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View Full Version : It's time to give the French their due



SBG-ape
2/12/2009 12:26am,
It's been fashionalbe for quite some time to mock the French & anything to do with them. Certainly French history & culture have areas that can easily be mocked but it's important to remember that the French are responsible for Savate & (as sited in another thread on this forum) Greco-Roman wrestling.

French culture has given us some great combat sports & I think we should take some time, in this thread, to discuss the bad-ass-ness of greco throwing, liver kicking, baton fencing French stuff.

Hesperus
2/12/2009 12:50am,
La canne/canne de combat is awesome

YouTube - Canne de combat (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuTeAaSG_i8)

I'm not exactly sure of the ruleset, but I believe they outright state the handful of acceptable techniques. I also see some canne stuff in Dog Brothers on occasion, with their knee strikes very often being very canne (without any credit, of course, it's like the joke about Koreans inventing everything except with the Filipinos).

Jack Rusher
2/12/2009 10:44am,
First, read this (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2057312&postcount=3) post.

There's a Fédération des Luttes Traditionnelles Provençal (http://pancrace.chez.com/fltp/) that's in the business of preserving various antique combat sports of the region. These include, among others, 'Lucho Libro' (free wrestling, which is very like Catch) and an almost complete preservation of pankration called Brancaille (strikes + wrestling + strangles + joint locks) that's fought in a sandpit with a ring a spectators:

http://pancrace.chez.com/fltp/l2.JPG
http://pancrace.chez.com/fltp/l4.JPG

... and continues on the ground:

http://pancrace.chez.com/fltp/l3.JPG

There were even turn-of-the-century challenge matches between traditional French fighters and Frenchmen who had learned jujutsu:

http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/iupad/dubreni2.JPG
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/iupad/jujireni.jpg
(From 1905. Jujutsuka Régnier defeats folk-fighter DuBois; Régnier loses a few days later to a fair wrestler called Witzler.)

This type of contest was popular in the region until after the Second World War, when it fell out of favor. In the 1970s a couple of old champions opened schools to keep it alive as part of the regional culture of Provence, much like a French version of the Snake Pit in Wigan.

Jack Rusher
2/12/2009 11:06am,
Another preservation of ancient pankration is the traditional Corsican style called Lotta Corsa in dialect or lutte corse in French. Like Brancaille, it was popular into the 20th century. Currently, reconstructionists (http://ftev.ifrance.com/) are trying to put it back together by interviewing elderly ex-village champions and reading accounts of matches from between the world wars.

DdlR
2/12/2009 4:36pm,
There were even turn-of-the-century challenge matches between traditional French fighters and Frenchmen who had learned jujutsu:

http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/iupad/dubreni2.JPG
http://www.pankration.freesurf.fr/iupad/jujireni.jpg
(From 1905. Jujutsuka Régnier defeats folk-fighter DuBois; Régnier loses a few days later to a fair wrestler called Witzler.)

This type of contest was popular in the region until after the Second World War, when it fell out of favor. In the 1970s a couple of old champions opened schools to keep it alive as part of the regional culture of Provence, much like a French version of the Snake Pit in Wigan.

The Régnier vs. Dubois match was big news in its time. Dubois was a serious athlete and savate expert (also a famous theatrical fight choreographer) who took part in a war of words with Régnier via letters to the editor of sports magazines, etc. in the months leading up to the fight. Régnier himself had been a down-on-his-luck wrestler who found himself a wealthy sponsor (physical culture guru Edmond Desbonnet) who sent him to train in London with former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani.

The fight was hyped by the sporting press and was treated almost like a duel of honor, a very formal affair. It was anti-climactic, though; Dubois threw a kick, Régnier closed and took him down, then subbed him with an extended armlock inside of two minutes.

Régnier had his moment of fame and Desbonnet set him up with a very fancy dojo inside one of his (Desbonnet's) gyms, but the jujitsu fad soon passed and Régnier eventually lost to a huge Graeco-Roman wrestler; he seems to have retired after that fight. Dubois went on to learn jujitsu himself and wrote a notably good book on self defense, combining boxing, savate and jiujitsu with stick fighting.

Jack Rusher
2/12/2009 6:23pm,
The Régnier vs. Dubois match was big news in its time.

It's the only one I can find much mention of on the internet. I've read about -- and seen pictures from -- other fights in the period in French books on the subject, but I can't find any of that stuff on the web.


Régnier [ ... ] to train in London with former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani.

A-ha! My previous sources didn't paint the Bartitsu connection. I was wondering where he learned his jujitsu.

By the way, I'll be in Provence and Corsica toward the end of April. It's my intention to interview and train with some brancaille and lutte corse preservationists during the trip. Observations, photos and (maybe) video to follow.

DdlR
2/12/2009 6:32pm,
It's the only one I can find much mention of on the internet. I've read about -- and seen pictures from -- other fights in the period in French books on the subject, but I can't find any of that stuff on the web.

There's an article on the Régnier-Dubois fight in volume I of the Bartitsu Compendium.


By the way, I'll be in Provence and Corsica toward the end of April. It's my intention to interview and train with some brancaille and lutte corse preservationists during the trip. Observations, photos and (maybe) video to follow.

Excellent.

selfcritical
2/13/2009 10:55am,
La canne/canne de combat is awesome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuTeAaSG_i8

I'm not exactly sure of the ruleset, but I believe they outright state the handful of acceptable techniques. I also see some canne stuff in Dog Brothers on occasion, with their knee strikes very often being very canne (without any credit, of course, it's like the joke about Koreans inventing everything except with the Filipinos).


I'm confused here. Are you saying that the idea of attacking the knee with a weapon originated with the french? Are you saying that there are only 1 or 2 knee attacks in FMA, and they all came from La Canne? I like savate and all, but that doesn't really seem plausible with the timeframes in question. Also there are several key pieces to how leg attacks are excecuted in the style i learned that i don't see the la canne players doing.

Hesperus
2/13/2009 4:12pm,
...Dog Brothers.

Not FMA in general. Dog Brothers.

Timeframe? Huh?

Lindz
2/14/2009 9:15am,
It's been fashionalbe for quite some time to mock the French & anything to do with them.
Only in the states and only because they tried fighting the last war. And then that ape you called a President threw a tantrum.

SBG-ape
2/14/2009 11:13am,
Only in the states and only because they tried fighting the last war. And then that ape you called a President threw a tantrum.

To be fair, people also make fun of France for occasionally poor battlefield strategy during the Medieval period, for it's pre-revolutionary excesses, it's excessive revolutionary violence & the fact that Napoleon may have been short. Also because apparently giving up on an unwinable overt war with the Germans & instead fighting their occupation through guerilla tactics isn't manly or something.

Like I said though, anybody who thinks kicking people in the liver with a boot constitutes a sport is alright in my book.

Truculent Sheep
2/23/2009 7:17pm,
The French grunt has always been up to scratch - it's just that he's invariably been lead by complete idiots.

maxthegeek1
2/23/2009 7:38pm,
Wait, the french are responsible for greco-roman wrestling? I thought the greeks and Italians were...

DdlR
2/23/2009 7:43pm,
Wait, the french are responsible for greco-roman wrestling? I thought the greeks and Italians were...

Nope ... The truse origins of "Graeco-Roman" wrestling - No BS Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=80965)

Angrydog
3/01/2009 6:54pm,
To be fair, people also make fun of France for occasionally poor battlefield strategy during the Medieval period, for it's pre-revolutionary excesses, it's excessive revolutionary violence & the fact that Napoleon may have been short. Also because apparently giving up on an unwinable overt war with the Germans & instead fighting their occupation through guerilla tactics isn't manly or something.

Like I said though, anybody who thinks kicking people in the liver with a boot constitutes a sport is alright in my book.

The fench should be forgiven for that besides what SBG ape said they had been fighting the germans long before we where and had already lost about 2 or so million men. So they didnt punk out they where just beaten.