Seven national championships in savate--French kick-boxing--will be decided tonight when the European martial art makes its competitive West Coast debut at The Strand, 1700 Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach.
There will be 10 bouts beginning at 7:30. Seven will be for U.S. titles in internationally recognized amateur weight classes. The bouts have the sanction of the California Athletic Commission and will be officiated by a French Federation referee under European rules.
Among contestants is Trent Suzuki, a trainer and physical therapist in the Los Angeles area. Winners tonight will qualify for the world championships in Europe this year.
Savate was developed in France in the late 1800s, first as a form of street fighting before it evolved into a contact sport. Savate combines the movement and gloved punching of boxing with Asian martial arts kicking techniques. Savate has been selected as a demonstration sport for the 1996 Olympics in Paris and may be in 1992 in Barcelona.
Tickets cost $45 ringside, $35 for reserved and $25 general admission. The Strand box office is taking reservations at 316-1700.