3.10.2006

 

[REPOST] Sweeps are applied geometry that are physically easy and technically difficult, the pain after practice should be from a headache not a hernia

The old Goshin Jitsu patch[EDITOR'S NOTE: For some reason this posted existed and then was lost from the the server. It was originally posted 1/29/06 and for some reason could not be reposted at its true date and time. It has been reposted today, I apologize for any confusion]
I taught the newer white belts today and decided to revisit my early bread-and-butter move, the scissor sweep. We worked five variations/combinations of this sweep, in decreasing success rate order. That is, the easier high percentage moves first and more complex versions later. As with most of the things I do I like an overall conceptual theme and then technical variations of this idea hopefully strung together in a fairly coherent and logical order.
All martial arts have an almost fanatical obsession with the geometrical shape of the triangle. It appears in Filipino martial arts in their footwork and is incorporated in every martial arts symbol from karate to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). In BJJ the triangle holds a symbolic and practical meaning as it represents the fewest number of points to create a stable base as well as being able to be flipped over and still end upright. One example of this is the seated triangular base within the guard. Your knees form two of the vertices while your feet form the third.
Variations of the triangular base in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A narrow (parallel) base is probably the easiest position to sweep someone from and is the posture adopted by most beginners. As most sweeps work on angles off of the center line this maximizing of the base in the direction you are least likely to be swept is highly inefficient. The opposite wide base is more stable in the primary sweep directions but is simultaneously decreases mobility and is weak along the centerline. A balanced triangular base has a wide enough angle to provide stability in all directions without sacrificing mobility and will approximate an equilateral triangle.
Two disadvantageous variations of the triangular base should also be noted. The broken or staggered base is a result of a dynamic guard game that has caused a deformation of solid triangular base. This destabilizing is due to movement, attempted sweep, or submission and is the perfect time to re-sweep. As with takedowns, the perfect time to sweep someone is right after they defended a previous sweep. The second variation is the extended base where your opponent's triangular base has become barely recognizable as an extremely obtuse triangle. An example of this situation are when your opponent stands within the koala or X-guards. They've been placed in this precarious, extended position because of having lost their triangular base and their best bet is reestablishing a solid three points on the ground.
A cylinder rolls freely but only in certain directionsAnother important geometrical consideration is important in grappling, that of the cylinder. Early nuclear dosimetery models considered the human body as a cylinder and an approximation of a thick central cylinder attached to and supported by four cylindrical appendages is a fairly good grappling model. Sweeps are supposed to be physically easy and technically difficult, that is, the pain after practice should be from a headache not a hernia. One easy way of achieving this aim is to make people roll in the directions that they are "roundest". If you needed to get out of bed, most normal people would roll over side-to-side rather than end-to-end to get to the edge of the bed. Wouldn't it then make sense to use this same path of least resistance to sweep an opponent. I see many people trying to sweep their partner over their shin, ankle, and foot (the long part of the "cylinder"), rather than turning the force perpendicularly and sweeping them over their shin and calf (the round part of the "cylinder").
The perpendicular cut should always make things a little easierThe final geometrical tool is the perpendicular cut. If you are meeting heavy resistance, especially in a wrestling or grappling situation often "cutting" or changing the direction of force 90o will achieve your goal sooner and more efficiently than simply keep pushing straight on. For example, in tamashiwara (board breaking) common sense and injury prevention dictates going with the grain in the thinnest direction possible. If your assistant can only hand you boards end on, you have a choice of trying to chop them in half end on or repositioning them perpendicular and preserving the small bones of your karate chop. OK fine, I had to justify my silly figure. A practical example is the double leg, if your opponent does not immediately fall down on the initial shot a perpendicular cut can complete the take down, either laterally or from underneath. A sweep is the same when greeted with resistance, simply change direction by 90o and divert the pressure. The technical application is more complex, but the general concept is universal. With this geometrical theory of the sweep established, let's discuss the technique:
  1. Scissor sweep
    From close guard, control same side sleeve and lapel. Open your guard and slide your lapel side knee across your partner's belt parallel with the floor, other leg goes on the floor next to your opponents same side knee. Pull your partner forward at a 45o to the sleeve control side as you scissor your legs, sweeping to full mount. You are defeating the triangular base by lifting your partner off of one knee and the feet base points while disrupting the other knee base point with your sweep. Your are simultaneously preventing rebasing attempts with the sleeve control and leg on the outside of the knee.
  2. Scissor sweep variation: pushing the leg
    Should the leg outside your partner's knee be unsuccessful in destabilizing your partner, switch up perpendicularly and push their knee straight back, breaking their triangular base. Now complete the 45o lift and sweep. This time your are breaking the base by pushing one leg out of the triangle. You keep it from moving with your foot as you lift your partner off the remaining vertices of the triangle. The sweep is approximately perpendicular to the foot push.
  3. Reverse scissor
    The scissor sweep does not work, usually from your opponent collapsing on your cross body leg. Switch your grip, using your sleeve control hand to cross grab your partner's opposite sleeve and then reattaching your lapel hand lower on the kimono in the small of the back. Pull forward onto your cross body shin, and then tilt to the same (cross body shin) side. This can be hard on your hip and knee if you try to lift rather than tilt your opponent. In this case, you are using one knee vertex as a pivot point, and lifting your partner off the other two vertices.
  4. Scissor sweep attempt to cross body shin load
    Your opponent attempts to pass the cross body foot, detach from the lapel and control both sleeves. Sweep the cross body shin across and insert in the same side crook of your opponents elbow, effectively opening the guard. If the pass continues, thread your other leg across the belt line, this time with the knee pointing laterally or away from your other leg. Dive your head to this side knee and underhook the thigh. Use the shin inside the elbow and cross body shin to lift your opponent onto your legs and then dump them to their back over your feet. Rise up to knee on stomach. Here you effectively lift your opponent off their base, rolling them in their "roundest" direction. In addition we have performed a perpendicular cut, but not resisting their pass attempt but attacking 90o to the pass vector.
  5. Scissor sweep to hip bump
    The scissor sweep is faked or attempted with the opponent creating space, pop back to a low open guard with feet on the floor. Pop the sleeve control hand, cross body past your opponent's far shoulder (Cobra Kai Death Punch) and secure an overhook grip on the triceps. Other hand bases on the floor behind you. Base hand side foot is the pivot or fulcrum of the sweep, the other is the lever. Use a hip up to lift the base, and turn toward the overhooked side to a full mount. Again you use the cylindrical nature of your opponents shin and calves to make the sweep smooth and easy rather than trying to push them end-over-end.
And with that here endeth the lesson. That and a bowl of applesauce is not enough calories to train on.

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