Systema Undercut

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Undercut/Ape Step

The undercut and the ape step are considered offensive low acrobatics because they consist of sweeps that can take a person down when delivered to the inside of the shin just above the ankle. If you hit any other part of the leg (unless the person's balance is already very thoroughly compromised), they will be surprised at best and you might break your ankle, so for the most part you will just be using it to train balance and the use of your legs.

The ape step and the undercut get their power from any momentum you have in the center of your body and delivers it through a sweep with your leg. The ape step uses the relative change of position between your center of mass and your hands, and the undercut uses rotation.

Ape Step

  • For the ape step, start in a squatting position.
  • Put your hands on the ground either directly in front of you or in front and to the side. Hop with your legs, push with your hands, and kick out one of your legs in the direction you hopped.
  • This is much easier if you lean your body over your hands when you hop.
  • This can only be done with your front leg.


  • This is a spinning version of the ape step. You can start in a squatting position (best for first learning the technique), or a standing position (best for balance and speed training).
  • Place your hands on the ground either directly in front of you or in front and to the side. Sweep your leg out and lean over your hands.
  • This can be done with your front leg, or your back leg.
  • This can be used on its own to "screw down" or "screw up".


  1. Combat Lab - Russian Martial Arts North West,, Added - 01/12/15

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