Savate VS Kickboxing: Ultimate Comparison

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Martial arts are popular not just as a sport, but also as a form of self-defense and physical discipline. Two martial arts practices that have been gaining recognition and attention in recent years are savate and kickboxing. Both styles of fighting offer intense workouts and self-defense techniques, but they each have their own unique characteristics.


What is Savate?

Savate, also known as French Kickboxing, is a martial art that originated in France and combines the techniques of boxing and kicking. It is characterized by its use of a high, roundhouse kick, and its unique style of using shoes to strike opponents. In savate, practitioners wear special shoes called “savate boots,” which have a reinforced toe and heel that are used to strike an opponent.


What is Kickboxing?

Kickboxing is a hybrid martial art that originated in Japan and combines the techniques of boxing and karate. It is characterized by its use of quick punches and kicks that are focused on the lower body. Unlike savate, kickboxing does not use shoes or other specialized equipment, and practitioners often train and compete in regular athletic shoes.


What are the key differences between savate and kickboxing?

One of the main differences between savate and kickboxing is the use of shoes. In savate, the use of specialized shoes allows practitioners to strike with the toe and heel of the foot, which can be very effective in certain situations. In kickboxing, practitioners do not use shoes, and instead rely on their bare feet for striking. Another difference is the focus on punching and kicking. In kickboxing, both punches and kicks are equally important, while in savate, kicks are the primary focus.


Which martial art is better for self-defense?

Both savate and kickboxing are effective martial arts for self-defense, but they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. In savate, the use of shoes allows for powerful, precise strikes, but it also limits the mobility of the practitioner’s feet. Kickboxing, on the other hand, allows for quick movements and strikes with the feet and hands, but the lack of specialized equipment may make it less effective in certain situations. Ultimately, the choice of a martial art for self-defense depends on your personal preferences and needs.


Which martial art offers a better workout?

Savate and kickboxing are both great workouts, and they offer similar physical benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, increased strength, and improved flexibility. However, savate’s emphasis on kicking may offer a more intense workout for the lower body, while kickboxing may offer a more well-rounded workout that includes both upper and lower body training.


Which martial art is easier to learn for beginners?

Both savate and kickboxing require a certain level of skill and physical fitness, but they may be easier or harder for certain people depending on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Savate uses more complex techniques and footwork, which may make it more challenging for beginners to learn. Kickboxing, on the other hand, is more straightforward in its techniques and may be easier for beginners to pick up.


Which martial art has more competition opportunities?

Both savate and kickboxing have active competitive scenes, but they each have their own unique events and organizations. Savate is most commonly competed in at the amateur and semi-professional levels, with events such as the Savate World Cup and the European Championships. Kickboxing has both amateur and professional competitions, with organizations such as the International Kickboxing Federation and K-1.


What are the potential risks of practicing savate or kickboxing?

Like any physical activity, there are inherent risks associated with practicing martial arts such as savate and kickboxing. Some potential risks include strains, sprains, and more serious injuries such as head trauma. Additionally, the use of specialized equipment in savate, such as boots and protective gear, may increase the risk of injury if not used properly. However, with proper training and safety precautions, the risk of injury can be minimized.



Both savate and kickboxing offer unique martial arts experiences that can provide a great workout and self-defense training. When choosing between these two martial arts, it’s important to consider your own personal goals, physical abilities and preferences. Regardless of which martial art you choose, it’s important to train with qualified instructors and prioritize safety to minimize the risk of injury.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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