The Silent Striker: How to Use the Sidekick Effectively


In martial arts and combat sports, fighters use various techniques to throw powerful strikes. One of these techniques is the sidekick, which often goes unnoticed, but it is a game changer in the infinitude fight.
The sidekick has earned the name “The Silent Striker” through its effective use as an attacking and defensive skill. When executed properly, the sidekick can knock the rival out and even break his ribs.
Let’s explore sidekicks’ hidden power and adaptability in the following guide.

Understanding the Silent Striker:

The sidekick is a very powerful and effective traditional MMA kick. It is a powerful weapon and requires a side stance for proper execution. As sidekick is a traditional technique, modern fighters use it sparingly.
Fighters with backgrounds like Karate, kickboxing and Taekwondo usually apply this strategy. It is a versatile technique and targets the head or body of the opponent. You can throw the sidekick from the stance position or apply it as an extended strike.
Legs and hips provide the essential power for a sidekick, making it the most enduring and influential kick.

How to execute a sidekick effectively?

To execute an effective and exceptional sidekick, follow these provided instructions;

  • Target Selection:

Target selection lays the foundation of an effective sidekick. Areas like the head, knee or thigh are the best spots to perform a sidekick. Accuracy in target selection comes from constant practice. So, choose the target carefully and practice by working on a heavy bag.

  • Stance and Footwork:

Start by assuming a fighting posture that is stable and balanced, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Try to distribute your weight between your legs.
Both a forward and a side stance are valid positions for the sidekick. In combat sports, a side stance is more effective, and you can execute it more quickly than a forward stance. The forward stance uses the back leg as it passes through the body.
When doing a right side kick, rotate your left foot so it is parallel to the target. To execute a left side kick, rotate on your right foot and use your left foot for hitting.

  • Alignment of the Legs:

Proper arrangement of your legs is crucial to execute a powerful and accurate sidekick.
Leading Leg and Supporting Leg:
The kicking leg acts as the lead leg in case of a side stance position. The position of your feet determines which leg you can use to perform the kick. Point your feet to the left side, if you want to use the right leg as the leading leg, and vice versa.
Raise your kicking leg to hips and bend your knee to a 90-degree angle. Keep your supporting leg slightly bent and place your hips parallel to the target. It gives you stability.

  •  Alignment of the Knee:

Proper chambering determines the success of the sidekick. To effectively control the sidekick, keep your knee up toward the chest and not out from the body. This position–chambering provides the potential energy for the sidekick.
Move your leg away from the chambering position and point your heel directly towards the target. Keep them curled back to safeguard your toes and guarantee a strong impact.

  • Maintaining Balance:

Maintaining the balance of the body is important while doing a sidekick. It is necessary to balance the upper body in the middle. In order to protect yourself from counterattacks, try not to move too far in the direction of the kick.
To execute a sidekick effectively, keep your support leg slightly bent. It will help you absorb the powerful impact of recoil force and keep you on your feet when performing a kick.

  • Hip Turnover:

To generate a powerful sidekick, hip turnover is important. Engage your hips by extending your leg and rotating the body on your support foot.

  • Practice Variations:

A sidekick with variations generates more power than a basic sidekick. Here is the list of types of sidekicks that you can exercise to enhance your performance;

  • Sidekick without Stepping:

Throwing a kick from the stance position without stepping defines this variation of side kicks. A sidekick without stepping is effective for defensive and offensive hits. To execute this kick, rotate your back so the heel faces the target and raise your leading knee to the hips.

Put the kick out as you lean back. Remember, to strike with the heel, your toes should point downward.

  • Step up Side Kick:

It is the most popular sidekick. A step side kick is a high-powered kick and allows you to cover a wide striking area. Keep both feet shoulder-width apart to perform this kick, and place the back foot’s heel next to the front foot.
Raise your knee to the chest, and to kick with the foot’s blade, extend your toes facing downward and horizontally. Draw the leg back to its stance position by reversing the steps performed.

  • Long step side kick:

In order to gain some step or extension on your rival, a long-step sidekick is the best option. While doing this kick, bring the rear foot around behind you rather than rotating it up to the front foot. This strategy provides an extra step on your opponent.

  • Spinning sidekick

The spin kick generates momentum with its spinning motion. It is a gear kick and can surprise your opponent. To implement this kick, move your front foot from the stance position to the right side. Bring your back leg around and kick it, but always keep an eye on the target.

  • Jumping Side Kick:

A jumping sidekick is the perfect choice for aerial strikes, flying over barriers, or landing a strong blow from a height. To do this kick, jump straight up and perform a sidekick in the midair.

  • Front Side Kick:

Fighters use this more snappy front-side kick for close-range strikes. When doing this kick, raise your knee straight forward while putting the shin hanging freely. Extend your leg before the opponent and strike the target area with full power.

Tips To Improve Side Kick:

Here are some strategies for continuous improvement to execute an efficient sidekick.

  • Pay close attention to when you kick. Employ it when your rival is nearby and exposed.
  • Kicking with toes is not strong and can cause fractures in your toes.
  • Chambering is very important for properly striking the perfect kick.
  • Determine the ideal distance for an efficient sidekick using distance management. If required, close the gap or make room to carry it out successfully.
  • When an opponent attacks, use the sidekick as a counterattack.
  • In self-defense situations, put some space between yourself and the threat.
  • Point your kicking foot in the horizontal direction while striking the spot with the blade of the foot.
  • Kicking with toes is not strong and can cause fractures in your toes.
  • Chambering is very important for properly striking the perfect kick.

It takes more speed to produce force once you’ve mastered the technique, but it’s crucial to maintain balance and retract the kick properly.


To conclude, sidekick is a fantastic and versatile technique in combat sports. It is a powerful technique famous for its speed, accuracy and adaptability. With the sidekick you can create distance, execute counterattacks, or deliver high-powered strikes.
Discover your inner silent striker and explore the extraordinary impacts of a sidekick with the perfect gear available at Boxing Shop USA. Stay safe while performing powerful punches. Your journey towards success starts today!


Why fighters don’t often use sidekicks in Muay Thai?

Muay Thai demands a crouched-forward position, so fighters rarely use it.

Can I master the sidekick without any kicking equipment?

Yes, you can start practicing kicking without using the equipment but use heavy punching bags to create high-powered kicks.

What is chambering a sidekick?

In martial arts, chambering a kick means fully extending the technique as you prepare to launch yourself forward.

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