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Sweeping Away the Rebels

The sweep kick is an exciting kick to witness in a form and a great way to show that you are fit, healthy and limber. It is also a worthy goal to achieve if you are not.

Maintaining my ability to perform such techniques as I get older has been my measuring stick of physical fitness.

sao dang tuei


My shifu often said that as long as we keep up this kicking skill we will have a healthy body not found in the general population.

Training the Sweep

But, what is the use of the sweep kick? Training the low sweep kick is great for preserving health and fitness, but how can we apply and train this kick against an opponent?

How do we train the sweep kicks to build our confidence in applying them against the opponent?

As my shifu said, "It is a devastating and surprising attack to the opponent's lower gate. When it is successful the consequences of having both your feet swept out from under you can be devastating."

As in most all martial art methods you attack one target in order to finish with another. In this case, the low sweep kick starts with a side kick.

In Chinese the sweep kick is called 'rebel sweeping kick-sao dang tuei'.

Notice how the sweeping foot is turned in.



Before starting this drill one must have first learned several other drills. One of the first two person drills to be mastered is the side kick drill.

A clever entry method is required in order to succeed with the sweep kick attack.

In the sweep kick drill the clever opening move is the side kick. Here shown by my shifu, Shi Zhengzhong.


Besides first learning the side kick drills one must learn the uprooting kick drills. A drill for the uprooting kick was shown in the article last month Kicks Of Peng Lai


Three Kicks

There are several ways to practice two person sweep kick drills. This drill is composed of the following three kicks.

Tse chuei-side kick.

Chao tuei- uprooting kick, first explained in last month's article.

Most important is mastery of the sweep kick. Long before learning these drills the student will have mastered the solo exercises and forms with the front sweep, back sweep, half sweep and full sweep as well as several combinations.

One last kick to include is the jumping face hanging kick-gua mien jiao.

This kick is so named since you 'hang your foot' upon the opponent's face. A creative way to say that you kick them in the face. This kick is performed by the opponent when avoiding the uprooting kick and sweep kick. This defensive type of attack reminds the sweep kicker to be aware of their head when going low for the sweep kick.

The Kicking Drill

The following drawings done by me many years ago are not completely correct. The key issue is the hands pulled to the waist. An easy way to draw, but not quite right. The hands are either grabbing or kept in front of the face.

Black pants steps in with a side kick, later when the skill improves he can use a jumping side kick to cover the distance.

White pants blocks down.

They both strike with the right hand to the face (inset).

Black uses his left arm to forcefully push up the elbow of white and do the left uprooting kick.

White lifts his left leg.

Without a pause in motion black follows through with a sweep kick while white jumps and kicks with the left foot.

If either fails to act quick enough on the final kick then they will be hit. If the sweep kicker is too slow he will be kicked in the face or body with the face hanging kick. If the jump kick is too slow he will fall over from the sweep kick.

But it is more than the possibility of being hit. The drill is so arranged that both people feel as if they are not quite moving fast enough. Because of the feeling that your speed needs to increase you have the result that the more you train this drill the faster you become with the kicks. Yet, no matter how fast you are moving you still feel as though you need to be moving faster!

As soon as the third kick is completed both white and black pants punch to each other's face with the left hand and the drill repeats with the other leg.

Through continuous practice mastery of this method can be attained[

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