A tireur is a male practitioner of savate, a martial art relatively unknown in the UK but popular in France, Belgium and much of central Europe. Savate, which is also known as French kickboxing or boxe française, is very much a minority sport in contemporary Britain and Northern Ireland, and its enthusiasts have received little research attention from social scientists. This article is a collaborative case study of one tireur: James Southwood. It draws on ethnographic research on the classes taught by Southwood, a British teacher who is an international medallist. The interrelationships between this teacher’s pedagogy, his enthusiasm for savate, and his biography are explored, drawing on his life history and the events in his classes. The small world of savate in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in which teachers find it hard to make a living, and the success of this teacher as an international competitor, are contrasted herein. The article also introduces Bourdieu’s concept of habitus in a way parallel to the work of Wacquant on boxing.