘thumb’ pushups (61 in 45 seconds) and one-arm thumb pushups.
His teaching experience spans over two decades on both coasts. Jim’s students include karate black belts, boxers, kickboxers, wrestlers, film writers, bodyguards, law enforcement and SWAT team members, United States marines and the Army special forces. He played an instrumental role in preparing the ground troops for the Persian Gulf War.
Among his American television appearances are “The Mike Douglas Show”, “The Good Day Show”, “The Guinness Game”, “That’s Incredible”, “Guinness Book World Records Show”, “That’s Entertainment”, and “Amazing People”.
Grandmaster Arvanitis has been inducted into several Halls of Fame and has received numerous awards from these organizations in recognition of his vast accomplishments. He is an Executive Board Member of the prestigious World Head of Family Sokeship Council, the most prestigious group of recognized grandmasters in the world.
It is in light of these achievements that many of his admirers refer to him as Greek Pankration’s “Rennaissance Man”.
Jim Arvanitis continues to promote the Hellenic fighting arts throughout the world. He is presently spearheading the movement to bring all hellenic martial artists together as one fist of unity.