Friday, 11 September 2009

Karate Competition Foot Sweeps

Today’s video is all about foot sweeps that are found in karate. As with all types of takedowns, breaking your opponents balance is key and sweeps are no different. Weather one pulls, pushes or lifts to break there opponents balance does not matter as long as it is done and concerning judo, where there is near enough constant grappling, this is how most sweeps take place.

The foot sweeps that are found in karate competition however rarely involve any grappling of any kind, and a karate ka will tend to try and catch there opponent off balance, as they are attacking or defending. It is during these two phases of combat that they are moving either forwards, backwards or sideways and as they are moving, they momentarily break there own balance and are susceptible to foot sweeps. (Having said this it must be pointed out that karate ka, like judo ka sometimes try and grapple there opponents while trying to execute foot sweeps, which is how most are found in kata bunkai.)

The following video demonstrates two types of foot sweeps that are found in karate competition. The first being an attacking foot sweep, which is performed after a strike, (which could be either real or a feint) and as the opponent defends the strike and moves backwards, breaking his own balance in that direction, is caught with a foot sweep in the same direction. This type of technique can easily be compared to the Judo sweep, Okuri ashi barai (below left picture).

The second sweep demonstrated is a defensive one, which is performed as the opponent is attacking. As there balance is broken in a forward direction through there own movement, there front foot, is then swept in the same direction to take them down. This type of technique can also easily be compared to another Judo sweep, this time Ko Ouchi Gari (above right picture)

Timing is critical for these types of foot sweeps where one is not holding there opponent and they are definitely worth practising if you do not already. Enjoy!

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Anonymous said...

Sweeps do work but they're hard to pull off: if your timing is off by even a second or less he'll be firmly grounded and there's no way you'll be able to sweep him. We saw a sweep as a counter to a mae-geri: basically you use a gedan-barai to redirect his leg and sweep before he puts his foot down. Most of the time I couldn't do it properly but I found when you grab his leg and then let it fall down you'll be able to time it much better and he'll either fall or completely lose his balance making it easy for you to finish the fight. In reality I'd rather use a counter-kick though since missing the sweep could land you in a bad position and he'll have the advantage. It's still cool if you get it in sparring.

SenseiMattKlein said...

I think sweeps are very useful in the street, even without the intention of taking someone down with the actual sweep.

Used to have a great point fighter in the San Diego dojo years ago and he'd sweep the back of my front leg with his front leg. As he had me off balance and paying attention to his fake sweep, he'd backfist or jab me to the head. Try as I might, it was extremely difficult to stop it.

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