Originally Posted by Pacquiao3:16
I took my first Savate class yesterday and I thought it was fun and fast-paced.
Should I continue doing it to help me in MMA?
I love Savate, though relatively recently I began focusing more on my MT training for various reasons - none of them pertaining to any dislike of the fine art of French Foot Fencing.
I often read posts asking "can I use XYZ in MMA?", and it surprises me somewhat. If you train well for all of the "MMA-ish" contingencies while pursuing Savate, I'm sure you could benefit greatly from the work. If you take Muay Thai from some Thai Yoda but don't apply yourself, you'd be MUCH worse off. That said, I will try to address some of the "challenges" you might encounter while trying to adapt Savate technique to an MMA environment. Please understand I don't fight competitively, so hopefully some of the vets on this board can chime in if I mis-state something (but I DO train and spar with grappling techniques).
1) If you can't use shoes while fighting, you'll lose some of the effectiveness of some of the Savate kicks - especially the Fouette (roundhouse). Using the toe while kicking is a characteristic of Savate that shouldn't be downplayed - but the instep can be applied in its place (at a cost to power). That said, you can throw chasse' kicks (i.e., side stopping kicks, in a very simplified nutshell) all day with bare feet, and the chasse' is critical in Savate.
Also, though Savate DOES chamber almost all of the kicks, it's application of the hip turn/thrust is different from most other arts - or at least applied with more...zeal. The fouette is devastating if applied correctly, and can drive the toe of a shoe like a hammer.
2) The stance in Savate puts most of your weight on the rear foot much of the time (many fighters shift to a more distributed stance once in boxing range). It's also not as forward-facing as many NHB/MMA stances you'll see out there. That means you must train train train to use it effectively. Since Savate fighters are extemely mobile and literally "bounce" (so it appears) around when in kicking range, you probably won't want to forego the stance and footwork because that's one of its primary strengths. That said, against a decent takedown you will be vulnerable. So...train for those contingencies.
3) Again, you're going to get taken down. Though I believe a good Savateur should be able to score kicks if he manages his distance and timing expertly during(i.e., while avoiding) a shoot, I must stress the word expertly. Develop groundfighting skills and your takedown defence. I get taken down routinely. THat said, the chasse can be very usefull against a closing opponent - that's what it's supposed to do. And the light lead leg, which is used AGGRESSIVELY in Savate, is much more viable for keeping distance between combatants than in many other arts.
4) Savate (sport) doesn't use the shin for attack or defence. I would (i.e., HAVE) quickly adapt the shield block from MT for dealing with low kicks, should you fail to full/half escape them (which is easier to do when using a Savate approach to footwork).
5) Sharpen your boxing skills. Knockouts are knockouts. Use the hands.
6) Learn the MT kicks as well. Learn to use combinations that setup the lead leg on the lead punch (often a hook) to switch kick opponent if such power is necessary. Ditto for combos that facilitate lateral stepping to deliver the rear leg off of a cross/feint cross.
7) I don't advise riding a strong MT kick. Try it once, you'll agree I think.
I will think on this more. Alas, it is late...