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Défense dans la Rue

A French system of street defence.

Coup de pied de pointe
About Défense dans la Rue
Défense dans la Rue (DDLR) is a term applied to various systems of personal combat developed in France around the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, and is part of the same developing interest in urban street defence that spawned the similar art of Bartitsu in England. It is a hybrid art, defined in various texts of the period, containing elements of Boxe Française, Pugilism, La Canne, Ju-Jitsu and wrestling, and many books on the topic also included information on the use of the revolver or knife. The practitioner was advised to study these various “combat sports” under appropriate masters and then combine them for defence.

For more information about DDLR we recommend reading the Défense dans la Rue web site and the articles on the Gemeiner Academy site.

DDLR training

Training in DDLR is quite hard to come by and we are not aware of any schools in the UK specialising in this particular system. If you are interested in studying it then the best option would be to consult one or more of the many texts on DDLR that have been recently republished as well as modern secondary sources and articles. This study should be combined with tution from instructors familiar with classical pugilism, boxing, savate, Ju-jitsu or similar arts, in order to provide the skills necessary to understand the texts.

Unarmed training at the Linacre School of Defence currently includes classical pugilism, but some investigation into Edwardian-era self-defence techniques is being undertaken. Some techniques and exercises derived from Renaud's and André's texts are covered at irregular monthly sessions and also incorporated into some of the regular pugilistic sessions. However, instruction in the full syllabus of these Authors is not available.

If you are interested, please get in touch.

Phil Crawley's translations

Mr. Crawley, of the Black Boar Swordsmanship School, is well known for his keen interest in French martial arts of the 18th and 19th centuries. He is a prolific translator of French martial arts texts, and we are pleased to be able to host his translations here. We would also like to thank JeanLoup Rebours-Smith and Enrico Sanchez for assistance with these translations.

Other DDLR texts and articles

At present we have the following:

  • A possible interpretation of the term “chassé”.
  • An ongoing translation of Renaud's text, with links to other translated sections on-line.
  • A translation of the first and second parts of a two-part article from the magazine Le Plein Air, Revue de Tous les Sports of 1910-11.