Biomechanical breakdown of Anderson Silva’s front kick

by Eric Wong | source:

Watching Anderson Silva’s front kick knockout of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 almost made my head explode.

He’s by far the most versatile and unpredictable striker in MMA history, proven by knocking opponents out with different weapons, such as:

    * Forrest Griffin by straight right punch from his pocket while backpedaling
    * Chris Leben setup by straight punches and finished with a knee
    * Rich Franklin twice predominantly by knees in the clinch
    * James Irvin by straight right after catching a right kick from Irvin
    * Nate Marquardt by right hands while Nate was on the ground on his back

OK so maybe looking at that it looks like Silva definitely likes his straight right hand.

But still, the various circumstances and situations in which he uses all of his weapons is unparalleled in the sport, not to mention his ability to evade strikes through matrix-like head and body movement.

Knowing that the front kick is going to be the talk of the MMA universe, I figured I’d take a closer look into Silva’s technique on a biomechanical level.

Once that thought entered my mind, I figured this might be a pretty cool regular feature (let me know if you like it in the Comments section).

So in today’s BIOMECH Breakdown, we’re going to examine the biomechanics of the front kick and what you need to train to develop knockout power with this vicious weapon.

silva belfort front kick BIOMECH Breakdown: <a href=Anderson Silvas Front Kick" src="" title="silva-belfort-front-kick" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2313" />

silva belfort front kick 1 BIOMECH Breakdown: <a href=Anderson Silvas Front Kick" src="" title="silva-belfort-front-kick-1" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2314" />

silva belfort front kick 2 BIOMECH Breakdown: <a href=Anderson Silvas Front Kick" src="" title="silva-belfort-front-kick-2" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2315" />

silva belfort front kick 3 BIOMECH Breakdown: <a href=Anderson Silvas Front Kick" src="" title="silva-belfort-front-kick-3" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2316" />

silva belfort front kick 4 BIOMECH Breakdown: <a href=Anderson Silvas Front Kick" src="" title="silva-belfort-front-kick-4" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2317" />

silva belfort front kick 5 BIOMECH Breakdown: <a href=Anderson Silvas Front Kick" src="" title="silva-belfort-front-kick-5" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2318" />

OK so there you have my BIOMECH Breakdown of Anderson Silva’s Front Kick KO of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126.

Where else are you gonna get analysis like this? :)

If you want me to talk more in-depth about how I’d go about ensuring your body is ready to perform this technique at full force like the Spider, let me know in the Comments section.

I don’t want to go and spend another couple of hours doing up an article/video if you aren’t interested in it, so I need to know if this is what you want to see.

If I get 40+ Comments before Thursday, Feb 10, I’ll write up or do a video of Part 2 and show some exercises specifically designed for maximum front kick power.

Even if it’s just a, “Hey, Eric, I’d love to see Part 2″ that’s good enough, no need to go into your life story or anything. :)


- Eric


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Recent Comments »

hmeboy site profile image  

2/8/11 1:43 PM by hmeboy

agreed 100%, this picture with a detailed breakdown from the first page clearly demonstrates a textbook perfect teep

GladiatorGannon site profile image  

2/8/11 1:38 PM by GladiatorGannon

He's actually a TKD BB, but it's Thai mechanics he's using for this particular kick, especially the hand postion/arm torque and the way he generates the power with his hips. Very distinctive if u understand Thai. If u think these are simply "bad form" for a completely different kind of kick, I don't know what to say.

hmeboy site profile image  

2/8/11 1:26 PM by hmeboy

Actually, Sparkyman, he trained TKD when he was 14 got his BB when he was 18. However, that kick was pure muay thai, I don't know how anyone can deny that these are the exact same kick:

sparkyman site profile image  

2/8/11 10:32 AM by sparkyman

 Ok, I love going through the breakdowns, but Gannon is correct. I don't think Anderson has ever trained TKD, he is however a MT fighter. If you look at the kick from a different angle, he is up on the ball of his foot and it's PERFECT MT form.

Jesus Kicked Me, This I Know site profile image  

2/8/11 10:31 AM by Jesus Kicked Me, This I Know

 For those of you who think that the breakdown was excessive- Don't fucking click on the thread and read it!  Get a brain, morans. Seriously, this is a MMA forum and that is 10X more relative to MMA than over 75% of the posts on the UG. the only waste of time was for you to read it and then post your mindless and irrelevant opinion on the subject.

David@accu site profile image  

2/8/11 10:24 AM by David@accu

 Ummm wrong, wrong and wrong. A front foot kick or a snap kick or however you want to call it is a TKD move. You don't lift your heel off the ground and you don't lean back either. There is also a difference between a "Front Kick" which is where you do lean back  That is not what Anderson did because the kick is not done the same way. A front foot kick or snap kick is a four part move which is how it is taught. The simple saying of "Up, Out, Back and Down" ingraved into my head for the rest of my life. What it referrs too is your position of your leg to properly do the kick. 1. Your knee comes up 2. You kick is extended (out) 3. You knee comes back 4. You leg comes down. A proper front foot kick is done with the ball of the foot as demonstrated by Anderson. However he modified the kick. It was a mix between a front foot kick/snap kick and a front kick. The first clue is the leaning back. This is ONLY done with a front kick, not a snap kick. With a snap kick you are leaning more forward than anything else. It is properly demonstrated by this 1970's Karate guy As you can the ball of the foot is the striking surface. The toes are curled back. The guy is standing more straight than leaning forward but most likely because it was face high. The foot is FLAT on the ground as it should be. The reason you don't lean back with a snap kick is because the majority of the energy used to kick is then diverted to you trying to balance from leaning back. Bonus - Me at about 9 years old in Karate. I am with my hand raised in the air in the second row. I ended my reign at 16 years old with a redbelt and over 20 tropheys/ Medals from tournaments for fighting. Some might be forms but I was never that good at them.

Phil Cornelius site profile image  

2/8/11 1:10 AM by Phil Cornelius

Exactly thank you it's excessive

Wasa-B site profile image  

2/8/11 1:04 AM by Wasa-B

i appreciate the breakdown, i love to nerd talk mma techs but as pimp as it was, was there a need to breakdown anderson's posture doing a front kick?If it had been a hook or roundhouse, would we get the same thing? Im in awe as much as anyone but....not to hate here but i really dont think this is necessary.We can just "dam that was fucking the BOMBEST SHIT!" without the analysis imo.


2/8/11 1:01 AM by K-Dub-"T"

If Forrest had raised his rear heel, Tito's head would be in the 1st row. (I woulda said 4th row, but that dome is huge!) It was good enough to crack Tito's skull though.... 

Tahiti Bo site profile image  

2/8/11 12:54 AM by Tahiti Bo