Aris Makris, owner and Master Instructor of Armak Spartan Pankration Academy in Laval, Quebec, Canada with the rank of PEDOTRIVIS "Delta" taxis. With 41 years of training in martial arts Aris have been teaching Pankration in Montreal, Canada and seminars abroad for over 20 years
In The Beginning
Aris started training from a very young age and was influenced, like most fighters by legendary martial artists such as Bruce Lee. Aris was instantly bitten by the Martial Arts bug and became fanatical for anything that could make him move like that. Going through different phases in his training based on real life experience. Having been in the security fields for 25 years working as body gaurd and in Montreal's worst clubs , his training approach has benefited him in the worst situations.
"I started with Asian arts in my first year in high school, which left me with plenty of questions in the process about combat. These questions would go beyond the scope of this biography. Because I, like many others of my generation grew up on the streets, it gave way for the ever present likelihood of getting into a street fight. Although I had, and still have great respect for my teachers, I was frustrated that my questions could not be answered, I began a quest to find these answers and wandered between several studios, dojos and academies, more often than I possibly could, doing 2 or more arts at the same time. I was getting swamped by so much info that it felt as if I was in Martial Arts heaven. I'm sure my teachers weren't all that happy, but no one at that time was teaching all aspects of combat in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter. Around 1980, although very indulged in my culture's ancient and modern history, I had heard about Pankration only in passing, until I was given a book of Mas Oyamas Karate in which he stated that "if it wasn't for the Greeks who came out with Pankration we would have nothing today", that stirred me up and got me focused in that direction. I was once again bitten and was headed to another direction to find out any and all information pertaining to this grand part of my history. Around that same time, I was given another boost after having seen Jim Arvanitis in a well known martial arts magazine, "Black Belt", and that set the flame a blazing. It was obvious now and inevitable which way my life would go at any cost. Pankration was not yet mainstream and I was pulled into that direction stronger than ever before. Having pulled out every source available, ancient or modern and having my experiences as a solid base, in 1985, I had transitioned full time into a Pankration type drilling and training methodology.
Being of Spartan blood makes me extremely proud. I wake up knowing that in some small way me and my students some how keep the link alive and connected with the ancients through our training and through our respect for them, and by the way we live our lives. Today, I head the Spartan Pankration Academy, and I am proud to say that I have an extraordinary group of students, dedicated and loyal to the art. I now use that knowledge to educate them with a complete program the way I believe the ancients would have wanted it. I am proud of my heritage and history. They demonstrated to us several times that we should go beyond the barriers of tongue and color and honour only the individuals heart and passion for their efforts and hard work in their training. bringing to mind the words of King Leonidas who said before going off to Thermopiles, "we discard the life of comfort and leisure and enroll into the Academy of Discipline and Sacrifice" The Palestrai! By that definition we are all Spartans!" ~Aris Makris