Pankration is the national martial art of the Elysian Celestial Empire. It is heavily based on wrestling and locks traditionally, although over the last thousand years or so it has become more rounded and become a fully integrated and flexible style.
Pankration is taught extensively to all members of the Elysian Armed Forces. It is renowned for exceptional brutality, as well as its efficiency. It is originally a sport and centres around the concept of 'no holds barred wrestling', however the development of the 'no holds' element of this results in an all-encompassing fighting system, encompassing all elements of unarmed combat (and also encompassing the use of a club or similar bludgeoning device - referred to as the ropalon). It is far more than its origin as a fusion of wresling and boxing.
The martial art has two basic components - katō, which is the ground-fighting component, and anō which is the standing component.
While Pankration is a trained and organised martial art, within actual combat there are no rules other than no gouging of the eyes or biting - in war against non-Elysians even this rule is often suspended. As such Pankration is really simply the art of efficient fighting - in encompasses an enormous range of joint and headlocks, takedowns and strangulation techniques - strangulation being the most common way of killing in Pankration.
Similar to the West Asian martial arts, Pankration encompasses kata's known as 'Pyrrics', single-blow sparring called 'Klimax', and even breathing exercises known as 'Pneuma'. Training materials include wooden posts for striking and the hardening of the body, although Pankration also includes the consumption of specialised substances - a combination of traditional herbal medicines and modern performance enhancing drugs.
A recognised master of Pankration often wears a cloak composed of a lions skin - normally one that they have killed themselves. One who studies Pankration is called a Pankratiast.