Savate — Boxe Française


Savate, also known as boxe française, savate boxing, French boxing or French footfighting, is a French combat sport that uses the hands and feet as weapons combining elements of English boxing with graceful kicking techniques.

Savate is a French word for "old shoe or boot". Savate fighters wear specially designed boots. In competitive or competition savate, which includes Assaut, Pre-Combat, and Combat types, there are only four kinds of kicks allowed along with four kinds of punches allowed.

Assaut requires the competitors to focus on their technique while still making contact; referees assign penalties for the use of excessive force. Pre-combat allows for full-strength fighting so long as the fighters wear protective gear such as helmets and shinguards. Combat, the most intense level, is the same as pre-combat, but protective gear other than groin protection and mouthguards is prohibited.

Savate did not begin as a sport, but as a form of self-defence and fought on the streets of France. This type of savate was known as Savate des Rues. In addition to kicks and punches, training in Savate des Rues (Streets Savate) includes knee and elbow strikes along with locks, sweeps, throws, headbutts, and takedowns.