Phases de combat

By Craig Gemeiner

Copyright 2009

Renaud’s essential reasoning for combining the 3 defensive sports of Savate,  English boxing and jiu-jitsu.

In his outstanding manual entitled ” Defense dans la Rue” author Joseph Renaud includes an important chapter covering the subject of ” Indispensable combinations”.

Renaud writes that it is necessary to train the 3 defensive sports of Savate- Lecour method , classical English boxing and Japanese jiu-jitsu separately and in doing so you should seek out tuition from expert instructors. He goes on to say that once a sound understanding of the fundamentals have been thoroughly comprehended then it is advisable to combine these sports in what he terms “phases of combat”.

Stating that a person must possess the ability to pass from one means of defense to another, Renaud emphasizes that you will not have time to recall and reflect on techniques during serious combat. Instead one must have the ability to execute valid and instinctive movements when conflict arises.

Renaud provides a total of 22 examples covering a succession of phase combat skills intended to train  the ‘Defense dans la Rue’  practitioner to transition from one method to another  .

It should be noted that the author utilizes a minimalist approach in regards to the number of actual techniques that he grafts from the 3 combat sports. This makes sense,  as an over abundance of techniques will often create hesitation in regards to the selection of skills and responses during periods of stress.

The syllabus includes only 3 low line kicks, 3 punches, several rudimentary take downs along with a hand  full of ground fighting maneuvers which are supplemented by head butts, knee and elbow strikes.

While phase combat sequences may seem similar to the “enchainement” drills found in modern savate kickboxing, the training outcomes in Defense dans la Rue are completely different. Practitioners take turn adopting the role of attacker and defender with the object being to traverse  through a number of ranges or attitudes.

To train these sequences the author recommends utilizing jiu-jitsu type mats that are solid enough to permit the safe delivery of kicks and punches yet soft enough to be thrown comfortably.

Renaud’s final advice for practicing phase combat skills is to -(1) train with the mind set of being in ‘real combat’, (2) never assume your adversary will be ignorant in fight sports, and finally (3) never practise combinations that could not strictly be executed on the hard surface of the street.

Presented below is one sequence taken from Renaud’s syllabus. Over time we hope to illustrate more phase combat skills pertaining to Renaud’s manual.



 The individual on the left feints a high line punch with the lead hand -‘direct avant’. Fig-1



 This is followed by a ‘Chasse bas’ from the rear leg . Fig 2 ,3



 The adversary evades the kicking attack and rushes in with an attempted body hold. This is countered using a raising elbow strike – ‘coup de coude’ – under the chin, while moving forward. Fig-4




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