Monday, 9 November 2009

Foot Sweep Tips

Foot sweeps are techniques that most people either love or they hate. They are not techniques that one can perform with little practise as there are many points to remember when sweeping and for this reason they demand much training and respect.

Although they are not fight finishers, they are certainly ways in which a fighter can be put in a position TO finish a fight. They are sneaky ways to let a person know not to come to close to you and they can be used as a great defence to high kicks, as long as the timing is right. However, many people simply cannot get sweeps right.

Well if this is you, firstly, remember that sweeps are very hard, and no one gets them correct all the time. Secondly, chances are, there is something relatively small you may be getting wrong. Maybe one of the tips below can help?

Sweep the ankle – One of the main mistakes people perform when sweeping is to sweep too high up the leg, making contact with there opponents shin, or in some extreme cases, the knee. Sweeps must be kept low towards the ankle. Not only will the sweep work this way but it will also be less painful then hitting the shin.

Use the sole to sweep – A lot of people use the side of the foot or sometimes the instep to sweep, simply because it is harder to bend the foot and use the sole. By using the sole one is able to use a wider surface to really “cup” the ankle, which gives the success rate of the sweep a higher percentage.

Sweeps must be followed through – Sweeps must be followed through enough so as to be effective. This means that instead of just tapping the foot or following through a few inches, it is necessary in most cases to follow sweeps through at least half a foot.

The opponent must be off balance when sweeping – Sweeps are only effective if the person being swept is off balance. Judo practitioners pull there opponent hard in order to take them off balance, karate fighters try to catch there opponents as they are moving and off balance. A leg that is planted firmly on the floor is very hard to sweep.

Full commitment to the technique – A lot of times, people attempt sweeps for the hell of it thinking that if they get lucky then it is a bonus. Unless the technique is merely a feint or a setup for another technique, sweeps must be given full commitment with the thought of success in ones mind.

These are just a few tips to think about next time you are practising sweeps. As mentioned above, they are hard and require lots of practise to be effective but with correct knowledge of how to perform them and with much training, slowly, the way to carry them out will become second nature and they shall start to flow more easily in sparring.

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Neal Martin said...

Great tips there. I don't use the sweep much in sparring, but lately I've started to experiment with it more and have found it be very effective. In the self defense techniques that we practice we use sweeping techniques a lot. Very effective from a vertical grappling position and you can maintain good control after as well. The outside leg sweep is one of the best takedowns there is, I think. I've used a couple of times for real and finished it with the choke. Very effective because your opponent usually doesn't expect it.

The Martial Arts Reporter said...

Appreciate the post.
Got me thinking about tournament karate days. When applying ashi-barai (hope I got the spelling right) and I would follow up or better through by trapping opponent's front arm and then punch to the ribs. Very cool.
Great post, man.

MARKS said...

yes, ashi barai is a a great way to mommentarily of balance your opponant so as follow up techniques can be carried out like the one you describe.

Foot sweeps do not always have to take the opponant down, they are great ways to bring a persons attention down towards his feet, while one can quikly strike high.

Neal Martin said...

Distracting with the foot sweep and following up with a quick jab I have always found to be effective. You catch them almost every time.

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