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Old 08-02-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Obscure Martial Arts Profile: Lutte Parisian

From Savateaustralia:

The art of “Lutte Parisian”, or “Parisian wrestling” played a major role in the progressive development of Savate during the 1800s. In France, the Greco-Roman style of wrestling was practised as early as the 1st century AD, and by the 19th century it had become so popular that it was simply referred to as “French wrestling”. French wrestling attracted all classes of society, from ordinary commoners to members of royalty itself, and the popularity it commanded was considerable. Indeed, one of the most famous men in the whole of France during the Renaissance period was a wrestler and swordsman called Pietro Monte. And more significantly, it is said that in 1520, King Henry VIII of England was challenged by King Francis I of France to a personal wrestling match. The actual outcome of this bout is inconclusive at best, as each of the two countries claim their own king was victorious on the day – beliefs that were perhaps born of national pride rather than historical fact.
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From the mid 1800s, mixed matches between Lutters and Savatuers were common, and as a result, the exchange of some fundamental techniques occurred between the fighters of both these French martial arts.
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Famous Lutters of the period who reportedly cross-trained in Savate include Bernard, Rambaud and Marseille. Bernard, who fought under the name “Father Bernard”, was reportedly an excellent Savateur and Lutter from Southern France, but was also a competitor who would intentionally foul an opponent at every opportunity. In 1850, Bernard met his match, when he was knocked out by a kick to the chest by Rambaud. Rambaud went on to defeat another excellent Lutter of the era called Aprin (“The Terrible Savoyard”), and later contested three bouts with Vigneron.
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Vigneron was a colourful and renowned fighter of the period. Also known as “the cannon man” (after his habit of hoisting a cannon on his shoulder while approaching the ring), Vigneron was a superb Savateur, Lutter and weightlifter. He competed in, and won, many mixed martial arts bouts, fighting English boxers, and French Lutters and Savateurs alike.
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Vigneron’s protégé, Joseph Charlemont, was responsible for many of Savate’s lasting refinements. He codified the existing methods of Savate, and introduced elements of Fencing footwork, and Lutte, and in his endeavours he wrote several books on savate. The most famous of these, “L’ ART ET LA BOXE FRANCAISE ET DE LA CANNE – 1899”, includes a large grouping of Parisian Lutte techniques in addition to the more traditional kicking, boxing and cane fighting. Where the Greco Roman system only permitted grips, holds and throws from the waist up, Charlemont integrated single and double leg pick ups, leg captures, and take-downs from the free style methods. Many of these techniques would also be used to combat the superior punching lines of the English pugilists.
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The use of Lutte dominated the infighting range of the typical 19th century Savate fighter, resulting in his repertoire of kicking and boxing skills being delivered from a longer distance. At the same time, the typical French boxer could initiate strikes from out of distance by way of en marchant attacks, croises, shifts, lunges or drop steps -- always carefully placing his kicks and punches so as to avoid his limbs being grabbed. Unlike in the modern sport, which is based on continuous movement and combinations, a contemporary Savate fighter could expect to be thrown head first into the ground if he attempted to engage in infighting with a traditional French boxer skilled in Parisian Lutte.
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Even in spite of wrestling’s popularity at the time, Charlemont’s manuals (and other savate manuals written during the era) made no mention of ground wrestling. From a self-defence standpoint, this is strategically advisable, as spending excessive “time on target”, especially in the street, can result in the grounded victim being on the receiving end of a potential stomping or weapon attack.
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La Lutte techniques that were feasible in Savate were utilized in conjunction with hitting skills. Strikes were used to soften up the opponent before, during, and after a grappling manoeuvre, and many of the take-downs were designed to throw the opponent onto his head, against a wall, or body-slam him heavily into the ground.
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By the 1970s the last of the Parisian Lutte techniques had been removed from Savate so as to promote a clean international kickboxing sport. Various groups however, particularly the Italian schools and several overseas academies, continue to include the Lutte skills in their syllabus. The following images demonstrate a small grouping of “Prise de jambe” and “Enfourchement” techniques that were commonly in use by Savateurs during the 1800s. 1- Ankle hook and riposte with a punch- Sight the opponents chest using your peripherals to track his prime movers (in the case of kicking the hips and thighs) when movement is detected lean back and rotate your body into a lateral plan taking your prime targets of line .Use a straight arm guard to deflect the incoming linear kick (coup de pied direct) to the outside. Open your hand and hook the opponent’s ankle and follow up with a strike from your rear hand. The object of this exercise is to continuously strike the opponent while he is standing on a single base of support.
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2-Counter to the ankle hook- Turn the captured knee towards the ground by rotating the hips and dragging the foot down and out – follow with a low chasse
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3- Ankle hook and scissors hold, riposte with a kick – After guarding and hooking the opponents ankle pass the left hand outwards and over his ankle, both arms crossing and securing the foot. Lift his leg as high as possible at the same time delivering a low kick.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Obscure Martial Arts Profile: Lutte Parisian

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4-Counters to the scissors hold - A simple counter against an adversary who captures your ankle with both hands is to strike out with your fist or foot to force a release.
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5- If both of these options fail to break his grip then post both hands on the ground and use a strong kick to the adversary’s shin or head .
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6 - Ankle scoop Another way to catch the opponent’s kick is to scoop his ankle by passing the lead hand inwards and under the leg while placing the rear hand on the instep to secure the grip. Rapidly pass back simultaneously rotating the opponent’s foot externally and pull him downward. The purpose of this exercise is to violently pull the opponent into your punches or down onto the floor.
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7-Another follow up from the ankle scoop involves drawing the leg up high and vigorously pushing the opponent back by shifting forward several times .The object is to dump the adversary onto his back.
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8 - Ankle hook to exterior leg scoop From the ankle hook, shift forward striking the opponent with the outside of your forearm simultaneously inverting the elbow and scooping the knee upward. The opponent can be speared into the ground by forcing his head downward while lifting the leg up , another option includes throwing the aversasary over your thigh.
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9- Interior leg scoop To counter the Fouette figure, parry with the left hand while shifting diagonally forward moving inside the radius of the kick. This is followed quickly by scooping the opponent’s knee and stepping forward with a strike using the outside of the forearm. Throw the opponent over your thigh by driving his head down while raising the captured leg.
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10- Counter to the leg scoop Cup the back of the opponent’s head or neck pulling him down into an uppercut
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Savateurs in Paris fighting for the advantage - the one on the left has secured a leg scoop while the one on the right has capture the neck.
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11 - Counter to fouette figure or revers tournant. Cover and shed the opponent high kick and hold it in place by flaring the elbow. Move in rapidly grabbing the support leg while driving a head or shoulder butt into the groin, pull the opponents leg inwards while straightening your legs. (There are several variations to this counter).
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The following link provides film footage produced in the 1930s entitled " The High Kicker ".
It shows two Savateurs demonstrating several skills covered in this article.
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References: Charlemont , Joseph, “ L’art De La Boxe Francaise Et La Canne, 1899 Devost, “ Manual DeLa Boxe Francaise Et Anglaise Methode Leboucher”, 1885 Lecerc, Julien, “ La Boxe Pratique Offensive & Defensive” ,1910 Bradfield Richard, "Sport Savate" - Fighttimes , 2003
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Obscure Martial Arts Profile: Lutte Parisian

Interesting angle on Vigneron and Bernard--essentially modern freestyle wrestling skills plus Victorian kickboxing, plus several MMA matches against boxers, wrestlers, and other savateurs. Weightlifting thrown in as a bonus.

These guys were good.
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