One of the most stunning MMA fights in recent times involved the match between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort. While Silva was already a well-known competitor, many thought hat Belfort could have very well walked away with the win. In the weeks and months before the fight, Silva understandably trained quite extensively. He even employed the expertise of famed actor and Aikido master Steven Seagal.
When Silva walked away with the victory, he partially credited Seagal for his success. Of course, Seagal immediately jumped into the limelight by stating that the knockout kick was a result of his teachings. It later emerged that Seagal claimed he “invented” the kick itself. How much of this is true? Does such a statement hold any water within modern martial arts circles or is this yet another example of how Seagal sometimes appears to possess a bit of a god-like complex? Let’s try to finally put this story to bed.
The Fundamentals of a Front Kick
Any MMA fan who is hoping to leverage the best online odds in relation to an upcoming match will take numerous variables into account. These include the records of both opponents, how they fare in the later rounds, and if they are more comfortable on the ground or standing up. Of course, training will also play a notable role. This is why it seems a bit strange that Seagal claims that he re-invented the proverbial wheel with a simple front kick.
To be clear, the front kick is arguably the most fundamental kick in martial arts as a whole. It is used in Shotokan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Shorin-Ryu and countless other styles. This is due to the fact that its mechanics are much more straightforward when compared to other moves such as a back kick or a roundhouse. The simplicity of this kick also signifies that it is highly effective when executed in the correct manner (thanks to a straight impact with the stomach, chest or head of the opponent). For Seagal to claim that he somehow “invented” this kick seems utterly ludicrous at first glance.
Is There Any Truth to Seagal’s Statement?
We should first mention that Silva actually thanked Seagal following the match. So, it appears as if he did indeed learn something new. It should still be clear that we are not referring to the basic mechanics of a front kick in this sense. It is more likely that Seagal modified the execution of the kick; the chamber in particular.
Many offensive moves can be telegraphed if performed incorrectly. This allows the opponent to effectively block and counter. This is also why kicks are not as common in MMA as they are in other sports, as the individual could be quickly taken to the ground. Front kicks are often telegraphed by the knee; especially when it is chambered before extending the leg. Seagal is likely to have changed the way in which Silva held his knee before throwing the kick. In turn, this added an element of surprise that ultimately resulted in a knockout.
Did Seagal help Silva with the fight? According to Silva, the answer would be “yes”. Did Seagal somehow “invent” the front kick? It would be absolutely ludicrous to believe such an unfounded statement. Although there is no doubt that Steven Seagal is a master at Aikido, he has been known to slightly “stretch” the truth in the past. His past MMA claims seem to echo this habit. Regardless of these observations, the fact of the matter is that Silva was able to walk away a winner.