Lately I’ve been finding myself trying the sickle sweep but was finding it very awkward. When I reviewed Emily Kwok’s video, however, it became clear that the biggest problems were understanding which leg I was attacking and adjusting my hips to that leg.
(Note that she goes into a variation and drills after 1:43 but I won’t be talking about those in this post)
The part that I wanted to point out is 1:35 because it gives a good angle of how you have to focus on one leg. It’s very clear at 1:35 that Emily is attacking her partner’s right leg (left from the viewer’s point of view) – most of her body is on that side, and actually, she’s almost outside of her partner’s leg.
In addition, she’s almost completely on her right side, so that her hips are facing the leg that she’s attacking.
Why is the direction of her hips so important?
Because that’s where her power comes from. Particularly for this sweep (and perhaps the argument can be extended to all sweeps), Emily needs to have both mobility, since she’s moving each of her legs in opposite directions, and power, which comes from driving up with her hips – which is what allows her to come up so smoothly as well.
It’s a very subtle thing, but I’m finding it to be a concept that keeps popping up. So again main takeaway: focus on one leg, then aim your hips in that direction.
Hope that helps! Try it out the next time you train :)