Saturday, February 07, 2009

Savate in the United States (just 80's)


The first on-going instruction of boxe Francaise savate in the United States came through the efforts of a man named Daniel Duby. Duby's instruction sparked interest in the art, especially in southern California, and because of his work many people became aware of the French art in this country. Boxe Francaise savate has enjoyed greater exposure as a result of the teaching efforts of Jean-Noel Eynard, Salem Assli, Francis Echenard, Barry John, Steve Crane, Jerry Bedka, Mike Young, and Nicolas Saignac and the promotional efforts of Fred Degerberg, and Dan Inosanto. Boxe Francaise savate made its first large-scale U. S. appearance in October of 1988, with the First U. S. Savate Championships. The event, sponsored by the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness, was held at Chicago's Limelight club. There were well over 700 spectators in attendance at the ten full-contact events. Well-known guests in attendance included former boxing world champion, Tony Zale, taekwondo Olympic gold medalist, Arlene Limas, three-time French savate champion, Pascal Malis, and arnis grandmaster, Leo T. Gaje.


Savate in United States

The Second U. S. Savate Championships, sponsored by the Southern California Savate Club, was held in March of 1989, at The Strand on Redondo Beach, California. This was another successful event, featuring ten full-contact bouts with well over 500 spectators. Well-known guests in attendance included former kickboxing champion, Blinky Rodriguez, pencak silat master, Paul DeThouars, ten-time European savate Champion, Richard Sylla, and Dan Inosanto.

Other demonstrations and championships were to follow, but none were really able to catch the eye of the mainstream American martial artist. And while the American BF Savate Federation is the governing body for the promotion of the art in the United States, there are a number of renegade schools and instructors in the country who are not members and who are promotinf the art in their own way. Until such a time as they all work together, however, this French martial sport will remain an "underground" art.

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