Another famous Mediterranean warrior also used at least a form of Pankration....
The LEGIONNAIRE of the Roman Empire.
Legionnaire training was a brutal unforgiving affair. Training with wooden weapons that weighed 2x the amount of what he would carry in battle, regular forced marches in full equipment, all under harsh punishment for failure to meet the high standards set forward. Given the times this meant brutal hand to hand combat training as well
The term "armatura" appears in Legion training. This term was also used to describe training in gladiatorial schools. Gladiators were known to use Pankration until about 393 AD when Emperor Theodosius forbid its practice, and the games themselves. The Romans also trained heavily in boxing and wrestling, foundational components of Pankration. So logically speaking Pankration trickled down from the Gladiator to the Legionnaire.
It comes as no surprise to me that at the heart of the combat ideology of two of the greatest warrior civilizations on the planet, we find Pankration. Warrior civilizations that tested their mettle against not just themselves, but a host of other warriors from around the world. Emerging victorious many times over. All ranges, all skills, all powers. Pankration