Savate grading allows students to progress through understanding the different phases of a fight. Each grading syllabus concentrates on a particular sequence – such as strike first then evade the counterattack, which is the basis of Blue Glove. This allows students to master the each phase of boxing with an opponent one by one, as their confidence and skill grows.
How do grading examinations work in Savate?
In a Savate grading typically you will be paired-up and an examiner will set a series of technical drills – spoken in French – from the syllabus. This will include strikes, defences, footwork and combinations, then themed and free sparring.
Sparring – or Assaut – is included in the very first grade (Blue Glove) reflecting the importance of applying the techniques at real speed early on.
A grading might happen in class or as part of a bigger event. One Savate grading could take 30-40 minutes for an early grade, or an hour or more for the higher levels, especially Silver Glove.
Savate Grading Progression
Even though progression is denoted by ‘gloves’, we do not wear gloves of the colour that corresponds with our grade, although fighters may wear coloured patches.
I touch without being touched in reply.
Striking with sufficient organisation, defence, and movement to avoid the counter attack.
I avoid being touched, then I touch in reply.
Counter-attacking from effective defences and escapes.
I avoid being touched and touch in reply by changing line.
Performing décalage / débordement (one- or two-step lateral footwork) then striking.
I touch before being touched.
Anticipating strikes and making the first move.
I create an opportunity to touch.
Feinting and drawing to create openings.
Expertise in all phases.
Performing complex technique in any situation.
Head Coach James Southwood demonstrating a Silver Glove Savate kicking Technique
Read about competitions in Savate as well.