BIOMECH Breakdown: Anderson Silva’s Front Kick

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 UFC 126

Silva Belfort Front Kick UFC 126 1

Silva Belfort Front Kick UFC 126 2

Silva Belfort Front Kick UFC 126 3

Silva Belfort Front Kick UFC 126 4

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? 🙂

Looking at that, it’s a lot of info to digest, so here’s what I’m going to do…

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 below.

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.

Considering the fact that over 12,000 MMA fighters, coaches, trainers and enthusiasts are getting this email, 40 Comments is not much to ask – so even if you’ve NEVER commented before, there’s no better time to introduce yourself and join the community here.

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. 🙂

I’ love to hear from each and every one of you and knowing that I’m helping you out is all I need to keep this valuable free resource going, so let me know if you want to see Part 2 below.

Oh and if you thought it was cool, I’d appreciate if you hit the ‘Like’ button too.

Thanks!

– Eric

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betsy fidler

You’ve just saved my life…..Thank you, doing an assignment on biomechanics of kickboxing and there is very little information it. Ingeniously you have given me the material I really needed at the Nth hour. One love xxx

nicolaas
nicolaas

this is quiet possibly the most beast mode athleticism i have ever seen. thx for analysis

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hey, this was awesome and helped me with my biomechanics principle paper. Def keep it up, not many people have analyzed the biomechanics of MMA/UFC. So keep it up!

Darrin

Excellent breakdown. I’d like to see more.

Angelo
Angelo

Very nice. Amazing work.

Ben Andersen
Ben Andersen

Great breakdown. If I can offer one thought (not ever a correction, just a wording thing), it’d be that martial artists should think about rotating from the hips, not the shoulders (Image 5, Bullet 1). I’ve found with my students that any rotation thought of as “coming from the shoulders” takes about twice as long to initiate than rotation generated directly through the hips. If anything, you want to think about the kick driving through the supporting leg and hip (e.g. ball of the foot pivot and rear hip flexion). It’s the same thought you hit on, just worded differently from a biomechanical standpoint.

Eric

That’s good info Ben – thanks!

ferman

I’m just now getting to read this post. Great info. Glad I joined your mailing list.

Jason
Jason

ERIC PART 2 PLEASE! but not just that, more of these kinds of posts would be awesome too! Love the blog sir.

David

Great post Eric!

You make things easy to understand and your knowledge on training science is awesome, really like the Ultimate Strength and Conditioning program!

Keep up the good work!

fellow warrior
fellow warrior

great work !! like always !!! willing and waiting to learn !!!!

Rajat
Rajat

Excellent work Eric…waiting for Part 2…

trackback

[…] If Anderson was like, “I am a Muay Thai fighter. I only do Muay Thai techniques.” then maybe we would’ve never witnessed his spectacular KO of Belfort. […]

jeff mann

Awesome stuff Eric! Nobody breaks down MMA like you do. Thanks!
-Jeff

trackback

[…] Couture end his career like that, but Machida’s kick was pure mastery, very reminscient of Anderson Silva’s front kick KO of Vitor Belfort.A lot of people have been hating on Steven Seagal since he’s been in the MMA spotlight, but […]

Jonathan E. Kiser

I find you breakdown, kinematic evaluation to be an excellent example of how scientific analysis improves all around understanding and can improve our actual practice and performance. Your website is great, I will WOT (Web of Trust) it immediately.

bob
bob

i agree with the comment that said the whole biomech breakdown is a bit overkill but it’s very interesting to read…is there a pt.2 yet? cheers Eric

Glenn

Very cool! That was an excellent breakdown!

Joey
Joey

Amazing detail thanks alot. i will try this next time im sparring
i would like to get a break down of GSP superman jab follwed by the inside/outside leg kick

Lee
Lee

This was awesome, I’d love to see more biomechanical breakdowns of MMA technique.

trackback

[…] like everyone felt the same way about Silva’s KO of Belfort that I […]

Josh
Josh

Asking me math questions for spam protection? Thats rough haha, How about the round kick?

Edward
Edward

I like the breakdowns. I’d like to see the same breakdown for Fedor’s casting punch he used to KO Brett Rogers.

Tim

I’m glad to see some traditional martial arts brought back into MMA, and the breakdown is great. I’m looking forward to seeing some more KO and submission breakdowns Eric!

Tim
Tim

Specific techniques for BIOMECH breakdown – roundhouse kick, spinning back kick, inside thigh kick. It addition to the techniques themselve, especially interested in what to do with guard while throwing these. If you throw one and get clocked in the process, not a good thing.

Larry
Larry

Yeah as it happens I d like ta C a breakdown of knee kicks if it was possible

Eric

WOW – you guys really enjoyed this one eh?

Awesome – I’ll definitely do a Part 2 and keep this going as a regular feature.

If there are any specific techniques you’d like me to do a BIOMECH Breakdown of, let me know here!

Josh
Josh

Great analysis, u gotta do a part 2!!!

Manny
Manny

I absolutely loved that biomechanical breakdown of Anderson Silva’s front kick technique. The frame by frame photos along with the red marker arrows highlighting the subtle but important sequence of events is priceless.

For many, this is top secret stuff and I am extremely shocked that you would share this with us. When I say shocked, I really mean pleasantly surprised!

Thank you so much for the highly detailed description of what’s going on. I have been waiting for such a long time for someone to have the guts and the vision to present this information in a highly detailed but easy to understand manner!

Kudos to you my man! Well done! = )

D Rynolds
D Rynolds

Although the kick was effective, the three flaws that if were corrected would have make the kick most effective and probably completely knocked Befort out are.; The rear foot should have stayed flat, not on the toes. This is Karate 101. Instead of going to the toes, the rear leg should have slightly pivoted externally to allow the foot to stay flat. This would have given Silva even more power as the energy would have been amplified by the rear knee extension as the kick landed. Also both of his guards were down during the execution of the kick. another no-no also, although Silva did snap the kick, he did not snap the kick to it’s full potential. the knee must return to flexion just as quick as it went to extension. This give the kick it’s “bull whip” effect. Mass x velocity = power. Power is what creates max… Read more »

RWBanes
RWBanes

As someone who trains, teaches, and competes in combat sports; the thing that has always impressed me regarding Silva is the amount of power he is able to distribute with seemingly little effort. The speed at which he attacks is blinding. I’d like to see what he does to develop his fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Jorge
Jorge

Very nice Eric, we will be waiting for part 2.
Anderson told everybody that he trained that kick with Master Steven Seagal, some people in Brazil are saying that the kick come from capoeira. I train Wing Chun Kung Fu and we have a very similar front kick. Steven Seagal said that he made some variation to the traditional aikido front kick after so many years studying. What I feel is that traditional martial art is showing again that can be very efective.

Andy
Andy

HI Eric, I actually like Vitor and I trained Brazilain jiu-jitsu for a few years so what I was wondering if you could show a video on Vitor falling and the proper way to fall backwards ( I`m terrible i know , sorry Vitor).

John
John

He may have learned this from Steven Seagall but this is a “karate” kick, not an aikido one, and it is certainly not new. Give credit to Steven Seagall for being a well rounded martial artist who learns from many arts, not just aikido, and obviously, so does Anderson Silva. Even is karate, kicking to the head is a high risk technique for most people. Lots of credit to Anderson Silva and a little luck too.

Tony
Tony

Ok, so I was born in a little town…. AHHHH, JUST PART TWO PLEASE!!!!!

Aquiles Arria
Aquiles Arria

Thank’s Eric.
I relly appreciate all the articles you put out.Most of them help me develop my workout cardio fitness routines,thnk’s a lot!!!
i’m sue you will reach out the 40 comments!!!

Ferg
Ferg

Part 2 would be great Eric, so is the idea of doing something like this as a regular feature, nice one!

However, I have to pull you up for something in the article, no list of amazing and unorthodox Silva knockouts is complete without this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s6rF0gId4E

Thanks Eric

Eric

I’d never seen that one before – thanks Ferg!

Aaron
Aaron

I would love to see part 2. I REALLY need to get my push kicks as good as my round kicks

Ross White
Ross White

Hey eric. Would love to see part 2 of this article. Also how would I go about trying to generate the same power using the front leg only? As it is a small hole in my stand-up.

T Aotearoa(New Zealand)
T Aotearoa(New Zealand)

Hey man Appreciate all the articles you put out. And some of them actually help me develop my programs, nutrition and mental preparation. I think too much emphasis is on the kick and the power. It looks to me that it was just a normal quick kick, no loading(telegraphing) and hit Vitor on the chin. Sometimes scientific breakdowns are Overkill. I’d prefer to see a breakdown of getting knocked out when you are hit on the chin. Maybe some exercises to assist in this area. I bite on a rope with weights and bob my head to strengthen my neck, dunno if it works, but I heard it also strengthens the jaw as well. The other thing I liked about the fight was how Anderson slowly closed the distance, I dont know if Vitor noticed it but he didn’t look like he adjusted accordingly. Which gave Anderson the opportunity to… Read more »

Jon
Jon

Would love to see part 2
Also agree with a couple of point above about technique. I can hear my TKD instructor say at least five things.

1) Early shift in body weight and foot movement could be read by a fighter more use to kicks like this
2) yep as above back foot on floor (also vulnerable to sweep as well as power issue)
3) I was taught to push hip into kick without leaning back to avoid off balance issue
4) Guard! I’ve seen Muay Thai use the arm swing to gain power on round kicks but it drops the guard making vulnerable to counter – TKD would see swop of guard with the kicking side moving forward as teh back leg comes through
5) Foot position pressure=force/area kick with ball of foot only

Can’t argue that it did the job and its far easier to talk a good fight than do it

Nick
Nick

ready for part 2

David
David

Great breakdown. Further breakdown with video would be nice.

Rob
Rob

Great idea, more breakdowns would be great. It’s amazing how effortless the “Spider” makes it look. This guy is my favorite to watch, so dynamic.

Brandon
Brandon

Eric,

I love the mechanical breakdown. I have a background in exercise science, work as a physical therapy assistant, and completed a fellowship in applied functional science. I love to break down the mechanics of any movement, but especially love mma. I could never fight, but I hope to be able to contribute to the sport with my knowledge someday. I would love to see part 2.

Edd
Edd

Great analysis of the technique! The front kick is a basic technique in many martial arts. I am glad to see more MMA fighters using a variety of stand up techniques. Kicks executed correctly at the right time in the fight can be very effective. I definitely want to see your part two!!

bobby the great
bobby the great

I’ m thai,for me it’s just one kind of Teep. it’s never surprised that I saw Silva’s Teep.
I saw it many weeks for these kind of knocked out in Thailand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU8c2hWVW3A

sam
sam

part 2. for sure.

Michael Leung
Michael Leung

That’s a really awesome write up Eric! I’d love to see more.

dragonmamma/naomi
dragonmamma/naomi

I see you’ve already got more than 40 comments, but I’m still throwing in a vote for more. I LOVE kicking. Can’t think of a more satisfying way to burn off extra stress or energy than to kick the crap out of something, even if it’s a poor, defenseless piece of equipment.

Nathan mace
Nathan mace

Yeah man good stuff,I think you go over the type of kick to set the record straight