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All About Savate (French Boxing)

Savate (or French Boxing) is a French martial art that started as street fights in Paris and eventually developed into a sport.

Savate History

The Savate had its origin in France as I said in the eighteenth century, which began to develop with the colonization and therefore the balance was a great base from the beginning due to being practiced on boats.

In the beginning, it was a sport where only the legs were used and also use open hand strokes.

The hands at the time served for a very little attack, so it ended up being considered similar to Capoeira since the hands were more used for attack.

At 1845, a Savate fighter went into combat with an English boxer named Owen Swift, who eventually defeated the Savate fighter completely.

It was from there that began to evolve and ended up by beginning to incorporate the fists in the combat, being that began to be called of French Boxing.


Savate at the Olympic Games

One of the great BOOM’s in popularity at Savate was when 1924 was included as a show sport (the Olympics were in Paris) which made the world know Savate.

Equipment for Savate

French Boxing is made up of unique and distinctive equipment.

Boxing gloves, specific combat shoes and also a particular costume called “integral” are used that are similar to a monkey suit.



The graduation in Boxing Frânces exists and is hierarchical, being used colors to represent, were they: blue, green, red, white, yellow and silver.

This graduation is on the left side of the “integral”.


The competition is broken down into 3 categories:

  • Assault: This variant is more practiced by children because there is no risk of getting hurt. There may be contact here, but that’s just it. Win whoever makes more techniques and the best way, being awarded points for this and wins who finishes with more points.
  • Pre-contact: Here the participants will usually fight to try to subdue the opponent and leave him out of the fight, but several protections are used, such as helmet, knee and shin guards.
  • Contact: The purpose and form of the fight are the same as the previous one, it does not use those protections that are mandatory in the pre-contact, with only one protection being used in the mouth and another in the groin.

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