French combat sport

Savate, also known as boxe française (French boxing) or French kickboxing, is a French martial art - a kind of boxe pieds-poings - which uses the hands and the feet as weapons and includes elements of Western boxing, techniques of grappling and techniques of leg (only with the feet: neither knee, nor shin). The persons who perform savate are called savateurs or "tireurs" in case of the men, and savateuses in case of the women.


History change

Savate carry its name from the French word for "oldest shoe" (heavy shoes that were used to use during the combats) and is now a combination of the French techniques of fighting from beginning of the 19th century. In that age, savate was a kind of fighting which was common in Paris and in the North of France. In the South, especially in the port of Marseilles, the seamen had developed an other style known as jeu marseillais ("the game of Marseilles"), with a new name chausson ("slipper", that was the shoes that the seamen used). In England (the place of birth of boxing and the rules of Queensberry), people treated kicking as not fair in sport.

The two persons who have been recorded in the history of changing of street combat into modern savate are Michel Casseux (also known as "le Pisseux") (1794-1869), and Charles Lecour (1808-1894). Casseux opened in 1825 the first building in order to perform and to help in the development of a version of chausson and savate with rules (refusing to allow the strikes with the head, attacks with the fingers to the eyes, etc.). A student of Casseux, Charles Lecour had been exposed to the English art of boxing in the year 1830 and he had felt himself a misfit, because he used his hands in order to hit the feet of the opponent and to drive them away in this way, instead of punching as in boxing. By that reason he trained himself in boxing during two years and in 1832 he combined boxing with chausson and savate in order to create the sport of savate boxe française as we know it today.

In 1924 Savate was included in the Olympic Games of Paris. Savate is a sport relatively safe in order to learn. According to USA Savate [1] savate has less injuries than soccer, football, hockey, gymnastics, basketball, baseball and speed skating.

Savate at Present change

Many lands have national federations very interested for helping in the development of this sport.

The modern savate gives three levels of competition: "assault", "precombat" and "combat". In assault, the competitors need to be concentrated on the technique during they are trying make contact; referees punish with penalties the usage of excessive force. Precombat permits fighting when the fighters wear helmets and shin protectors. Combat, the level more intensified, is similar to the precombat but protection is not allowed (except genital protectors and the protectors of the teeth).

Many martial arts have systems of judgment of level of the persons who perform them, like the colour of belts in karate. Savate uses different colours in the gloves in order to show the level of a fighter; although unlike judo or the capoeira, where the fighters obtain new belts in each promotion, every fighter can use the same pair of gloves in several promotions ( the level does not correspond with the colour of the gloves that are used but with that is established in the licence). The beginners begin without colour and the different exams of promotion permit them to be promoted to blue, green, red, white and yellow in that order. The competition is restricted to the red gloves and higher. In France, it is necessary to have the yellow glove in order to being able to gain the degree of instructor and the silver glove in his technical category in order to obtain the title of teacher. In Mexico, all technical degrees from the green require an evaluation on subjects of helping in teaching in order to being able to increase the development of that art.

Writings on the subject change

  • Description de la Savate à partir de ses formes techniques de base par Amorous (Manuel d'Ecucation Physique Tome 1, page 414).
  • Défense et illustration de la boxe française. Savate, canne, chausson, Bernard Plasait, 1972, Paris, Sedirep
  • L'art de la savate, Michel Casseux.
  • Théorique et pratique de la boxe française, Joseph Charlemont, 1878.
  • La Boxe Française, historique et biographique, souvenirs, notes, impressions, anecdotes, Joseph Charlemont, 1899.

Other websites change