How Savate Turned into a Sport Savate, also known as French boxing or French foot fighting, is a form of martial

art from France which combines kicking techniques with western boxing. Unlike, Muay Thai or Silat which allow the use of the knees, in Savate only foot kicks are allowed. It is probably the only kickboxing style where the fighters wear shoes. male Savate fighter is called a savateur, while a female fighter is known as a savateuse. In the !aris "lympic #ames of $%&', Savate was shown as a demonstration sport. In &((), the International University Sports Federation recogni*ed Savate as a sport. fter this recognition, Savate become a sport under the University +orld ,hampionships. Grouping and regrouping In $%-., French boxing teachers decided to establish the /ational ,ommittee of French 0oxing 1,omite /ational de 0oxe Francaise or ,/0F2. 3here were two groups among French boxing teachers, one the academic camp, comprising physical trainers headed b y ,ount !ierre 0aru*y, and the other of white collar workers who were in favor of full4combat fighting in the ring. 3he two camps competed with each other throughout the $%5(s. In $%56, the ,/0F became Federation /ationale de 0oxe Fran7aise 1F/0F2 and was controlled by the academic camp. 3he other group revolted and there was a split. new federation called the Federation /ationale de Savante 0oxe Fran7aise was created. 3he government, though, gave the right to offer teaching diplomas and championship titles to the academic group F/0F in $%5., which was renamed F8d8ration Fran7aise de 0oxe Fran7aise, Savate et 9isciplines ssimil8es 1FF0FS : 9 2. 3he warring groups ensured that French boxing missed a chance to be recogni*ed as a combat sport in France and outside. It was only in $%5) that the two camps merged under the banner of FF0FS:9 and brought some purpose to Savate. The origin of Savate Savate is actually a French word, meaning old shoe. It comes from the heavy shoes that Savate fighters used to wear. It is said that sailors in the southern French seaport of ;arseilles came up with a fighting style, involving slaps with the open hand and high kicks. ,losed fists could not be used because fighting with a closed fist could attract a legal penalty, since it constituted as a deadly weapon at that time. It was initially called jeu marseilles and later as chausson. 3wo historical figures played a big role in turning the sport from street fighting to modern Savate. 3hey are ;ichel ,assaeux, a pharmacist and ,harles <ecour. ,assaeux started the first establishment to practice and promote Savate in $)&.. In his version, head butting, grappling and eye gouging were disallowed. 0ut even then the sport was not able to shake off its reputation as a technique for fighting on the street. ,harles <ecour, who was ,assaeux=s pupil had seen a >nglish boxing match. ?e thought Savate fighters were at a disadvantage because they were not allowed to use their fists. ?e learnt boxing and later combined it with chausson to create the sport of Savate. What does savate constitute? Savate is actually one of the safest martial arts to learn. +hile other forms of martial arts give colored belts to signify a learner=s proficiency, a Savate learner=s proficiency is indicated by the color of his

gloves. Savate learner may not necessarily change the color of his gloves when he moves to a higher rank. In fact, the fighter may use the same gloves even after receiving multiple promotions. /ovice or new learners do not get any colors. ,ompetition Savate includes styles like ssault, !re4combat and ,ombat. "nly four types of kicks and four types of punches are allowed. Other forms of Savate Savate did not originate as a sport. It was initially a form of self defense and it was used in street fighting in ;arseille and !aris. nother form of Savate is called savate de rue or Savate defense. long with punches and kicks, Savate defense allows elbow and knee strikes together with throws, sweeps, locks, take4downs and headbutts. 3his includes six types of kicks along with four types of punches. Savate also includes stick fighting and it is a part of training in many Savate classes. <earners who only want to fight in competitions, may omit this part of the training. #o&@arate has a list of places that teach Savate. 3o find them, please go through our website. Recognition on the world stage It was after the International Savate Federation was formed in $%)., which later came to be known as the FIS or the Federation Internationale de Savate, that Savate began coming back into the spotlight. Savate was included in the Sport ccord +orld ,ombat #ames in &($6. 3he event showcases both "lympic and non4"lympic martial arts and combat games and is a platform to demonstrate to the world what the sport of Savate is all about.

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