|About the Book|
The historical European martial art of Savate as we know it today is a formidable style of French kickboxing encompassing a vast arsenal of kicks that require enormous skill to master and deploy. Like all martial arts Savate has undergone innumerable... MoreThe historical European martial art of Savate as we know it today is a formidable style of French kickboxing encompassing a vast arsenal of kicks that require enormous skill to master and deploy. Like all martial arts Savate has undergone innumerable changes over time to adapt it to the needs of a given period. When used by the hardscrabble sailors of Toulon, Marseilles, Algiers and La Havre it took into a account the use of the ropes and rigging found on tall ships to aid in wild looping boot-strikes delivered with a cutlass in one hand. The bold highwaymen of the vast French interior adapted it to their own needs when plundering coaches with a knife and pistol at their side. Just before the turn of the 19th century in Paris it had become a polite exercise in gymnastics for the bourgeoisie and idle noblemen. But things had changed in the capital, and the members of the upper crust were no longer in command of the streets as desperate young men formed street gangs such as the Apaches to rob and terrorize the moneyed classes. J. Charlemont responded to the situation by restoring Savate to combat readiness. He stripped away the polite feats of gymnastics to restore what lay at the core of what was after all a martial art. Along with his stick fighting system called La Canne he armed the French gentleman (who always carried a cane after all for the purpose of chasing off dogs, knocking aside horse dung, pointing at things, and looking dapper while wielding this wooden specter of the once universal sword) with a curriculum that would, with the aid of a well made pair of boots, send a hooligan crashing to the cobblestones with a smashed ankle or dislocated patella. He would then give the poor fellows accomplice a good cane-thrashing with a strokes to be found in the companion volume to the this one regarding La Canne.