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Savate: Full On Boxing With Kicks!

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Savate is a full-contact boxing and kicking art, indigenous to France and some other parts of southwest Europe. It is believed to have evolved from a collection of fighting techniques used by sailors, criminals, and soldiers. The art form also includes a number of grappling maneuvers and involves weapons training, most notably with staffs such as the “steel batons” and “la canne de combat“.

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Rise in popularity

The earliest recorded information on Savate dates from the 18th century, although it is probable that the system was in existence two or three centuries earlier.

Savate’s popularity in France rose again during the 1800s and, by the 1870s, Joseph Charlemont systemized the teaching of the art, developed the use of gloves in training, and introduced a ranking system whereby students could wear either a colored sash denoting their grade or a colored band around the cuff of their boxing gloves. Charlemont’s son was arguably the best Savate player of all time and due to his successes the system went on to be taught to the military in both the United Kingdom and the United States under the nai of “Automatic Defense“.

Savate today

The system as codified today usual contains 14 different hand strikes. Head, shoulders, elbows, hip strike and knees are also used alongside weapons, including firearms, whip a staff, and razors. A number of kicks are employed and one particular kick, “Savate“, is well known as the “hand-on-the-floor kick“, whereby practitioners use th’ hand as leverage while spinning or jumping and kicking to great effect. In keeping with oriental tradition, those who learn the art are classified in three sections.

There are three levels of practitioner:

  • Eleves (Beginning Students)
  • Disciples (Advanced Students)
  • Donneurs (Teachers or Instructors)

Students may practice two, three, or four times a week, but disciples usually train full time and enjoy a close relationship with their teacher, who will often introduce them to teachings of life and philosophy.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Joe Louis Says:

    Hi! in my opinion Boxing is the most sub-mediatized activity from all.

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