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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