Savate Ranking and Rules

The Savate | What is Savate | Savate History | Savate and French Weaponry | Savate Knife Fencing | Martial Art Sport of France | Origins of Savate | The Street Shoes | Ranking and Rules | Defence in Savate | Savate Disciplines | The French Connection | Savate In Popular Culture | Thinking Man’s Kickboxing | Batons of Western Mediterranean | The Chair Combat

Savate, or Boxe Francaise, is a French martial art. Savate contests take place in a boxing ring. The fighters wear gloves similar to boxing gloves, but with longer cuffs for better protection against the kicks landing on the forearms (parade en protection). Present day costume consists of a spandex suit, for complete freedom of movement, and specially constructed shoes with hard toe-capes. A kick from one of these shoes can break a rib, or crack an arm.

Although the techniques used in Savate are similar to those of boxing and karate, on a closer examination many of them can be seen to be different. Boxing and kicking styles in this discipline have their own unique variations.

Savate has a ranking system similar to Karate, except there is no belt. Savate has a color glove ranking system. These grades are called gloves. Every glove has a specific theme.

The gant d’argent premier, deuxieme et troisieme degree technique or silver glove grade, is the highest non-competitive grade. A competition ranking is also established as gant de bronze, and gant d’argent premier, deuxieme et troisieme degre competition.

The rounds in Savate are shorter than boxing rounds. Rounds may have a time limit of one minute, one and a half minutes, or two minutes, with a one minute break between rounds. The only protection worn is a mouthpiece, groin protector, gloves, shin protectors (somewhat thin) are optional but recommended.

There is a referee who ensures fair play and sees that all the simple etiquette relating to the spectators, the seconds, and fighters is observed. Points are scored and a knockout or severe injury signals the end of the contest within a Full contact bout. The other type of sparring involves light contact, known as Assaut. The winner is decided by points.

Point System:

  • One point for a punch
  • One for a low kick
  • Two for a medium to a high kick
  • Four for a high kick


CLOTHING: that can be worn, kickboxing pants, shorts, T-shirts, cuttoffs etc: (Note: Whatever the shirt type, it should be body fitting, no very loose t-shirts as it can cause injury in this sport.)

FOOTWEAR: Preferably Savate Shoes, for training, wrestling shoes, boxing, or indoor soccer shoes will do. Running shoes may also be used however the flatter the shoe the better.

Savate Gloves (SDI) or boxing gloves, no less than 12 ounces, ideal 14 ounces, increases depending on weight. (REQUIRED)

Mouthpiece, (REQUIRED)

Handwraps & Shin Gaurds: (highly recommended) “OPTIONAL”