Anderson Silva – Fighting with his hands down

UFC 168 sees saw the rematch of Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman

One thing Anderson was criticised for in the last fight (which he lost), is taunting his opponent, and dropping his hands.  He’s been accused of “fooling around” and not taking his opponents seriously.

When Anderson drops his hands; is it really a pure sign of disrespect and lack of focus, or is it part of a game plan?

He is a counter-fighter, he drops his hands to invite his opponent to lunge forward with an attack – he often lays back and counters.

In addition, having a low-lead-hand is a legitimate fighting stance. Throwing a punch from your waist produces a rotational force, as opposed to a linear force that is usually produced from an orthodox jab:

With a ‘normal’ linear jab, the equation to calculate the force would be:

force = mass x acceleration


The force produced by a punch from the waist is completely different.
I believe it would be more of torque + centripetal force + a slight linear force near the end of the movement.

Torque Depends on the Length of the Lever

Torque, depends on the length of the lever (the boxer’s arm) and the force produced to move or use the lever – explanation  So the straighter (lower) the fist is at the beginning of the movement, the longer the lever would be, and the greater the force would be.




Rotational torque = radius x force x sin(angle between force and radius)

Therefore, the greater the angle (the straighter the arm) and the longer ‘radius’, the greater the force.

To be honest, I’m struggling to remember my biomechanics, so I’m unsure as to whether or not the force and speed produced requires an equation for centrifugal force, rotational force or torque. I think it would be a combination of both equations, because the punch is ultimately travelling upwards, along a circular arc, but will also be thrust forwards slightly at the end, as the arm is extended slightly.

Please leave a comment below if you know!

jab from the waist

Either way, Anderson is able to produce a significant amount of force, by whipping up his fist from below the focused line of vision of his opponent.  Something that Bruce Lee seemed to advocate:


Bruce Lee’s 3rd Way of Attack

The 3rd of Bruce Lee’s 5 ways of attack, is “attack by drawing”.  Get someone to open up – then counter.

By dropping his hands, Anderson also goads his opponents into ‘opening up’, throwing punches themselves. They often overreach and strain to connect as he moves out of the way and throws a devastatingly quick counter.

What’s more, whilst he is backing away from punches and reducing their impact, his opponents are walking onto/towards punches, increasing their impact:


When Anderson Silva has KO’d so many people as a direct result of dropping his hands, and taunting people to throw punches; surely it’s clear that this is not disrespect, this is a style and a game plan?

Either way, I’m looking forward to the fight!

By Drew Griffiths

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