Master This Slick Foot Sweep with Travis Stevens
The foot sweep or ashi waza techniques can be some of the most useful judo techniques that you can learn with respect to your BJJ takedown game. They can catch your opponent by surprise and may actually sweep them off their feet, allow you to score the takedown and advance your offense. But in the event the takedown is unsuccessful, the off-balancing or kuzushi that's created by the foot sweep can help create openings and opportunities for other takedowns or control positions to happen.
In the video below, from his recent series Mastering No Gi Takedowns, Olympic judo silver medalist and BJJ black belt Travis Stevens, breaks down a sneaky foot sweep that can set your opponent up for a takedown or create so many opportunities for offense, you won't believe it. Check out the video below and we'll break it down afterwards.
Travis Stevens refers to this as an advanced foot sweep that can be very effective for a competition setting. In the technique, Travis is going to force his partner to make a spin that will allow him to set up a foot sweep with his left foot rather than his right.
The position starts with both players standing with their right legs in the lead. Travis Stevens initiates the sweep by grabbing the shoulder of his opponent with his right hand and taking a step forward with his left leg. As he makes the step forward, he is also pulling his opponent towards him making him step forward.
Travis utilizes what he refers to as a ''cheat step' when he follows the opponent's left foot coming forward with his own right foot stepping back. This 2 steps for 1 transition puts the opponent's feet square in alignment and ripe for the ashi waza.
Now on to the hands and their positioning. Travis is already using his grip on the opponent's right shoulder to force the step and begin the spin that will align the opponent's feet putting them in the position to sweep them. With his left hand his is working to pin the opponent's elbow to the hip. By starting with a strong inside tie style grip, he will be able to off balance the opponent making the sweep easier or at least the kuzushi more dramatic than if he were not pinning the elbow to the hip.
Travis recommends practicing this slowly and without the throw to increase the amount of reps you can perform. On the mats or with a crash pad, you can increase the intensity and perform the throw at will. It would also be helpful to your game to explore different options off of the stutter step the opponent would make to prevent themselves from being swept. By having 2-3 options off of this sweep, you can guarantee that your gameplan is advanced at the expense of your opponent.
For more No Gi Takedown expertise, check out Travis Stevens' recent release Mastering No Gi Takedowns at BJJFanatics.com. You're going to get the perspective of an Olympic-level judoka who also is a black belt in BJJ and has competed on some of the highest stages in both arts. Get it here or at the Buy Now link below!
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