Zipota or zipote is a martial art taught primarily in Texas in the United States[1] and is closely related to the French martial art of savate.[1] 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 50 feet (as depicted, possibly inaccurately, in the film Thunder in the Sun).


Although it is claimed to be a Basque variant of Savate, it is unclear whether the sport truly originates in the Basque Country. References are made to zipota being employed by the Basque mythological figure basajaun,[1] but little evidence of this claim is available. Some people suggest it is a Old World Basque martial art that was further developed over generations by Basque immigrants in Texas.[1] 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 common Basque word for a shoe, zapata, 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.[2]

None of the classical (Azkue,[3] Lhande[4]) or larger modern (Elhuyar)[5] Basque dictionaries nor the Historical Dictionary of Basque[6] have an entry of the word zipote or zipota meaning "shoe" or a martial art.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Green, T. Martial Arts of the World (2001) ABC Clio ISBN 1-57607-556-7 e-Book
  2. Dubois, J. Larousse Dictionnaire d' Étymologie, Larousse 2001
  3. Azkue, RM Diccionario Vasco-Español-Frances 1905
  4. Lhande, P. Dictionnaire Basque-Français, Paris 1926
  5. Elhuyar hiztegia euskara-gaztelania/castellano-vasco, Elhuyar 1996
  6. Euskal Orotariko Hiztegia. Euskaltzaindia. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.

External links

es:Zipota pt:Zipota sr:Ципота

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Zipota, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): PRehse Search for "Zipota" on Google
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