Zipota or zipote is a martial art taught primarily in
Texas in the United States and is closely related to the French martial art of
savate. Both place an emphasis on kicks, though zipota has more throws and jump
kicks, knee/shin and elbow strikes, joint manipulation and it includes aspects
of stick fighting and knife fighting. Practitioners of the zipota are known as
zipoteros (one who does zipote) or zipotones in Spanish.
In zipota, the usual stick weapon is called the
makila. The knife is called the saca tripa. It also uses pelotas as a throwing
weapon. Stones thrown with the basket fly at high speed and can be lethal within
Although it is claimed to be a Basque variant of Savate, it is unclear whether
the sport truly originates in the Basque Country. Some people suggest it is a
Basque martial art because it was developed over generations by a family of
Basque immigrants in Texas.Its practitioners may have borrowed, used and coined
a number of Basque terms such as zipotedun (one who has zipote), zipotelari (a
zipotero), lamiak and sugaar (names for kicks), makila (a Basque walking stick
used in some Basque dances and sports), and others.
The name zipote is described by practitioners as being from the Basque, meaning
shoe. The word zapata in Basque is a loanword from Spanish. The Spanish word
itself, and the French word savate, are loans from Arabic sabbat, via Italian
ciabatta or old Occitan sabata.There is no evidence that the word zipote or
zipota has a meaning of "shoe" or a martial art in Basque.