Although the word "pankration" can be loosely translated to "all strength" or "all moves" and MMA is often called "no-holds barred fighting" the following are prohibited by the rules of pankration:
- Strikes directed at: a) Joints (within 3 inches distal and proximal), b) Throat or Neck, c) Spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, sacrum and coccyx), d) Groin and Inner Thighs
- Clawing, scratching, pinching or grabbing of the skin
- Grabbing the openings or straps of the headgear or trunks
- Grabbing of hair
- Grabbing fewer than three (3) fingers or toes
- Any throw which locks the knees or is designed to, or which results in, an athlete being thrown onto their head or neck
- Any technique which severely compresses or hyper-extends the spine
- Grappling heel hooks
- Dynamic application of joint locks or chokes which deny an athletethe opportunity to submit before injury occurs
- Avoiding engagement
- Failure to defend
- Feigning injury
- Unsportsmanlike Conduct, including use of profanity, excessive "celebration", taunting or any behavior deemed unsportsmanlike by tournament officials.
In a further concession to modernity, the fighters no longer compete in the nude.