Pammachon Martial Arts - Welcome
Schoolchildren in Zagori training in the martial arts
Ancient Pammachon
Schoolchildren in Crete training in close quarter combat

 Be rid of fear.

Be a slave to no desire.

Live your life a free man.



Mind is that which Arranges and Causes All Being. 


Pammachon is a method of martial education incorporating a philosophical foundation, a strategic base, and a neurological/evolutionary paradigm, all enacted physically through specific tactical and operational training. The method is based on traditional Hellenism, incorporating principles proven throughout the millennia to provide asymmetric capabilities to practitioners.


Pammachon training is broken down into four distinct phases.

These four phases correspond to distinct neurological criteria that dominate the human psyche based on the level of stress and/or violence encountered. 

Martial Arts and Combat Sports are not the same thing. A combat sport is, by definition, an athletic contest between two individuals, the main intention of which is to assure the participants’ safety while allowing one contestant to defeat the other. Wrestling, judo, taekwondo boxing, and mixed martial arts are all typical examples of combat sports. Techniques that are by definition hazardous to the participant’s health and continued integrity are prohibited. It is plainly understood that contestants are not allowed to attack one another’s eyes or genitals, bite through each other’s throat, or attack the spinal cord and skull using lethal strikes, locks, or other techniques. In true combat situations, however, all the above do apply – when one fights for his life, there are no limits, and one’s instincts center on killing the enemy as quickly as possible. Consequently, both the training methods and the applied kinesiology are different for martial arts and for combat sports, and always have been.

The word “Pammachon” (pan-machon) was most likely used by the Ancient Greeks to describe their martial arts. The Greek words “machaira” (μάχαιρα – knife, blade), and “machi” (μάχη - battle) originate from the same root “mach-” (μαχ-). Thus the word “machi” (μάχη), essentially describes a martial confrontation that includes both the use of close quarter combat weaponry (e.g. knife, sword, spear, lance, club etc.), and (the somewhat more important in contemporary times) unarmed combat against these aforementioned lethal weapons. Hence, a proper translation of the word “pammachon” (πάμμαχον) would be “total combat” – but, as we will see, the term is not limited to this context.

Pammachon was practiced in Greece until the 20th century, evolving to adapt to the times throughout the centuries, its core principles kept intact. Today, well-known martial artist, hoplologist and author Kostas Dervenis is trying to revive and reconstruct this lost art, in hopes that the tradition can be maintained and passed on to future generations.

Kostas Dervenis

All photos, drawings, and written material are copyright to Kostas Dervenis, © 1995, 2004, 2007, 2013. Unauthorized reproduction for commercial purposes is prohibited. You may download material for personal use, but it may not be used in electronic or hardcopy publications, including forums and blogs, without the creator’s express written permission.

 Non-lethal Combatives

 Submission Combatives

Lethal Combatives 

 Autonomic Processing


Institute of Traditional Martial Arts

Pammachon has been formally recognised by the Institute of Traditional Martial Arts, an association housed in the Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences (College of Education) at the University of New Mexico, and working to promote the growth, development, dissemination of knowledge, and preservation of cultural heritage of the traditional martial arts, both locally and globally.

History of Pammachon

Since 1999 Kostas Dervenis has used the term “pammachon” (πάμμαχον) for both the martial arts and the warrior’s path expressed through these arts...

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