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‘With A Shoe’
Bob’s Copious Notes on Savate

Thank you, Bob.

It's great you posted on Savate, which originated as a practical defense system against urban thuggery, rampant in Belle Époque Paris. Low, not high, kicks, due to their greater reliability and minimal telegraphing (faster flicking action from the knee, not hip). The hard boot edge or point does the work of inflicting intense, debilitating pain.

“Don’t forget that the foot with a shoe is a strong weapon, but it must strike sensitive areas in order to immediately end a fight. A violent kick thrown without precision will have less effect than a much lighter kick delivered at the right spot. In the real world there is no point to simply hurt your opponent, if he is dangerous this would only upset him and multiply his anger and strength, we must, I insist, end the fight immediately”.

You don't need French to appreciate the drawings in the piece below. Note also that women formed integral part of these dirty-fighting street gangs. ("Apaches en Jupons", Apaches in dresses)

The bout seemed generic kickboxing, though Pennacchio is a Savate guy. Thanks, I saw the Génération Identitaire post and have appended comments.

Savate these days seems all about high kicks, but in the old, street version this was considered dangerous. Too much telegraphing and risk of loss of balance. The element of surprise and preemption was paramount.

OK, indulge me just once more!

Rough house on the dance floor, Apache-style. There's some fantastic (martial) athleticism on show here. Add chairs, knives and bottles and you've got a well-choreographed saloon-brawl ending.

Clinches, bear-hugs, grapplings, face-wipe, what's not love about this dancing?

Note also that the street gangs developed a dance routine that effectively trained for assaults (à la BJJ?). In the dance form, you see a benign template for what could be a lethal choking, strangling, unbalancing attack in the street. Kindly observe the man's manhandling:

Rather ironically, Paris' street gang crime scene and well as entire men's sports disappeared after the vast carnage suffered by the French in WWI.

Here's a good example of a typical Savate low kick. First, the hands are thrown up to distract, then the blow is delivered low to the tibia. (Shoes, of course, in real life).

This guy has some good points about the low shin kick from the Savate portfolio. The other thing to mention is that it doesn't require athletic virtuosity or flexibility to work.

Being a Bad Man in a Worse World

Fighting Smart: Boxing, Agonistics & Survival

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