Kosta Danaos on Combat Sports and Martial Arts

Excerpted from The Rediscovery of Panmachon by Kosta Danaos:

Anyone with a more than elementary involvement in the martial arts and combat sports is able to tell the difference between the two. A combat sport is, by definition, an athletic contest between two individuals, the main intention of which is, in the end, to assure the participants’ safety. Wrestling, judo, taekwondo and boxing are principal examples of combat sports. Techniques that are by definition hazardous to the participant’s health and continued wellbeing are (or should be) prohibited. It is plainly understood that contestants are not allowed to (nor desire to) attack one another’s eyes or genitals, bite through each other’s flesh, or attack the spinal chord and skull using lethal strikes, locks, or other techniques. Killing or permanently disabling the opponent is not the objective of combat sports, though injuries abound…

…Without proper neurological and cognitive conditioning, we can’t really avoid reacting [instinctively], since this is how we have been programmed by nature. It would be safe to call this biological sequence our “natural aggressive response.” Similar manifestations to the “response” mentioned above can be seen in dogs, cats, monkeys, and gorillas, in fact in all animals. As human beings, however, we do have the capacity to control our physiological reactions during combat, as we differ from other animals in terms of self-control and logic. However, this can only be achieved though conscious effort and discipline (In other words, the logical and conscious elements of our brain, the cerebral frontal lobes, must impose themselves upon the more primitive parts of our brain, the autonomic nervous system and the limbic system)…

…A combat sport such as kickboxing, where the execution of the techniques and body posture follow the model of our natural response in battle, has much to commend it. However, in practice and under real combat circumstances, such a stance is ill-advised. In contrast with expectations, during the past 10,000 years (as far as the archeological record takes us back), martial artists, have insisted on an upright posture. Why is this the case?

(continued at Kosta Danaos’ Panmachon website)


  1. Maybe I am missing something, but as far as I can see the article is written by Kostas Dervenis, not by Kosta Danaos.

  2. Ah… delete that remark, I see that ‘Kosta Danaos’ is a pseudonym he writes under. Sorry.

  3. I want to visit the medical practice of John Chang – the Mogus of Java, can anybody help? is it in Surabaya or Madura?


  4. I am a student of Kostas Dervenis and well as far as I know Mr Chang stopped healing and teaching….

  5. Hey Stefan, I am a student of Kostas Dervenis too and haven’t heard that Mr Chang stopped healing and teaching, are you sure about that?
    Would be good to clarify it, thanks mate.

  6. Hi,
    I am surching for a clue to get to Mr Chang, but first I need a contact of Mr Kostas:) maybe a good greek person or anybody can help me? I also have an ideea, if grace will be with us, to make a small group of spiritual people from everywhere(I m from Romania),to go in Java, make a trip to Master Chang.
    If we will be there, something good will happen, for sure:)

  7. I am looking to travel to Greece, Brasil, and Indonesia looking for people who are involved in the internal arts. Any advice on how to get in touch with Kostas Dervenis? What Should I expect to encounter if I get into contact with Kostas Dervenis and ask him for instruction?? Thank you for any response and good luck to everyone seeking to better this life through the practice of internal arts.

  8. I am looking to contact John Chang and I am not sure how to go about it. I am looking to be healed…I am 15 and have had severe chronic pain though out my body since I was a baby. I have tried all of the traditional medicine as well as any antibiotic you can think of. I’m really at a stand still, I have worked with doctors across the nation and no one has Amy answers. I have recently stumbled upon John Chang. If he is as skilled as he looks I’m hoping he can help. Please if anyone has trains under him or knows were to contact him I will be forever grateful.

    Thank you,

  9. Perhaps I mis-read the initial post regarding the last paragraph. What is the expectation being contrasted? And why is the stance in kick-boxing ill-advised? A stance should allow free movement, to include attack, defense and when required, the execution a well-timed retreat from a weak tactical position.

    Perhaps 10,000 years have insisted upon an upright fighting position because it is practical and quite effective, when performed properly.


  10. It seems that combat sports can have the unintended effect of training away natural self-defense responses by making certain targets off-limits, considering certain evasions un-stylistic and also reinforcing the desire to maintain a conflict for ego rewards.

    Also, most fighting stances have the effect of escalating conflict in the minds and bodies of the individuals in conflict. Getting ready to “fight” can limit ones options in the present. An upright relaxed and natural posture should be maintained not only for physical mobility, but for mental, energetic and spiritual mobility as well.

  11. I train hard to learn to use chi energy but I am sort of having to figure stuff out on my own and I don’t want to be wasting my time or training in the wrong way and harming myself. I would give anything to be trained my John Chang but I know that this is no longer possible but since Kostas Danaos is one of his students he would know how to master yin and yang and I would love to be able to contact him! If anyone knows of a way that I could contact him or at least a book or web site written by him or any of Master Chang’s students that tells what exercises, meditations, etc. to do to complete each level please let me know! I would greatly appreciate it!!! 🙂

  12. Hello my name is Jermaine. I’m from Atlanta, Ga. I have been looking and seeking authentic Chi Kung masters. Grandmaster Ku Chi Wai whom I had the pleasure of meeting had invited me to come train with him but I missed the opportunity because of legal issues. Once I was able to reconnect, I found out he had passed a few months prior. It has been hard but the teaching continue to come to me in book form. I am in need of guidance and help. Anyone with any type of information or can guide me to someone I can talk to would be greatly appreciated! Here’s my email address goddifitness8@gmail.com. Thank you for your time and help.

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