Savate Kickboxing and Fight Training in North London

Frequently Asked Questions


Still want to know something? Take a look at our FAQs:


Savate - what?!

Savate (pronounced "suh-vat") originated in 19th Century France as an amalgamation of foot-fighting sports on boats in the South of France and street defence in Parisian streets. An early practitioner of this, Charles Lecour, was beaten in a fight by the English boxer, Owen Swift, and realised just how effective punching was - thus incorporating this into his new sport: Savate Boxe Française. Think of it like an efficient, elegant and accurate form of kickboxing.


Nowadays Savate is practiced across the world in both its semi-contact (Assaut) and full-contact (Combat) forms. There are other affiliated arts under the Savate umbrella, including Canne de Combat (a form of stick fighting), Savate Defense (Street defense focused art) and Savate Forme (a kickboxercise type of music-based training).


So... do I have to speak French?

No! Savate terminology is in French (in the same way that Karate terminology is Japanese) but teaching is done in English. Savate is an international sport encompassing clubs in lots of countries across the world, being practised in many languages. It has dual official languages of English and French. Having said that, if you really want to practice your French, you're more than welcome...!


Do I have to be fit and crazily flexible?
No! Anyone can start training in Savate, regardless of fitness and flexibility. You don't need any previous kickboxing / martial arts experience. You'll find that these physical attributes develop through regular training anyway, and our instructors are always on hand to give you tips to build on these in and out of the sessions. These are, however, sessions oriented around getting you fitter and working you hard - arrive ready to build up a bit of a sweat and push yourself towards getting fitter and stronger!


Can women train in Savate?​ 
Yes! Savate is a great art for women to get involved with. Savate can appeal to women who never want to get into fighting but simply appreciate the aesthetic appeal of our art, or to those women that want to prove themselves in the ring. Many women across the world compete in Savate, and it offers many opportunities for progression for women.

And, simply, our senior instructor is a woman: speaks for itself!


Do you teach juniors​?
We have a minimum age of 12 years at City Combat for our Thursday night non-contact padwork and conditioning sessions. Tuesday night technical sessions are open by invitation to juniors 14y+ who have some prior kickboxing experience, either with us or in different kick-punch arts. This is because these sessions involve more partner-work, with some (light) contact, and require more concentration and focus, as there is greater emphasis on technical and tactical training.

What do I need for a Savate session? 
To get started in training in Savate all you really need is yourself and a mind ready to learn the ins and outs of this fast-paced, fun and efficient kickboxing sport. You'll need a pair of shoes (squash shoes are great for beginners, boxing boots and savate boots are ideal) and if you have them already, some boxing gloves and pads. Wear clothes ready to stretch out your arms and legs, bring a bottle of water and a towel and you're off! It's that simple.