September 4, 2022

Savate vs Muay Thai: A Comparative Analysis

At the substance of a beginner, Savate and Muay Thai combat sport styles have their individual characteristics, mutually exclusive benefits in daily life, and numerous similarities and dissimilarities with each other. 

Savate and Muay Thai include highly differentiated techniques and rules, many of which are not allowed by each style, which is why there is no perfect answer as to which of these combat styles is better.

Know about both of these styles

Like Boxe Francaise, Savate is a French kickboxing battle sport that utilizes the hands and feet as weapons joining components of English boxing with agile kicking methods. Savate practitioners wear exceptionally designed boots. 

At times, Muay Thai alluded to as “Thai boxing,” is a fighting sport of Thailand that utilizes stand-up hitting alongside different securing techniques. This control includes the utilization of clench hands, elbows, knees, and shins.

Savate mostly involves foot kicks, unlike Muay Thai, which allows shins and knees and elbows. 

Vintage engraving of a contest between the english boxer Jerry Driscoll and the french Savate figher Charles Charlemont. L’Illustration, 1899

What exactly is Kickboxing?

Kickboxing today, as you may know, began its advent back in the 1950s in Japan. Even though karate was hugely popular back then in Japan, it was more about self-defense and wasn’t more of a thing for the karate professionals to make actual physical contact with your opponent. 

On the other hand, Kickboxing had a western touch to it that spread globally and started becoming a commonly accepted martial arts form. This was a combination of the grace and focus of karate with the dynamism of the various elements of the traditional Muay Thai.

A Brief History


In the West, there was just one kind of Kickboxing that originated: Boxe Francaise or Savate, a French kick fighting framework from Marseilles. It was first created by mariners who had seen the Asian strategies and English boxing. Savate has no punches for different reasons.

There are various purposes behind this however, one of them is they think of it as an individual affront to significant context – a cultural thing.

There is also an abnormal correspondence with SE Asian battling frameworks that most of the more established structures punch the body, not the head.

Muay Thai

The history of Muay Thai can be traced back to the 18th century during the Siamese war. Just as a functional battling strategy for use in real fighting, Muay Thai turned into a game in which the adversaries battled before spectators or during celebrations and festivities, particularly those held at sanctuaries. 

This Kickboxing style was additionally a segment of military preparation and picked up unmistakable quality during the reign of King Naresuan the Great in 1560 CE.



Savate or Boxe Francaise, utilize both hands and feet as weapons with their strengthened shoes and gloves, and all of their every one of their strategies are permitted, even scopes. 

In competitive or rivalry savate combat matches, which incorporates Assaut, Pre-Combat, and Combat types, there are just four sorts of kicks permitted alongside four kinds of punches, namely:

  1. Roundhouse kick connecting with the toe—hard elastic toed shoes are worn practically speaking and sessions;
  2. Piston kick either on the side or front;
  3. A hooking kick which makes contact with the sole of the shoe;
  4. A sweep kick to the shin of the opponent.
  5. Uppercuts, jabs, hooks, and other punching techniques;
  6. Grapple.

Muay Thai

Formal muay Thai methods are separated into two gatherings namely major methods and minor methods. Muay Thai is frequently a battling specialty of weakening, where adversaries trade blows with one another. 

This is the situation with customary fighters in Thailand, yet it is a less well-known type of combat in the contemporary world combat circuit where the Thai style of a trading blow for blow is not, at this point, great. 

Practically all methods in muay Thai utilize the whole body development, turning the hip with each kick, punch, elbow, and square. It includes the following:

  1. Foot thrust
  2. Knee techniques
  3. Kicking techniques (roundhouse, diagonal, etc.)
  4. Elbow slash, uppercut elbow, horizontal elbow, etc.
  5. Punching techniques like jab, hook, uppercut, etc.

Which is more effective?

Savate is highly effective when you kick, if your rival is out of range. Savate is for fluid competitors since it accentuates footwork and guard.

Muay Thai is sometimes about who can take the most beating before they tumble down.  

On the off chance that you have the correct position, you ought to have the option to remove Muay Thai securing from the condition. At the point when they reach in, they are inconceivably powerless against straight right hands and uppercuts.

Which is better for a Street Fight?

When it comes to a street fight, of course, it depends on the individual(s) competing, which would be the most significant factor, but let’s just say both of the Savate and Muay Thai fighters are equally experienced and well trained.

The savate guy would have more direct, linear, quicker kicks (their specialty) with some reasonable accuracy but would have to make use of superior timing to win during a street fight because they might not do so well when it comes to cramped up close range. They would be forced to hit n run (stick and move) from the outside a lot for the strategy, all while not getting cornered/space-cramped the whole time. 

If you have a settled, squared up hands like a supplicating mantis Muay Thai style, you’re requesting to get tied up or get punches tossed straight down the center.

Which is better for Self Defense 

Muay Thai is better for self-defense. It generally includes much of the strength and training. Still, it consists of various technicalities and ways to face numerous situations and provides features that are especially focused on self-defense. 

MuayThai for self-defense in practice

Defense in Muay Thai is divided into six groups:

  • Blocking  
  • Parries
  • Avoidance 
  • Evasion 
  • Disruption
  • Anticipation

In practice as a defense, the idea of “mass of guard” is utilized, in which shoulders, arms, and legs are used to block the assailant from effectively executing methods of fighting. 

Low and mid body roundhouse kicks are typically obstructed with the upper segment of a raised shin (this square is known as a ‘check’). 

High body hits are obstructed, preferably with the lower arms and shoulder together, or if enough time is considered a repel, the glove (subtly), elbow, or shin will be utilized. 

Waist roundhouse kicks can likewise be gotten/caught, taking into account a scope or counter-assault to the rest of the leg of the adversary.

Savate for self-defense in practice

The Savate style first originated at the ports of Marseille as a defense fighting style, where the opponent was kicked in the action of self-defense through old and hard shoes worn by women and men in the streets. 

However, this particular style requires exceeding accuracy along with enhanced strength and training. 

Which is easier to learn?

The main issue with Savage is that there are scarcely any Savate schools, and indeed, at the current time, most of the MMA fighters beside a chosen handful have the correct coordination and smoothness on their feet to pull it off.

It is not easy for people nowadays to learn a savate style, which requires extreme flexibility and accuracy not taught by most professional schools present in the USA.

However, suppose the learning of these two techniques was at the disposal of the various martial arts schools and professionals. In that case, I believe that achieving the exceptional accuracy required by the Savate or Boxe Francaise technique is not at all easy.

History of Competition between the two styles

There are numerous instances displaying style vs. style combats either in MMA or a striking match with commonly situated rules conforming to both the fighters. 

A similar combat match took place WMTF North American Title in Los Angeles, California, on May 30th, 1997, between a proficient Savate fighter Giordani vs. a Muay Thai fighter. 

It displayed a differential fighting style by both fighters. It led to a clear KO by Giordinai with a massive sidekick to the Muay Thai fighter after he had just gotten up from a round kick answering an awaited question of who would win amongst these two styles. 

Which One Should You Choose?

Prescribing to those mentioned above, both the styles have different uses and separate but massive benefits to body, mind, and spirit. 

However, when it comes to choosing combat style between the Savate or the Muay Thai, it should always be kept in mind about the personal goals to be achieved through a particular type of combat training.

For example, if you would like to learn a fighting style, the Muay Thai will be a better option, whereas if you are looking to increase accuracy and focus on strength and life, Savate could prove to be a perfect option.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *