Savate is a combat sport that combines graceful kicking techniques and English boxing. It is a French kickboxing sport that also goes by the names boxe française, savate boxing, French boxing or French footfighting. Apart from boxing techniques, what distinguishes savate from many combat sports and martial arts, is that only foot kicks are allowed. The early days of savate date to the beginning of the 19th century when it was more of a type of street fighting common in Paris and the northern parts of France. In the south of France, sailors developed a different style of fighting in the port of Marseille. This style involved high kicks and open-handed slaps. The latter was to avoid a closed fist as this was considered a deadly weapon with legal penalties consequently. Meanwhile, over in England and the home of boxing, kicking was considered unsportsmanlike. Savate fighters wear specially designed boots, and a male practitioner is called a tireur, while a female is called a tireuse.  

The objective is recognition by the International Olympic Committee and in 1924, it formed part of a demonstration event at the Olympic Games in Paris. It has not yet been recognised by the IOC but is by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The Fédération Internationale de Savate (FISav) is the highest authority and international governing body for the sport with their headquarters based in Thiais, France. The sport is fast-growing and one of the main tasks for FISav is to ensure the integrity and reputation remains in place as the participation expands to new member nations worldwide. The objective is official recognition by the IOC and inclusion in a future Olympic programme. FISav also oversees World Tour tournaments, Continental and World Championships.  

Fédération Internationale de Savate

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