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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 the 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. 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..
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