Successfully executed, the foot sweep transforms a dangerous hand-to-hand combat scenario into a more favorable boot-to-head scenario. Wing Chun sweeps can be performed in a few different ways, some easier than others. If you want your partner to fall for you, try this simple method.
Yip Man and Bruce Lee
To sweep your partner, you need only displace a weight-bearing leg. Gravity takes care of the rest.
Most of the time, a Wing Chun practitioner keeps their weight on the back leg, using an agile front leg to launch and defend against kicks. If you get past their front leg, the back leg is an easy target; they cannot move it until they transfer their weight elsewhere—onto the front leg, or onto you. The transfer may only take a fraction of a second, but that is long enough to capitalize on.
However, kicking this leg away requires so much force that the technique is unsafe to practice realistically with a partner. So instead of using force, move their supporting leg with timing and finesse, before it becomes heavy.
When your partner takes a shuffle-step forward, they will temporarily place their weight onto the front leg. At the last possible moment before the shift starts, nudge this leg out from under them.
- If you guide the front foot inward, your partner will lose their lateral stability and fall to the outside.
- If you guide the foot outward, your partner will briefly become “double-weighted” and vulnerable to a follow-up attack.
Although this is among the safest of sweeping techniques, you should nevertheless practice carefully to avoid injuring your partner’s knee or ankle.