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SAVATE The unknown art of FRENCH Boxing

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SAVATE The unknown art of FRENCH Boxing

Once upon a time, in the streets of Paris two men quarrelling on whose turn it is to sleep with a prized prostitute, duel it out. Its 18th Century France and you are spectator amongst the gathered crowd as the fight takes place outside a brothel.

SAVATE The unknown art of FRENCH Boxing

Cheers and possible informal bets start taking place. As a time, traveller the sight of 18th century France, is not your only surprise.

Expecting a brawl or bare-knuckle engagement. You notice one of the men deliver a sharp short oblique kick to their opponent’s knee, after they dodge a punch, step an inch back and snap the kick.

SAVATE The unknown art of FRENCH Boxing

Your eyes widen and your breath is seized as the man who delivered the kick, finishes off with a stiff open palm to his opponent’s chin. Hitting it up and switching off the lights as he knocks out his opponent.

SAVATE The unknown art of FRENCH Boxing

A kick in a bare-knuckle fight?

You may ask, although the story above is a fiction, what is being described happening in the streets of Paris in the 18th Century is to paint the imagery of Savate.

What is Savate?

It is a French martial art, birthed in the streets of Paris before developing into a sport.

A common name would be French Boxing or “La Boxe Française”-in French.

Savate started with the lower class of Parisians, before transcending to the elite.

SAVATE The unknown art of FRENCH Boxing

Like all martial arts there is the complete art and the sport version. In the complete or self-defence version, there are variety of kicks as everything goes when one needs to survive as well as the practice of using the cane as a weapon.

Organised fights against boxers from England evolved Savate’s approach which had an emphasis on kicks. And the manoeuvres of English boxing or boxing were added.

SAVATE The unknown art of FRENCH Boxing

To the ignorant eye, modern Savate may at first appear to be a kick boxing fight. Nonetheless, the rules of only using kicks with the feet may shed light in differences with kick boxing and Muay Thai.

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