This technique is arguably the most difficult of all the foot sweeps and requires excellent timing as well as the confidence to make the deep entry and the big step necessary to throw the opponent. It requires considerable balance and a flexible back and is almost impossible to force. Realistically, if it is to work at all, the opponent must be moving and the timing must be perfect.lt is also the most limited of the ashi-waza in as much as it can only be used when an opponent steps back. On the other hand, that is quite the moment when most fighters are least expecting a foot sweep to come crashing through their defences, so it has a definite place in any judo player's armoury.
The sweeping action is very similar to that of okuri-ashi-harai and the sweeping foot usually takes both legs clear of the ground.To practice the movement it is best to take a fairly high collar grip and the sleeve. The classical technique is to grip right-handed and as uke steps back on his right foot tori makes a big step forwards on his right foot and pulling up with the arms, swings his left foot through in a big, confident arc, making contact with uke's right ankle. The sweep will not work if it is just a tap on the ankles, the leg must scythe through and both uke's feet should be taken off the ground. Once uke is in the air it is important to use the hands to turn him on to his back.
A common fault is that people do not perform complete throws and once they have swept uke off his feet are not familiar with what to do to make him land on his back. If tori does not twist at the waist and turn uke's body with his hands, uke will just fall on his knees or land face down.
Another important point to consider is tori's head position. Unlike with sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi, tori must not turn his head. The basic rule that tori should look where he wants his interest to land applications: tori should be looking down at the mat in front of him.
This technique is especially effective if uke attacks, fails to throw and turns out from his attack. As he is exiting from his initial technique he is vulnerable because his balance is changing and he is also psychologically unsettled as he is likely to be analyzing what was wrong with the attack, which tends to reduce defensive effectiveness. A good drill for developing feeling and timing is for uke to attack with harai-goshiand for tori to do harai-tsuri-komi-ashi as he goes out.
If you enjoyed this article on Judo training and you would like to read more please go to The MMA Zone.