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Using one's leg to sweep an opponent is an important element of many martial arts throws, such as this hip sweep (harai-goshi).
Japanese name
Kanji: 足払い
Hiragana: あしばらい

A sweep is the name used for two categories of martial arts techniques: a throw or takedown from the clinch that utilizes only your legs and foward, backward or rotational momentum to off balance your opponents legs to take him to the ground, or a reversal of position when groundfighting.



When standing it is a technique used to take an opponent to the ground by knocking their legs out from under them, so is classed as a throw or takedown The force of the sweep either runs perpendicular to the opponent's leg or rises as it strikes the leg, lifting the foot from the ground. A sweep can be used to take the opponent to the ground or it can simply disrupt the opponent's balance long enough to make an opening for a punch or kick. In Japanese it is known as ashi-barai.

Illustration in kick boxing

Ground work

Here a sweep is technique used to transition from a neutral or inferior position to a dominant position, such as moving from under guard to full mount, hence the alternative term 'reversal' as the dominance of positions have been reversed.


  • International Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Federation. Rules. URL last accessed February 11, 2006.

External links

examples of Sweeps in ground work:



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