Glenn wrote:But what about my question on whether there is a difference in sweeping susceptibility between toe-to-heel and heel-to-toe stepping? To me it does not seem like there would be but I figure if anyone has concrete info on this you would.
It depends on a lot of things, Glenn.
Sweeping is easier when you can get more than 50 percent of the body weight on the opponent's front leg. The perfect window of time for this is in a grabbing situation where you get your opponent to push off the front leg (setting it up beautifully for you) or when they are stepping forward and inappropriately "fall on" the planted leg. Perfect responses to sweep involve attacking the grabbing attacker (I could show you...) and/or lifting the front leg (a la crane) - especially when not grabbed.
Mostly you don't want to put yourself in a position of being swept. Contact fighters like the southern Chinese folks understand this. Once you touch, you are *capable* of reading the opponent's intent before the technique is executed, and can respond accordingly.
Taichi is unique in having stances that put 70 percent of the weight on the front leg. While this may appear to make them especially vulnerable, my sense is that this stance isn't employed unless your opponent is already off balance and vulnerable.
Deeper stances also make one especially vulnerable to being swept, as it takes longer to transition the center to the back leg. In Uechi these deep stances are only used transitionally. Uechi sport fighters employ them when "at a distance" so they can cover ground faster.