Junior wrestler to compete with team USA in Rome

Dylan Mau, Staff Writter

  Andrew Swanson, junior, will compete with Team USA in Rome, Italy at the United World Wrestling Pankration Championship from Nov. 15-18.
“My professor walked up to me and asked me in August if I wanted to train for Pankration, and I said yes, even though I didn’t really know what it was. This is my first-time doing Pankration anywhere,” Swanson said.
Pankration is different than other forms of martial arts. It is a fighting sport meant to be used in war, according to John Erickson, science teacher and fan of pankration.
“Pankration is an Ancient Greek martial art that originated before Alexander the Great in 400 BC,” Erickson said.
The sport is almost a combination of other martial arts.
“ Jui-Jitsu is more like controlled ground-based fighting. Kickboxing is standing while fighting. Pankration is when you’re on the ground for 20 seconds, then you stand back up and start fighting again,” Swanson said.
His success has come quickly since he did not start practicing martial arts until he was in middle school.
“I got beat up in middle school, so I told my mom I needed to learn how to defend myself,” he said.
Swanson “started going to the gym the summer of seventh grade.” He started with Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing in eighth grade. Swanson wanted to quit because “things were tough” on him at first.
“I got good at it, so I thought I wanted to perform in competitions. I won most of my competitions for Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing,” Swanson said.