I want to thank Andy Wilson and his crew (especially Joel for being a patient, and great training partner) at MKG for allowing me to attend a mini-seminar on Savate. I have been interested in Savate for a while, initially attracted to its footwork and strategy. Savate, or Le Boxe Francaise, is basically a French (I know, I know...) version of kickboxing.
Think of all the same hand techniques in western boxing, coupled with very unique kicks that are rather snappy from the hamstring. You strike with the toe or instep, as the shin is illegal (unlike Muay Thai). One would think this to be quite risky breaking ones toes / feet, but Savate uses special shoes that have very firm rubber soles and toes. They are quite painful to be honest, but I finally found a good use for my size 15+'s!!! Even if your opponent blocks your leg, quite often the toe can wrap around their defense and still deliver a powerfully precise kick!
Here is a highlight clip of some tournament footage:
This was a simple introduction to generate some hype for September 18-19th, 2010 when Andy brings out Salem Assli, one of the foremost experts on Savate. Both a seminar and ranking will be provided.
The kicks were not too complicated for me to perform, though I am getting too damn old to kick to the head. But trying to remember the terminology was tough as I was mixing up my kicks in combo's, but it is French for gods sake!! In the end it was one hell-of-a workout, and I really had a lot of fun! It has been eon's since I have kicked that much. Bruce Lee once told Danny Inosanto that he was watching hours and hours of Savate fighting footage on 8mm because they boxed with their feet and he admired the grace and skill in which they maneuvered.
The art is new to me and I think it will make me a more well rounded striker and kicker both as a practitioner and a teacher. Kicking is amazing for both cardio and strength training, not to mention a powerful weapon to have in your arsenal for combat. I am still skeptical on some of the kicks in Savate as far as street applicability goes, but keep in mind we have shoes on in most encounters and they hurt like a mother when used correctly. Think heels and boots ladies!
Thankfully we do not need to wear the gay ass singlets. I understand all things have a reason, but really....
Anyways, I look forward to Assli's visit to Seattle, WA. and I hope to do more kickboxing of all types as the opportunities arise in the near future.