Thoughts on deashibarai. Let me know how your mileage varies...
- Deashi barai is an excellent low-force, low-commitment footsweep I've seen it thrown as ippon or as takedown by both beginners and experts in both judo and bjj. When thrown as a delicate timing throw, it sets up every other throw in the syllabus, but it is also quite effective on its' own, when it does fail it often leaves uke in a worse position, and it is quite difficult to counter.
- Deashi is the first of the gokyo (Kodokan syllabus) for a reason. It teaches you timing lessons you need to understand to do the rest of the gokyo. It sets up every other thing in the system. So potentially you can build a deashi-anything combination.
- You really don't have to sweep very far - certainly don't sweep their leg up into the air. I tend to sweep just far enough to place all four of our feet in a line, then do the rest with a little hand twitch toward my chest. If they don't fall, that's ok, but more often than not, uke will spazz out and pick both feet up off the ground. From there, it's all downhill!
- But if you do sweep their foot into the air and they don't come off their other foot and fall, try kosotogari - sort of a backwards footstop action as they are about to put their foot back down.
- Watch out for tsubamegaeshi - especially if you try to execute this sweep as a power stroke through their leg.
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