Well, I basically know dick about Savate. I can only tell you that:
1. It is French
2. It evolved from streetfighting
3. The fighting style was influenced by Asian martial arts learned by French sailors back in the colonialization era. Thailands martial arts were one some of those influencing arts (modern Muay Thai's precursors)
4. Many of the techniques were developed to be practical to use while on board a boat while out at sea.
5. They wear shoes.
So, as you can see, I basically don't know too much about it. However, I can give you the rundown about Muay Thai so that someone with Savate experience can do the compare/contrast for us.
Muay Thai is fought in 5 three-minute rounds with 2 minute breaks.
Boxers can punch, kick, knee and elbow their opponents.
Fights are scored using the 10-point must system.
Illegal techniques include groin strikes, spine strikes, eye gouges, biting, knee stomps, judo-style throws, headbutts, and spitting.
Participants are allowed to grapple while they are standing. This is referred to as the clinch, which is used to set up knees, elbows, and legal throws. Legal throws are throws in which you take your opponent down without throwing them over any part of your body.
Muay Thai only uses a few techniques, though each technique has countless variations. These techniques are the Roundhouse Kick, the Thrust Kick (front kicks, push kicks, and side kicks), Straight Knees (clinching and non-clinching), Curve Knees (clinching and non-clinching), Elbow Strikes (Horizontal, Vertical/Diagonal, Uppercut, Axe, and Spinning), plus basic Western Boxing strikes: the Jab, Cross, Uppercut, and Hook.
In Muay Thai, unlike many martial arts, the striking surface of a round kick is the shin bone rather than the instep.
Well, that pretty much covers the essentials. There's tons more to be said about what makes Muay Thai unique, but the above is the basics.
Khun Kao Charuad; SuriyaSak/SitSuriya Muay Thai
Well, I basically know dick about Savate. I can only tell you that:
Well what is the difference between Savate and Muay Thai???
The little I know about Savate (some of which I heard on this forum) is as follows:
The part with the hands is like western boxing/muay thai.
Because of the shoes, their kicks are mostly with the point of the toe/instep, rather than shins. The kicks tend to emphasize speed, as it doesn't take much power to really hurt someone driving the point of a hard shoe into their solar plexus. Many of the kicks, however, are not advisable without shoes (broken toes)
There are several types of kicks that are illegal in Savate competition because they are too dangerous, straight up between the legs most notably.
The footwork and stretching looks almost like ballet sometimes, the reason for this is that ballet was being formalized in France at the same time Savate was, so they borrowed a lot of stretching routines.
"3. The fighting style was influenced by Asian martial arts learned by French sailors
back in the colonialization era. Thailands martial arts were one some of those
influencing arts (modern Muay Thai's precursors)"
Nope, sorry. That's a myth spread by certain people who refuse to acknowledge that Europeans had their own sophisticated methods of fighting. ( I know that wasn't your intention Khun Kao, and that you probably just heard that from someone. ) There are references to Savate that date back to the 14th Century in Europe, when it was just a form of foot fighting used by Parisan street fighters. There have NEVER been any documented links between it and Asian arts. When it was combined with English boxing in the 19th Century by Lecour, it became La Boxe Francaise, and that is the form of savate widely practiced today. Savate also has a form of stickfighting called la canne de combat, and in it's Parisian Fighting form includes forms of wrestling. Savate, in it's modern form as La Boxe Francaise, has been most influenced by English boxing, not any Asian art.
Most savate is under the International Federation of Boxe Francaise Savate. Ranks are given out in boxing glove colors, starting out with Gant Bleu ( Blue Glove ) and ending with Gant d'Argent ( Silver Glove ) 3e degre ( 3rd Degree ). There are two forms of sparring- Assault and Total Combat. Assault is somewhat similar to amateur fights, while Total is full-contact and fought without protective gear.
Savateurs kick with the boot ( in the street ) or shoe ( in competition, ) not with the shin as Thai boxers do. They have all the punches of Western Boxing, plus 4 categories of kicks- low shin kicks, side kicks, round kicks, and reverse kicks.
Over the years, we have had about three French nationals trained in Savate/Boxe Francais in our gym. the most obvious difference is that from a Muay Thai perspective, the kicks can appear "flicky" and weak. However, I tend to think of them more as almost "fencing" with their feet and doing a little damage at a time, like razor cuts. As opposed to a powerful Thai kick that can be like an AX! As a San Shou guy I can appreciate both since we sort of have both approaches within the world of San Shou
There was a pretty good bunch of tapes that panther carried, I found them very interesting and gave me a few ideas as well :)
"RobRPM2222, maybe savate existed back in the 14th, but it probably does not likely resemble it's modern form"
I mentioned that in my post. The sport form of the art particularly, and the art in general, have been heavily influenced by English boxing since the 19th Century. That's one of the reasons it is now called La Boxe Francaise. There is no known connection between it and Asian forms of fighting.
"and i believe the president of one of the current savate organizations stated that there were ties to MT."
All I've heard and seen from savate guys and hopologists ( people who study martial arts academicially ) is that the "Asian Connnection" is a unsubstantiated myth. Particularly coming from Salem Assli. He says as much in articles I've read. The last article I've seen on this was in CFW Publication's "Martial Arts Legends Presents: Masters of Combat ", by Assli, and he clearly stated that Savate came from French foot-fighting traditions.
"If i said there were references to Kung Fu 1000 years ago, does it mean it's the same "Kung Fu" today?"
absolutely not, but maybe I can claim some styles of kung fu came from Savate. After all, it is older than most kung fu styles, and has more historical documentation than almost all of them. All I have to do is make an unsubstantiated claim like people who want to claim whatever Asian art is popular this month is the father of savate.
First, people said savateurs got the kicks from karate. Then it was kung-fu, now it's Muay Thai/Krabi Krabong. Why does this claim tend to follow the trends in martial arts? ( note that I am not insulting any of these arts, but they became popular, and suddenly they are claimed to be the father of savate. )
I am no expert on savate, but I've seen enough to know it doesn't look like any kind of karate or kung fu I've seen. And the only major similarity between it and Muay Thai is the punching, which Savate got from boxing, and Muay Thai quite possibly did also ( depending on who you ask, I'm not going to get into that one. )
I was teaching Muay Thai once at one of those Multi-Art Martial Arts Camps. I got to attend an hour-long Savate session. The guy was f***ing awesome and taught me a new way to set up the push kick that I still teach today to my Muay Thai students.
Unfortunately, that was all I was able to pick up about the sport in 1 hour. Or at least, that's all I remember, it was 6 or 7 years ago.
RobRPM2222, maybe savate existed back in the 14th, but it probably does not likely resemble it's modern form and i believe the president of one of the current savate organizations stated that there were ties to MT.
If i said there were references to Kung Fu 1000 years ago, does it mean it's the same "Kung Fu" today?
"All I've heard and seen from savate guys and hopologists ( people who study martial arts academicially ) is that the "Asian Connnection" is a unsubstantiated myth. Particularly coming from Salem Assli. He says as much in articles I've read."
and his credentials are, the "substantiated" evidence that he uses to prove his case is?
'"If i said there were references to Kung Fu 1000 years ago, does it mean it's the same "Kung Fu" today?"'
"absolutely not, but maybe I can claim some styles of kung fu came from Savate. After all, it is older than most kung fu styles, and has more historical documentation than almost all of them. All I have to do is make an unsubstantiated claim like people who want to claim whatever Asian art is popular this month is the father of savate."
you are missing my point and quoting it out of context. that quote was just backing up my point that modern savate doesn't resemble any earlier version of savate, not that savate came from Kung Fu.
"And the only major similarity between it and Muay Thai is the punching, which Savate got from boxing, and Muay Thai quite possibly did also ( depending on who you ask, I'm not going to get into that one. )"
you should come on here more often. this point has been discussed reasonable by Khun Kao and others.
This question needs to be asked in the JKD forum.
Check out our italian site:
by the way i think that the footwork in Savate is the best. I've trained in Savate most of my life, but i've also trained in kickboxing and muay thai.
In Boxe Francaise-Savate you can learn how to hit your opponent from a great variety of position, with speed and accuracy.
There's a french word "decalage" that it's the core of Savate, i can't translate the meaning in english, it's a feet movement that allows you to be ready to hit in every moment from various angles.
Sorry i've a lot of things to say about savate but my english is really bad.
By the way i've had the honor to train with the best french savateurs, Sylla, Mezzache, Chouareff, Pennacchio, and they are all amazing. I'm not telling you that they are the best fighters in the world, but for sure i can tell you that you could learn a lot from them.
Khun Kao, what was the setup for the pushkick the guy showed you? You got me curious.
As for the history of Savate, Le Boxe Francaise whatever, I've always read that it was influenced by other forms of combat brought to france by sailors, merchants and traders. The reason for this was a law put into place making it illegal to strike a man with a fist, hence the kicking emphasis learned from other styles.
Shrug, people will argue till they're blue in the face over what influeced what, the Hapkido and TKD people are still arguing which one came first, so are a lot of the karate guys. Truth is, documentation on martial arts is pretty damned scarce. Most of the info out there comes from what "masters" and students of those particular styles wrote down about it. Most of it isn't that impartial or objective making proving things damned near impossible.
Regardless of where it came from, it's French, so it sucks, :o) seriously though, it has some good moves, who cares where they came from?
Regardless of how Savate developed, its still a very cool style and is an excellent addition to this forum, whether or not it's French... =) lol
"Most of the info out there comes from what "masters" and students of those particular styles wrote down about it. Most of it isn't that impartial or objective making proving things damned near impossible."
Skpotamus, in general, i agree with that. in the specific case of HKD, there are only major rival 2 claims: the claim is that HKD came from Choi Yong Sool, who was taught Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu by Takeda (contentious, most Japanese don't acknowledge this), or that Choi Yong Sool's student Ji Han Jae coined the term and added many of the HKD techniques you see today and should be called the father of Hapkido. Most old timers that i've talked to or from articles i've read subscribe to the first explanation.
RE: TKD: There were many styles of karate brought over to Korean from the Occupation, as well as Chinese boxing styles, and these were given a korean flavor or mixed with some indegenous traditions. General Choi Hong Hi, (no relation to Choi Yong Sool), who practiced Shotokan (as stated in an interview in TKD times last year), gathered these practioners under the umbrella title of TKD, and created a relatively uniform syllabus and forms. not everyone was willing to be submerged into this umbrella (Tang Soo Do, Hapkido), and affiliated themselves with i believe the athetlic association.
ON another note, Gen Choi did have dealings with the founder of Kyokushinkai, Mas Oyama, who is a Korean by birth.
Only people who are too far removed from the source (their teacher is too many generations removed from Choi or Choi) are not aware of this history. (cont'd)
Now, HKD suffered a watering down effect even b4 it came to the U.S. and also, many who practiced HKD, also practiced TKD, (or Kuk Sool Won etc), or another art.
They are no longer pure Hapkido schools, but rather hybrid HKD/TKD schools, and interchange techniques. YOu can tell these schools, because even if they don't have TKD on the sign post, they teach to punch from the waist and often teach TKD like patterns.
Original HKD kicks look closer to Tae kyon kicks than TKD, although WTF tae kwon do is looking more and more like Tae Kyon, and resembles HKD kicks more than the ITF schools resemble HKD>
Just my personal opinion, original HKD striking/boxing techniques are effective enough to stand on their own and didn't need the addition of TKD strikes. it seems it was more a marketing decision...
One of my old workout partners trained in Savate. He had some really interesting ideas, and lots of little "tricks" as well. I remember the first time that he actually got his savate shoes from France. I think I still have a bruise on my liver, and it's been 2 years since we worked out.
I suppose independent but relatively simultaneous discovery is out of the question?
If there is a certain "best" way to do anything, it is POSSIBLE that 2 or more people could discover it independently of each other, and in the eras mentioned above, communication being what it was, two or more arts could conceivably have had their respective genesis' in the same era in completely different geographical areas with no interaction at all.
Excellent observation, Paladin_VT. This becomes especially true when you isolate down to lets say ring tactics.
I think today also its also hard anymore to tell. With the sudden rush of information from everywhere, what we have now is just people adding anything they want in and justifying it with some sort of old documentation to validate it to stay current or revitalize or renew something older to resell it on the commercial marketplace.
I workef out with a savate expert in Paris in the 70's. The strong points were the extreme accuracy of the kicks and the extended range of the kicks due to the ballet like extension, the low kick also extended aided with a jump. I found it to be an excellent system although to be really good you needed the flexibility of a ballet dancer, it is practiced by many women who can obtain a high level of skill.Incidentally I believe the boxing with hands was added in the early 20th century when the French champion was defeated by a british boxing champion.
Khun Kao, what was that push kick setup you mentioned learning? I know, I know, it's French, but still, if it's good, i might consider using it sometime :o)
ok, I'll lay off the French jokes now