A Comprehensive List of Capoeira Kicks – Capoeira (2023)

Capoeira kicks are famous if not Infamous for being very flashy, Dynamic, and intense. A lot of the kicks use the momentum of the body to its fullest capacity in order to deal the most damage possible. One of the best examples of this chapeu de couro (described below). This is a kick that was made famous on the National Geographic show called fight science where different martial artists measured up their most powerful kicks against each other. One of the interesting facts about this scientific experiment was that the capoeira kick was not only one of the most powerful but it was also the most efficient. Meaning that for the amount of velocity that was put into the kick, it generated the most force.

It’s interesting to see these kicks being utilized in other martial arts as well. Mixed martial arts for example has some instances of capoeira kicks being used in the Octagon. Although these examples are very rare there are some martial artists who practice capoeira and use some of it’s strikes in this sport. No one would have thought to use a jumping snap kick until athletes like Lyoto Machida used it against Randy Couture. At the same time other less common kicks such as the Meia Lua de Compasso have seen some action in mixed martial arts. Whether the use of these strikes in the Octagon translates to use in a self-defense setting is up in the air, however you can’t deny the power and physicality that is involved in doing these kicks.

Table of Contents

Meia Lua de Frente (half moon in front)

Meia lua de Frente: pronounced “may-ah loo-ah gee Fren-chee”

Many people who come for their first class learn this kick first. Meia lua de Frente is a simple kick that teaches some of the basic principles of capoeira. One such principle is using your momentum to throw a kick. The step forward generates force and gives power to your kick. Another concept is constant motion. Meia lua de frente can be performed from the ginga “swing”, and can also return to the ginga. There is no break in movement, and the transitions are smooth.

Meia lua de Frente is seen in other martial arts such as Kung Fu and is sometimes called a crescent kick. The name Meia lua comes from the fact that the the kick follows an arcing pattern from the outside to the inside passing in front of you. The Arc resembles a crescent moon or a half moon and the kick is done in front of you.

Mystic can be performed from the parallel position where both feet are little more than shoulder with distance. The kick is then thrown from one of the feet and Lupe’s from the outside to the inside in a half moon shape. The goal of this kick is to hit the opponent’s chin or side of the face. in some cases you can also use the kick to attack the abdomen of the opponent.

Armada (armada)

Armada: Pronounced “Ahr-Mah-dah”

Armada is one of the most widely seen kicks in capoeira. It is a very flashy kick that draws a lot of attention and is very cool to see in a Capoeira game. In the world of capoeira, Armada is one of the most complicated kicks to throw for beginners. The reason is the great demand on balance, coordination, and flexibility to perform the kick correctly. You’ll start the kick from the parallel position and step one foot diagonally in front of the other one, crossing your legs. At this point you want to make sure that you have eyes on your opponent and are twisting in the same direction as the step taken. Once you can’t twist any further, and you have your eyes locked on the target, the opposite leg lifts to kick.

Here are some pointers for beginners. Armada is uses the outside blade of the foot or the heel to hit the target. Make sure to keep your core tight throughout the movement, spot your target as you spin, keep your legs straight as you kick, keep your arms extended outwards for added balance, and point your hip towards your target before you kick. If that sounds like a lot it’s because this kick can take a long time to master.

(Video) My TOP 10 Must Learn Capoeira Moves

One of the best ways to improve this cake is to do it repeatedly. As with many kicks in capoeira they is a high demand for technique, and can take months to perfect. On a practical level Armada is not one of the most safe kicks to do. Armada leaves you very open. However, armada is a very beautiful, interesting, and fun kick to do in the roda. Armada generates a lot of momentum, making for a strong kick that can transition well to many different movements.

Benção & ponteira (blessing/tip)

Benção: Pronounced “Ben-sao”

Ponteira: Pronounced “Pone-tey-ra”

Hilariously, Benção means blessing. The kick is performed from either the base position or the parallel position and uses the heel to push the target away. This differs from other kicks (like martelo) which are meant to deal damage. Instead, Benção functions to give you space and can set up your opponent for another attack or takedown.

Ponteira is similar to benção. Just like Benção, Ponteira is done by raising the knee and striking the target in the abdomen. The difference between the two kicks is that Ponteira is done by strikes with the ball of the foot rather than the heel of the foot. Ponteira is meant to deal damage and teachers describe the movement as a knife. The goal of ponteira is to cut deep into the abdomen, causing damage to organs.

Queixada (Jawbone)

Queixada: Pronounced “Kay-sha-da”

As opposed to other kicks, Queixada is named after its intended target. Queixada aims at the jaw bone to cause as much damage as possible. The kick is performed either from the parallel position or the base position. In the case of the parallel position, Queixada can be thought of as a reverse Meia lua de Frente. The kick starts lifting inwards and outwards as it reaches the crescent.

Queixada can also be performed from the base position. From the base position, twist the body and go down into a slight squat. From here your side should be pointing towards your target. The back leg will step forward, and as it lands, the opposite leg will swing up for the kick. The kick will move from the inside of your body and outwards, similarly to the parallel position.

Meia Lua de Compasso (Compact Half-Moon Kick)

Meia Lua de Compasso: Pronounced “May-ah Loo-ah jee Com-pa-soo”

Meia Lua de compasso is one of the most iconic kicks in capoeira. The movement has been featured in movies, videogames, and even in mixed martial arts. Interestingly, this movement has gained interest in some parts of the mixed martial arts world. Some mixed martial artists have used this kick in the octagon, such as Marcus Aurelio to some success.

(Video) My Top 3 Capoeira Kicks

One of the simplest ways of Performing Meia Lua de compasso is from the base position. Turn the chest towards the back leg and reach the hands through the two legs. Squat on the leg closest to the target and look between the legs to spot the target. With the back leg straightened out, lift the back leg and spin it so that the heel strikes the target. Similarly to Armada, this kick is very technical and has a large set up. However, the damage that you can deal with tremendous given the momentum that you were generating with your entire body. Capoeiristas consider this kick very safe and is used very often because of its versatility.

Some tips for beginners attempting to try this kick out: Make sure that the core is tight throughout the entirety of the kick. Also, make sure the your heel and hip are aimed towards your target before you kick. Look at the Target that you aim to kick at, and make sure that the ark of your kick is where your target is. When kicking you want to make sure to aim either for the head or the ribs.

Martelo (roundhouse kick)

Martelo: pronounced “Mahr-teloo”

There are many martial arts with their own version of a roundhouse kick. The Capoeira version is very similar to the others with a few particularities that make it unique. Martelo starts from the same starting point as Benção, with the knee raised up high in front of the chest. Once the knee is up and facing forward, you want to pivot the heel and turn the hips towards the target. The set up with a high knee is meant to make it ambiguous whether the kick is coming straight or from the side. Once the kick is set up, you snap the kick to the side to perform the Martelo. If done correctly, this kick can do a lot of damage to the legs, the stomach, or the head.

Here are some tips for beginners. There’s a natural tendency to swing the kick as a scene in Muay Thai. Though this may make an effective kick, loses a lot of the ambiguity that makes the capoeira Martelo effective. You don’t want somebody to know where you’re attacking from. Second thing that beginners need to work on this to pivot the base foot. It is very common for beginners to keep the base foot in place or not pivot the foot enough. Make sure that when you pivot your foot, your heel starts facing away from your target after you pivot, ends facing your target. Not pivoting the foot you’re standing on leads to the last major mistake. If you don’t pivot your foot, you won’t be able to turn the hips. If you don’t turn your hips, then your kick won’t be as strong as you want it to be. Turning over your hips mean that the hip bone of your kicking leg will be facing straight up while the hip bone of your base leg will be pointing down.

Chapa / Pisão (Side Kick)

Chapa: Pronounced “Sha-pah”

Another kick with the same beginning as martelo. This kick starts by bringing the knee up towards the chest. Similar to martelo, the standing leg pivots so the heel faces the target. As the foot pivots, the kicking leg rotates so the foot hovers parallel to the ground. There are many ways to perform a side kick, however in Capoeira, this set up is used to make the technique and direction used ambiguous.

Chapa (or pisão as it is also called) is performed with the heel of the foot. Similar to Benção, chapa can be used as a pushing kick. However, because of the great power you can produce from a side kick, the move can also be used to deliver damage to your target. Beginners should make sure to practice their lateral leg raises to improve their range of motion, making it easier to deliver chapa.

Gancho (Hook)

Gancho: Pronounced “Gahn-shoo”

Gancho is one of the most tricky kicks in Capoeira not only to perform but also to dodge. It starts out the same way as Martelo, with the knee up. Gancho even includes a turning of the hips and pivot of the base leg. The way these moves differ is the direction the kick is coming from. If I raise my right leg to do Martelo I’ll be kicking from my right side to your left side. However, if I am kicking Gancho I will be raising my right leg up and kicking from my left side to your right side. Although the setups are nearly identical that kicks come from different angles.

The main differentiator between Gancho and Martelo is that Gancho kicks with the heel while Martelo kicks with the shin or with the base of the foot. Gancho usually aims for the head or the chin. If this kicks lands it sure to be devastating for the person receiving it.

(Video) advanced capoeira kicks course.

A common question about this movement is how they can make the kick higher. Gancho is a very tricky kick and one of the most difficult things to grasp is the coordination that is required. The most effective way to train this kick is to start kicking low and slowly increase the height of your kicks as you get more comfortable. Be humble, and don’t worry about kicking high when you start. Because this kick is very awkward to do, you will often find yourself losing balance, and drilling this kick will be the best way to solve that problem.

Martelo no Chão (Hammer from the Ground)

Martelo no Chão: pronounced “Mah-teloo noo shaow”

Martelo no Chão is when you combine a negativa, rolê, and a martelo. Starting from the negativa position, bring your weight forward and pull your hips up off of the floor. Once your hips are up I the leg that you were sitting on will come around like a roundhouse kick to strike at either the legs, stomach, or head of your target. This kick can be very difficult to do because it does come from a very awkward position. For this reason a requires a lot of practice and comfort with moving on the floor. It’s also very important to practice some of the more fundamental movements that were mentioned (ie. Rolê, , and Martelo). The kick finishes in the base position of the Ginga where you can transition into any other movement.

Chapeau de couro (Leather Hat)


Chapeu de Couro: Pronounced “sha-pe-oo gee Couroo”

Chapeu de Couro can be thought of a more advanced version of Martelo no Chão. The main difference is the set of that allows you to lift the body up into the air and aim a lot higher. For example if you wanted to aim at your opponent’s head you might be a lot easier if you opt for this instead of Martelo no Chão.

Chapeu de Couro is set up in many different ways, however I will run through one of the more basic setups. From the negativa, position with the left foot forward, and move the foot inward so that the left foot is now facing towards your right side. The base foot then helps you lift not only your hips but you are entire body into the air. The jumping to the air brings your left leg to the other side of your body as the base leg comes around to do a roundhouse kick. If that sounds complicated, that’s because there are a lot of moving parts involved. They require a lot of coordination and sometimes have a little higher learning curve than strikes from standing.

This strike was made famous by a fight science video that was put up on YouTube many years ago. The representative of capoeira Lateef Crowder use this kick to demonstrate the power that capoeira can generate. The kick was proven to be not only the most efficient out of the other martial arts represented, but also the most powerful in terms of pounds per square inch delivered.

Martelo rodado/parafuso (Spinning Hammer/Screw)

Martelo Rodado: pronounced “Mah-teloo hoe-da-doo”

Parafuso: pronounced “Pa-ra-foo-sow”

Flying Hammer can be thought of level 2 of Armada plus Martelo. The thing that makes it more complex is the jump that is included in the strike. As you’re doing Armada, you jump with the base leg and deliver Martelo with the base leg. This is a strike that is seen in many martial arts including Taekwondo. In Capoeira, you can use this kick to deceive your opponent and make them guess whether you will be delivering one kick or two. If they guess wrong, it could mean lights out. Meaning that if you see this kick coming towards you you should approach it with respect. Although the initial Armada kick can be dangerous, the majority of the impact will be in the Martelo. This kick will be directed towards the head or towards the ribs. It will hurt regardless.

(Video) My favorite capoeira kick tutorial!

Chibata (Cane)

Chibata: pronounced “shi-bah-tah”

Chibata can be thought of an attacking variation of the cartwheel. The Chibata can be done either laterally or in the forward Direction. In order to do the Chibata, you need to start with a cartwheel. Bring your first hand on the ground as you would in a normal cartwheel. The first leg will drop down folded to land on the ground, while the second leg is straightened out and aimed at your target. Both legs will land at the same time, leaving you in the Negativa position. The main idea of this attack is to land on top of your opponent with your heel.

Chibata like many other movements and Capoeira can be mechanically difficult to perform. One of the biggest problems people have is being able to reliably aim while they’re in their cartwheel position. In order to do this move correctly, you should have a strong understanding of cartwheels, including the one handed cartwheel.

Escorpiao (scorpion)

Escorpião: pronounced “es-core-pee-ow”

Escorpião is a sneaky attack that starts from the Queda de Rins position. As the name describes the kick imitates a scorpions tail.

While in queda de rins, extend the bottom leg in front of you while the top leg whips behind you. The leg extended in front of you acts as a counter balance while the other leg whips around to strike.

It might look like a contortion act of, but the bend is performed with the entire body. The hips, back, and legs all contribute to the bend in the strike. If you are particularly stiff in the back, shoulders, or hips, this movement will be more challenging.

Voo de morcego (Flight of the Bat)

Vôo do Morcego: pronounced “Voe-oo-du More-se-go”

Voô do Morcego is an attack straight out of the WWE. Although this is not where the move comes from, it is essentially a drop kick. Difference between a wrestling dropkick and one done in capoeira, is that the capoeira version requires you to land on your feet. This move relies heavily on the shock value as generally the movement is very easy to see and counter. Vôo do morçego usually aims for the body, however you can just as easily aim for the face with this attack.

Joelhada (knee hit)

Joelhada: Pronounced “joe-el-yada”

(Video) Most DANGEROUS Capoeira Kicks Combo

The knee is a common attack in Capoeira. Although knee attacks can be seen in other martial arts such as Muay Thai, in Capoeira these strikes are more rare. In Muay Thai there are many examples of knees being used as a way to attack while standing or while grappling with your opponent. Capoeira usually uses knees in a more situational way. For example, if somebody ducts under your kick it’s common to use knees as a way to attack the face. Knees are generally used when the opponent’s head lower to the ground, which makes sense because most kicks in Capoeira are ducted under.

If the person you are playing with ducks their head close to your knee, the strike to knee is almost a way of saying, “look at how silly your response was. You ducked under a kick only to expose yourself to greater danger”. It is not clear why knees are used to attack the face and not other parts of the body such as the abdomen. This could have something to do with the nature of Capoeira. There is very limited grappling, which would make the use of a close range knee ineffective.

Strikes to the head with the knee are one of the reasons why capoeiristas have to be careful as they move on the ground. Just because you’re moving on the ground doesn’t mean that you are invulnerable to attack. You always want to have at least one hand protecting your face and make sure to be aware of the other person positioning.


What are the 5 capoeira movements? ›

Rolê, like many other moves in Capoeira, has many different functions and its use depends greatly on the situation in the roda.
  • Negativa. Negativa: Pronounced “nega-cheeva” ...
  • Bananeira (handstand) Bananeira: Pronounced “bah-na-nera”. ...
  • Queda de rins (Fall on the kidneys) ...
  • Ponte (bridge)

What are the strongest capoeira kicks? ›

A meia-lua de compasso (lit. compass half moon) is a technique found in the martial art of capoeira that combines an evasive maneuver with a reverse roundhouse kick. It is considered one of the most powerful and efficient kicks of the art and one of its most iconic movements along with the rasteira.

What are some moves of capoeira? ›

There are hard attacks that include headbutts, slaps, punches, elbows, kicks and knees as well as softer attacks such as takedowns or sweeps; however, the main emphasis is normally placed on the interaction between kicks and evasions.

How many types of capoeira are there? ›

Capoeira involves elements of dance, acrobatics, music and self-defense. There are three main Capoeira styles: Capoeira Angola, Capoeira Regional and Capoeira Contemporânea.

Is it hard to learn capoeira? ›

Capoeira isn't just a form of exercise - it's more like an art form and takes years to learn. Expect to take a year to be ready to take your first grading (and receive your first belt, or corda). As you get more advanced, it may take two to three years to progress to the next level.

What is a capoeira kick? ›

Capoeira's martelo kick uses the instep to strike its target. The technique is delivered at a 45-degree angle — in much the same way practitioners of other arts throw a roundhouse kick — except that the waist and hip are turned over so the kicker can put his body behind the kick. For martial artists who love to travel.

What are the 4 key actions used in capoeira? ›

The most basic ones are:
  • Meia lua de frente.
  • meia lua de compas.
  • Armada.
  • Queixada.
Mar 20, 2014

Are capoeira kicks effective? ›

Chapeu de Couro is a kick performed from the ground and swings the users whole body at the opponent. The kick is incredibly effective at producing force, but as you can see, the set up is long, which makes the kick slow. Not only that, but there is a huge amount of technical coordination required to perform this kick.

Can Capoeira beat taekwondo? ›

Compared to each other, however, there is not that much difference in terms of effectiveness. Both of these arts take years to learn properly, both of them are kicking-based and also somewhat unrealistic in these terms. Nevertheless, we believe Taekwondo has a slight advantage.

What are the two main styles of Capoeira? ›

There are many different kinds of capoeira. The two largest types are Angola and Regional. Although groups of one style do exist, most groups tend to mix the two styles to some degree. Capoeira Angola groups from the Northeast will tend to identify only as Capoeira Angola and will mimic Regional for performances.

Does Capoeira make you stronger? ›

It will make you stronger and fitter than you every imagined capoeira will help you to develop more strength, endurance, flexibility, and agility than your average fitness class.

What is unique about capoeira? ›

About Capoeira

It is comprised of specific offensive and defensive movements and, unlike in other martial arts, the participant is constantly in motion because of the basic movement, the ginga. The movements also consist of positions on the ground, kicks, sweeps and acrobatics.

Is capoeira useful in street fight? ›

For self defense, Capoeira is an effective way to defend ones self against another unarmed opponent. The strongest tools a Capoeira practitioner has when defending themselves is the use of dodges, sweeps, powerful kicks, and open palm strikes.

Is capoeira a full body workout? ›

But there is another reason for the advance of the Capoeiristas: The martial dance is an excellent whole-body workout, with which strength, fitness and flexibility can be trained. Capoeira dance is also highly effective in terms of fat loss.

Why is capoeira white? ›

The founder of Capoeira Regional, Manuel dos Reis Machado, Mestre Bimba, chose white for the uniform, to show the uniforms of his students were clean. Dirt can be easily spotted on white clothes. Back in those days capoeira was judged to be the pastime of petty criminals and vagabonds.

How long was capoeira illegal? ›

Brief History

Slaves used capoeira to fight to escape and resist capture, but concealed its combative purpose through music, song, and dance. After the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888, capoeira was illegal and its practitioners were socially ostracized for more than 40 years.

Is there a black belt in capoeira? ›

Mestre Boneco's black belt is also recognized by the Brazilian Capoeira Federation. After receiving his black belt, Mestre Boneco, along with Mestres Paulinho Sabia and Paulão, founded Grupo Capoeira Brasil, an organization that would later become one of the largest Capoeira groups in the world.

Do you hit each other in Capoeira? ›

Capoeira is meant to be non-contact and you aren't meant to hit your partner with your moves. However, people can and do get hit during Capoeira, due the nature of performing kicks and dodges in pairs.

Can Capoeira be self taught? ›

Yes, you can learn Capoeira MOVEMENTS on your own. However, it is not possible to play the game of Capoeira on your own. For this you need a partner.

Is music important in Capoeira? ›

Music plays a big role in capoeira, and sets the tempo and its style. It is performed by traditional instruments played and complementary singing. One of the most typical instruments used is called berimbau, which controls the speed of the 'roda' (circle/game), moving either slow or fast.

What is the strongest type of kick? ›

The most powerful lead-leg kick – Side kick

The standing side kick is by far the strongest stationary kick. By chambering the leg up into the chest, the kicker is able to create a great amount of force.

Why is capoeira popular? ›

These people were attracted to capoeira not only for its sport and play but also for its powerful means of attack and defense for their survival. Capoeira became a widespread practice at the beginning of the 20th century—outlaws, bodyguards and mercenaries used it.

How do I get better at capoeira? ›

Top 10 Capoeira tips for Beginners
  1. Have fun!
  2. Listen to the Bateria, the berimbau and the person leading the roda.
  3. Eyes on your opponent (friend)
  4. Don't forget to breathe.
  5. Move BIG!
  6. Kick and move.
  7. Stay relaxed.
  8. How to play with higher level Capoeiristas.

What music is used in capoeira? ›

Samba de Roda

A song which bears the roots of samba. This type of samba (samba de roda) draws from many folkloric dances and traditions of African and Brazilian peoples.

Does capoeira have weapons? ›

Through most of its history in Brazil, capoeira commonly featured weapons and weapon training, given its street fighting nature. Capoeiristas usually carried knives and bladed weapons with them, and the berimbau could be used to conceal those inside, or even to turn itself into a weapon by attaching a blade to its tip.

Can Capoeira be used in MMA? ›

A fighter can use capoeira in MMA “the same way you can use jiu-jitsu and muay thai,” Zaleski told MMA Fighting. “Capoeira is a sport that doesn't have rules, so you can used pretty much everything you learn outside and bring into capoeira and work on your flexibility, agility, balance.

What is a Brazilian kick? ›

Brazilian Kick is a kick that slams an opponent downwards. It allows the user to aim for all three points of their opponent: the top, middle, and bottom.

Do you need to be flexible to do Capoeira? ›

Capoeira does not require you to be flexible, but you will get flexible over time. Classes usually involve light stretches in the beginning, longer stretches at the end, and some dynamic stretches throughout the class.

Are there ranks in capoeira? ›

As in other martial arts, Capoeira uses a ranking system for recognition of the capoeira students' knowledge and time trained. The capoeira ranking is presented in a form of belt (cordão) based on the colors of the Brazilian flag.

Can a female martial artist beat a man? ›

However, with all of these advantages listed out, a woman can beat a man in a mixed martial arts fight because fighting is more than just about physical ability and technique even though they play a greater role in the process of winning.

Can anyone learn capoeira? ›

Can everyone really do Capoeira? Yes. To reach a high level of Capoeira takes years, however you do not need a certain level of physical fitness to practice. Those with the least physical ability have the most to benefit as Capoeira is a very wholistic martial art that improves a broad range of physical fitness.

How many belts are there in capoeira? ›

Grupo Capoeira Brasil uses eight different colors in their graduation system. They are: Yellow, Orange, Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Brown and Black. Beginner students (before becoming Graduados) have transitional cords between the main cords, for example: Yellow and Raw cord.

Is capoeira competitive? ›

Although Capoeira is usually practiced in a non-competitive way, there is still a World Championship in Capoeira Sport, organized by the World Capoeira Federation (WCF).

Why do we need leg strength in capoeira? ›

In Capoeira, we NEED these muscles. We use them every time we throw our kicks and move around the room. Kicking requires strong intrinsic muscles that help balance you. Without strong intrinsic muscles, we would simply fall over after throwing a kick.

Can tall people do Capoeira? ›

Capoeira is for everyone - young or old, short or tall, girl or boy! Of course, the more you train, the faster you will see results!

Is Capoeira rare? ›

Capoeira is a Rare Emote in Battle Royale that can be purchased from the Item Shop.

Is it too late to learn Capoeira? ›

30 is a great time to start training Capoeira. There are some physical differences between people in their 30's and 20's, but the differences (described further below) are small enough that Capoeira is actually a great option for people in their 30's interested in the martial art.

Where is Capoeira most popular? ›

capoeira, dancelike martial art of Brazil, performed to the accompaniment of call-and-response choral singing and percussive instrumental music. It is most strongly associated with the country's northeastern region.

What does Capoeira teach you? ›

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines dance, music, and acrobatics. It teaches discipline, self-defense, physical fitness, and promotes self-esteem. It is considered one of the top all-around strength, flexibility, and aerobic exercises and training is geared toward all ages and athletic levels.

What is a Capoeira master called? ›

Bahia – One of the 26 states of Brazil (on the east coast of Brazil). Bamba – A master or expert at Capoeira. Banda – A standing sweep kick where you use your heel. Baqueta – The wooden sticks used to play the Berimbau. Base – Another word for the Ginga.

What sport is most effective in street fight? ›

Boxing, Muay Thai, or Kickboxing

All are equally effective in a street fight. Since each of them incorporates different techniques, understanding the differences is important.

Is capoeira like breakdancing? ›

Capoeira and breakdancing contain similarities in their footwork, groundwork, and upside-down movements, leading some to theorize that capoeira gave birth to breakdancing. Capoeira arrived in New York City with Mestres Jelon Viera and Loremil Machado in the 1970s, around the time of breakdancing's origin.

Does Capoeira burn calories? ›

It's also a great way to burn calories. One hour of Capoeira can burn as many as 500 calories. That's quite a bit, even compared to a treadmill. Best of all, starting equipment is simply loose and comfortable clothing, and there's a surprising number of studios available.

What are the two main styles of capoeira? ›

There are many different kinds of capoeira. The two largest types are Angola and Regional. Although groups of one style do exist, most groups tend to mix the two styles to some degree. Capoeira Angola groups from the Northeast will tend to identify only as Capoeira Angola and will mimic Regional for performances.

What are the key features of capoeira? ›

The practice took the form of an acrobatic game of skill and cunning. Capoeira makes use of a constant flow of powerful kicks and defensive evasive movement (eskiva) and is an amazing workout, leading to great physical power, dexterity, flexibility and endurance. Capoeira today is still a very festive martial art.

What are the key features of capoeira dance? ›

Capoeira is best described not as a dance but as a sport in which the participants—historically, sometimes with blades strapped to their ankles or held between their toes—swing their legs high in attack, perform aerial somersaults, and pass within a hairsbreadth of each other's knees, head, groin, or stomach.

What is capoeira fighting style? ›

Capoeira is a fast and versatile martial art that is historically focused on fighting when outnumbered or at a technological disadvantage. The style emphasizes using the lower body to kick, sweep and take down their aggressors, using the upper body to assist those movements and occasionally attack as well.

Does Capoeira have kicks? ›

Capoeira kicks are famous if not Infamous for being very flashy, Dynamic, and intense. A lot of the kicks use the momentum of the body to its fullest capacity in order to deal the most damage possible. One of the best examples of this chapeu de couro (described below).

What are the 3 combined elements that make up Capoeira? ›

  • Capoeira is a unique Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, dance, music and acrobatics. ...
  • Capoeira Today.

What is the main instrument in Capoeira? ›

The leading instrument in all capoeira styles is the berimbau. The instrument dictates the rhythm and movement of capoeira players in a roda (Ilari, 2001).

Why is music important in capoeira? ›

Music is an essential part of Capoeira tradition. Combining singing with percussion, Capoeira music provides energy and rhythm to the game. Tales are told through songs sung in Portuguese, which convey Brazilian history and the history of Capoeira.

Is music important in capoeira? ›

Music plays a big role in capoeira, and sets the tempo and its style. It is performed by traditional instruments played and complementary singing. One of the most typical instruments used is called berimbau, which controls the speed of the 'roda' (circle/game), moving either slow or fast.

What is a Capoeira kick? ›

Capoeira's martelo kick uses the instep to strike its target. The technique is delivered at a 45-degree angle — in much the same way practitioners of other arts throw a roundhouse kick — except that the waist and hip are turned over so the kicker can put his body behind the kick. For martial artists who love to travel.

Why is Capoeira white? ›

The founder of Capoeira Regional, Manuel dos Reis Machado, Mestre Bimba, chose white for the uniform, to show the uniforms of his students were clean. Dirt can be easily spotted on white clothes. Back in those days capoeira was judged to be the pastime of petty criminals and vagabonds.


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