2 things about Savate that make it an interesting skillset in self defence.
1. footwork and evasion. Good savateurs have the best movement in any art. I am not a fan of these absolutes, but honestly, there is nothing more miserable than trying to catch a good savateur. I know, because I am/was a bad savateur
. There is no doubt that Muay Thai clinch, use of elbows etc are rightfully considered devastating, but you never have to look for your oponent in a muay thai fight- they are always 3 feet in front of you
. Savate can teach you skills that can create space in a phone booth. SD 101 keep moving, keep your attacker(s) off balance and on the trot. That's savate.
2. It is a booted art. The kicks are designed to turn your feet into the weapon, not the leg. In competition like that clip, the fighters keep their boots in ice boxes to make them extra hard (they are already reinfrced boots). Again, in an SD situation, a savateur wearing work boots is going to make an attacker hurt badly
very quickly. Dont get me wrong, I have nothing but love for muay thai's powerfull shin kicks, but the effect tends to be accumulative. I have experienced, and seen on a frequent basis, a well placed boot dig in to a thigh and give an instant dead leg. Truly horrible- and awesome
This is why Dekker had such trouble - the conditioning he had was for a different kind of impact and damage, and the nature of the kicks meant that he could not check their damage either. His leg went quickly, and he just could not catch the little bugger to give him some in return.
Again, not trying to do an 'art vs' argument, but Savate does get a bit of a rough deal in regards to rep and awareness, and its a shame because it presents a very usefull skillset in a very 'live' environment.