Savate

The History Channel is cashing in on the rising popularity of Mixed Martial Arts. Which makes some sense; people have been studying for many centuries about how to beat up on each other.

At any rate, though I have read about or seen quite a good number of the world’s hand-to-hand combat systems, the episode of Human Weapon I caught introduced me to another: Savate. Essentially but not technically French kickboxing in shoes. Savate developed out of street fighting techniques. Since the closed fist evidently was classified as a deadly weapon in French law, Savate focused on shod kicks and open-handed strikes.

In competition Savate combatants wear boxing gloves. And at one time the style went by the name chausson, the French word for slippers.

Gloves and slippers – how dangerous can it be? (Answer: beaucoup!)

This is a sparring match – a demonstration of techniques.

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