Anderson Silva’s Broken Leg Is A reason Why Taekwondo Kicks Should Be Considered Useful

        Shin kicks are not always the best way to kick. When you do a shin kick, especially if it is higher on the leg, the rest of your leg and foot are still full of the energy going in the direction of the kick thus causing the bone itself to slightly bend. Your foot and lower shin are basically going past the area of contact the higher part of your shin connects with. The strength of your shin will dissipate the energy, or snap your leg in half if you hit something just too strong. Hitting a heavy bag enough times, that is at least 100-200 lbs., you can feel this. This is why kicking the heavy bag with the shin over and over is an important conditioning drill for your leg. It is the best way to harden your shin and strengthen the bone density. Beginners should always go soft at the start and over months they can kick hard and harder as their bones dense up.

In this video you can see the contact of the high part of Anderson Silva’s shin on Chris Weidman’s leg causing the lower part of his shin to hyper extent and snap since the foot and ankle went past the contact part due to energy still in force. Look closely at the shin of Weidman on Silva’s leg where it is touching and you can see that the lower shin close to the ankle is snapping due to the contact point higher on Silva’s shin. Do not assume the point of contact is exactly where a bone will break. The slightly higher contact point caused the lower shin to break. 

On the other hand, if you hit something just too strong, such as the area of Chris Weidman’s shin that Silva made contact with in their UFC 168 fight, it can cause the bone to snap due to the energy still pushing the lower parts of your shin and foot not having enough time or strength for the energy to dissipate. This is why Taekwondo and Karate instep/foot kicks are also important to use. Know when to use certain kicks at certain times. Obviously even a masterful fighter such as Anderson Silva can make mistakes and freak accidents happen. Even so, the whole “Muay Thai is the only thing in the world for kicks” mentality has been proven false.

Muay Thai is good and shin kicks work well (And yes even Taekwondo has shin kicks in their curriculum for the martial art [not the WTF sport rules though]), but a martial artist should also use instep kicks a lot more, or at least kick way lower on the shin. Some people believe you MUST kick higher on the shin because it is somehow harder than the lower part, but that’s not actually true and that is why Silva’s leg got broke; because he hit with the higher part of the shin on a harder surface and bad angle.

Of course leg kicks are best done with the shin, and the instep kicks are not very effective kicking someone’s thick leg muscles and there is the problem of hyper extending the ankle on contact, but this is not to say that an instep kick is 100% ineffective on the leg. Usually a Taekwondo fighter will use both the shin and instep simultaneously to contact their intended target. The instep and lower shin also make a longer ranged weapon than the average Muay Thai, higher on the shin, kicks. Many times Taekwondo kicks are less predictable than slower Muay Thai kicks. I personally use both shin kicks and instep kicks and will try my best to make sure that when I use each kick I will be careful not to make the mistake of getting my leg broken.


White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

  1. White Dragon says:

    Anderson Silva’s leg wrapped around Chris Weidman’s leg because of the force of Silva’s kick being so strong and Weidman’s shin catching the leg at the right angle.

  2. Grey Wolf says:

    Great analysis. Good point about TKD kick also making impact with part of the shin at the same time. The shin may not be listed in the KKW text book as an official striking surface (although it is an official blocking surface), it is used by default and is an intuitive and common sense option.

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