Savate is a native French martial art / combative game, known locally as Boxe Française (literally ‘French Boxing’) – also known around the world as French Kickboxing or French Footfighting. It focusses on the use of the feet, and also permits hands but has rules to avoid the use of shins and knee strikes.
Taking inspiration from the French performing art of ballet, and possibly taking inspiration from martial arts around the world but heavily developed independently as a martial art native to France, Savate can be described as balanced but quirky, sporty but graceful, held back but powerful. A useful art to study as an extension of the diverse footwork techniques learnt in Korean martial arts, or as a way for a Western boxer to get into using their feet for the first time, or as a way for a Muay Thai practitioner to practice more with posh long-reaching movements. Savate places great emphasis on the techniques of full-length kicking range – it has long out-stretched sidekicks in attack and has well developed defences against them such as kicking the standing leg – similar to kick defence techniques seen in skillful styles of Chinese kung fu.