Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mastering Basic Sweeps for All Martial Artists

Sweeps from the guard are a vital part of grappling. From a competition point of view, sweeps can win points and can help put a fighter in a better position to dominate their opponent. From a self defence point of view, sweeps are vital. Although not necessarily the best position to be in, if one does find themselves on the floor with their opponent on top of them, one must quickly be able to get them off and get up.

With the amount of media available at ones disposal to learn new and fancy looking sweeps, there are martial artists who that devote many hours trying to perfect these fancy moves without grasping a sound grip of the basic sweeps.

By practising and using the basic and probably most used sweeps, one will not only stand a better chance of success when it comes to sweeping and reversals, but one will also gain a better understanding of the principles behind sweeps and what is needed for them to be effective.

A successful sweep is one where technique is used to reverse ones opponent rather than strength. This means that body positioning, proper gripping and timing are crucial for successful sweeps. If one tries to power their opponent off them, they shall quickly learn that there is not much success this way.

With this in mind, below are the best sweeps to practise in order to understand sweeping principles so that variations to these basic sweeps can be carried out instinctively through hours of repetitive sparring.

Butterfly Sweep – The butterfly sweep, used from the butterfly guard is great to practise timing and body positioning. Without falling and pulling your opponent at a certain angle, this sweep will not work very well. One will learn that their body positioning is vital for sweeps and all grappling techniques.

Scissor sweep – The scissor sweep is one of the most basic but most used sweeps. It teaches one to use the “push – pull” principle with both legs. This is very important as many advanced sweeps and variations use this principle.

Hip Heist Sweep – This sweep, also known as the sit up sweep will only probably work, if it is performed in combination with other techniques such as the guillotine or figure four lock (kimura) or as a defence to the opponent’s attacks. It will teach timing and how to flow from one technique to another.

These three sweeps are some of the most basic but are so vital for every ground grappler to master. They will help ones grappling immensely from the guard and if they are learnt to a high level, one will easily be able to perform variations and shall be able to use their principles with other sweeps and other grappling techniques in general.

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SenseiMattKlein said...

I think most sweeps can be dangerous as they put you in a worse position if you get it wrong. We have a few sweeps in Kenpo that can be devastating if you really do them well, but put you on the ground in a dangerous position if you mess up. The moral of the story is....drill, drill, drill until it becomes second nature.

kempo Man said...

I agree with the post above I would only use a sweep on the street. If you sweep someone they may land on the back of there head.

Bill said...

That sissor sweep works great. I remember learning that in sambo class a few years ago. It's awesome because you can end up in mount directly if you do it properly.

Robert Bergin said...

Excellent post on a very important topic!

I think it's particularly important to note that confidence with your bottom game in general, but especially with sweeps, gives you the freedom to apply your top game more authoritatively. You run into a lot of people who are scared to do anything on top, because they don't have confidence in their ability to get back on top if they are swept.

Max said...

Sweeps could be devastating but i have to agree with SenseiMattKlein that it leaves you very open for a counter.
But i already seen this used in a real world application and its great!

George said...

i have seen some insane sweeps, certainly a useful technique to have in your arsenal in mma/combat sports.

Brandon said...

A sweep is one of the techniques that requires precision and great considerations cause it could easily backfire with one false move.

Keith said...

This technique is very effective especially the ground sweep. You are quite a fighter, it will bring your opponent off the ground giving him the least option of fighting back. I have proven the effectively of this technique many times and it always feels good to bring opponent surrender or quite the fight.

Steven Smith said...

While not a big fan of sweeps for self-defense: what a great training exercise, both as offensive and defensive body training!

Brian said...

Sweeps could be very effective but its a double edge knife for a technique, perfecting the technique as a whole needs considerable knowledge and practice. A miss could put the sweeper to a very delicate position open for devastating attacks.

Benn said...

Not a big fan of sweeps too, but i respect and even envy those who can really pull it off in a fight. It's a technique that can put you in a very undesirable situation.

Chase said...

Sweeps are for gamblers, if you can't take the risk... leave it be but praises to those who sweeps.

sherlyn - Kung Fu said...

Sweep is good for one time attack. You will scare your opponent if you do this quickly. Using both offensive and defensive. If your opponent find themselves on the floor and your on top of them, they would get scared easily.

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