Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Sweeps for Self Defence

Sweeps are great techniques. There is no doubt about there effectiveness for taking someone to the floor using the least amount of energy. Although much practise is needed in order to become competent using them they are worth investing the time.

During martial arts competitions, they are used to unbalance or take fighters down so as to follow up with other techniques which may be for scoring points, gaining dominant positions on the ground or for knocking out an opponent for a victory.

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For the street however, not only can they be used for the same reasons as competition, but they are also great for stalling attacks from one of multiple opponents and they provide chances to run away.

Judo style sweeps are nearly always performed whilst two people are grappling, either holding each others clothing or body parts. They are quick, can be very subtle and if performed correctly are hard to counter or defend. Most of the time they lead, to the person being swept, taken to the floor or at the very least there balance broken, allowing for follow up techniques or a chance to escape.

Karate style sweeps differ in the fact that they tend to happen without one having to hold the other person. Karate fighters in general, have one leg in front of the other when in there stance and move around on the balls of there feet as opposed to the majority of judo fighters who are flat footed with there legs closer together. Because of there constant moving around, there balance can easily be disrupted via a well timed foot sweep and on many occasions, fighters are taken to the floor with them.

As to which type of sweep is best for self defence, there is no answer apart from they are both useful and should both definitely be practised. Karate style sweeps have the advantage that one does not need to become involved in a grappling situation for them to be performed, but timing and proper sweep technique must be stressed for them to work. On the other hand, one may argue that because street encounters happen so fast and may become grappling situations in a blink of an eye, judo style sweeps may have the advantage.

What must be remembered is that although sweeps are great for taking someone to the floor and delaying an attack, which is especially useful against multiple opponents, the chances of sweeps stopping an attack altogether are minimal. The person swept will most likely try and get back up and continue with there intentions. One must follow up with further techniques accordingly if needed, or get away from the situation whilst there opponent is down. Only in the movies does an opponent fall and stay down holding there leg in pain because of a sweep.


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Anonymous said...

I like Machidas straight left punch and then sweep with the right. Works like a charm.

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