“French Kickboxing” is what Savate a west European martial art form is also popularly known. This “striking” combat form is said to have originated from France, and when literally translated means “old shoe”. Apparently, in this style of fighting “punching and kicking” is simultaneously used. Furthermore, the male fighter in this combat form is termed as “tieur” while the female fighter is termed as “tireuse”. In addition, during a Savate bout, the fighters usually wear a suit known as “intégrale” which comprises of a tank top and a trouser.

History/origin of the Savate:

According to the cultural history of France, the Savate was supposed to have been officially developed by Michel Casseux. It was apparently in the year 1825 that Casseux officially established an institute so as to promote as well as to allow the practice of this style of combat. However, the true genesis of this martial art form first took birth in the slums of Paris. It was in these slums that a form of street fighting (later referred to as Savate) which made use of kicks that targeted the lower body for the first time was regularly seen. In addition, in this combat form “fist striking” was also allowed. Furthermore, Savate also developed in the northwest of Italy and the northeast of Spain. It was then Casseux’s student Charles Lecour who further developed this martial art form and passed it on to his students. And so finally this combat form was developed further as a professional sport by Lecour’s student Joseph Charlemont. In fact, it was officially including in the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris, France.

Weapons used in the Savate:

Since the “striking” technique is mainly used in this combat form it is the “hands and the feet” of the fighter that is used as a weapon.

Techniques used in the Savate and training availability:

In terms of technique, the fighters in Savate basically make use of “kicks and punches”. There are four types of kicks and punches and they are as follows:


  1. Fouette: Basically is a roundhouse type of kick.
  2. Chasse: Basically is a piston-action kick.
  3. Revers: Basically is a hooking kick.
  4. Coup De Pied Bas: Basically is a low kick or also known as sweeping kick.


  1. Direct bras Avant: Essentially a jab.
  2. Direct bras Arriere: Basically across.
  3. Crochet: Basically is a hook.
  4. Uppercut: Using either hand is also commonly used.

As for training centers/schools, there are a few available especially in France for those interested in learning this “striking” martial art form.

image credit ')}

Translate »