The Controlled Flying Scissors Takedown
By Prof. Gene Roos
The flying scissors takedown is found in many martial arts systems including
karate, many Kung Fu systems and jujutsu. At one time it was also part
of judo, known as Kani-basami, but due to many injuries it was banned
as a throw.
The technique -- in which you jump up and use your legs as a scissor,
one across the chest, the other behind the knees, to take down an opponent
-- can take an opponent by surprise, and take him to the ground quite
effectively. But there can be problems. If the opponent isn’t trained
in falling, often the head will impact the floor or other surface.
This technique is most often performed by quickly launching the body
into the air to attempt to entangle and take down the opponent with the
scissor action of the legs across the body and legs. But, if execution
is poor the technique just might not work if the opponent is in a strong,
balanced stance. The defender is then vulnerable to counterattack.
If poor execution results in a leg scissor attempt that is applied too
low on the opponent’s body, one heel of the foot can hit into an
opponent’s groin. While perhaps effective as self-defense, this
outcome is not a good one if you want to keep a good relationship with
your training partner.
Likewise, if the defender is smaller and lighter than the opponent,
the scissor takedown even if well executed might not work. In some cases
the defender’s legs just slap hard around the opponent, but then
the body often just slides off.
Even if the defender is successful using this technique, upon taking
down the opponent, the defender is confronted with another problem. His
leg has become trapped under the attacker’s leg.
There is a simple way to insure more control in this technique, however.
A simple modification will allow for simpler, more controlled takedowns.
There are also several alternatives you can exercise on the attacker
after the throw has been completed.
The Modified Flying Scissors Takedown
Attacker's left hand punches at the defender.
The defender takes a right foot (arc) step and both
hands block the attacker's left arm.
Defender's hands push the attacker's left arm to the
left rear at 45 degrees (off balancing him).
Defender leaps at the same angle towards the attacker's
hip. The defender's right leg goes in front of the attacker's hip
and left leg behind the attacker's left knee
The key here is twofold. First, control of the offensive action, here
a punch. Then unbalance the opponent before the scissor takedown is
Here the attacker attempts a left hand punch. As the punch is executed,
the defender takes a right circular step to the right to slip the punch
while using both hands to control the attacker’s punching arm --
pushing it 45 degrees to his right rear
The defender’s hands push the attacker’s left arm 45 degrees
to his right rear. This off balances the opponent (to his left rear).
Holding onto his arm it is now easier to execute the technique (you have
controlled his balance, his distance, and his position).
The defender, with legs spread, quickly leaps at an angle toward the
opponent’s hip (guiding himself with his hold on the opponent’s
arm) – the right leg in front of the opponent’s hip, the
left leg behind his knee.
Instead of just scissoring, the defender then just rotates his legs
and hips clockwise. This creates a takedown of the opponent who lands
at a 45 degree angle. In practice, this movement allows the opponent
to have an easier fall.
Once On The Ground
Defender rotates his legs and hips clockwise and throws the attacker
to the right rear
Defender's right foot axe kicks the attacker's groin.
Defender's right leg pushes the attacker's left leg
(which frees his trapped left leg).
Defender's right leg rotates over the attacker's head
to behind his neck (photo shown on opposite side for easier viewing).
Defender continues turning which causes the attacker's
elbow or shoulder to dislocate.
If this is a real self-defense situation, and you have taken your attacker
down onto a hard surface, he will often strike his head upon impact.
This either stuns the attacker or he sustains a concussion. In this
case it is advisable for the defender to just retreat. Law enforcement
understand the consequences of this self-defense move if it is limited
at this stage. But if you continue to strike, kick or otherwise embattle
an unconscious opponent, you too just might face legal action.
If the attacker’s is not stunned, however, there are several alternatives.
First the defender can use his right foot in an axe kick to the opponent’s
stomach, groin or other target.
As an alternative, the defender can also use his right foot to push
the opponent’s left leg to the side (releasing his trapped leg).
Still holding the attacker’s arm, the defender can then rotate
his left leg clockwise over the attacker’s head to the back of
his neck. If you continue this motion, the rotation puts tremendous pressure
on the attacker’s shoulder and this can lead to a dislocation.
About The Author:
Prof. Gene Roos, 10th dan Ju Jitsu, and 4th dan in judo,
is a member of the Board of Directors for the America Ju Jitsu Association.
He is a frequent contributor to FightingArts.com. In 1958 was awarded
Shodan (Judo) and won the Regional Judo Champion. In 1958 & 1959
was Judo State Champion. His instructors include: Harold Brosious (Ketsugo),
Dennis Palumbo (Hakko Ryu Ju Jitsu, 8th Dan), George Kirby, & Shizuya
Sato (Ju Jitsu), Wally Jay (Small Circle Ju Jitsu), Dr. Sacharnoski (Hard
Style Ju Jitsu & Ki) and Master Mochizuki (a student of Funakoshi,
Kano, & Ueshiba). He is also the author of a series of upcoming books
on Aiki jujitsu as well as a number of videos including: "Aiki Jujitsu" (a
three video tapes series with manuals); "Deadly Attacks" (defense
against 30 knife, gun, stick and empty hand attacks); "Deadly Attacks-
part II" (defense against an additional 30 knife, gun and empty
hand attacks); "Deadly Attacks III" and "Devastating Throws
and Other Deadly Attacks " (defense against 30 advanced combat throws,
knife attacks, stick, and a rear shotgun attack), For more information