Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 8:48 am | Overcast 66º


Local Boys Bring Home Gold, Silver at Pankration Invitational

Austin Davis and Adan Alvaro next will compete in hopes of qualifying for the national team

More than 100 boys and girls met at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base on Saturday for an invitational pankration event. Local competitors Austin Davis, 16, of Goleta, and Adan Alvaro, 11, of Santa Barbara, brought home the respective gold and silver medals.

Pankration is a martial art event that pits two competitors against each other using a full range of techniques such as wrestling, kickboxing, karate, jiu jitsu and sambo. Very similar to the popular event known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, pankration is a safe testing ground for upcoming fighters to test their potential.

All competitors are required to wear full proper protection, and no head contact is allowed to ensure all injury is kept to a minimum. As a matter of fact, pankration is actually one of the original Olympic events started in Greece more than 3,000 years ago.

Davis, representing the Valhalla Elite Training Center of Santa Barbara, under the tutelage of coach Michael MacDonald, blew through two other competitors to take home the gold. Originally slated to fight in a lighter category, Davis was forced to fight in a heavier category with competitors more than 15 pounds heavier than him.

His first competitor, Austin Creel of Orange, was forced to give up two minutes into the match because of a variation side choke. Davis’ second match was a bit close nearly going to the four-minute time limit. Davis was behind points when he managed to score with a leg submission for the “tap out.”

Alvaro, also competing from the Valhalla Elite Training Center, has been training directly with Davis for the past month to get ready for his first pankration match. Alvaro did well in his first match despite receiving an illegal kick to the head. He was given a minute to recover and managed to come back and beat his opponent on points. During his last bout, Alvaro managed to score several solid points before his opponent managed to take him down. Alvaro lost that match on points.

The next tournament will be held in Las Vegas to qualify for the national team. If either competitor makes it, he will represent the United States in the World Championships.

— Michael MacDonald is the head instructor at the Valhalla Elite Training Center.


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