The Most Powerful Kick in Capoeira – Capoeira (2023)

Capoeira is an Afro Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and self defense. This is why it is so curious that a few high-level MMA fighters are choosing to learn the art, specifically one of its most powerful kicks, Meia Lua de Compasso. If you’ve seen this kick before, it’s very clear how dangerous this kick can be. The lightning fast speed, tricky angle, and unorthodox nature places it as one of the most, if not, the most powerful kick in Capoeira.

In case you have not seen, there is proof that this kick is effective in terms of its speed and knockout power. This video of MMA fighter Marcus Aurelias shows us how fast, tricky, and devastating the kick can be against an opponent. The opponent is KO’d with one kick to the jaw and the question is, can this be replicated? or is this a lucky shot?

(Video) Learning the MOST POWERFUL Capoeira Kick

The Advantages to Meia Lua de Compasso

There seem to be three good reasons for using this kick that others have pointed out. The first is how tricky it can be to spot this kick. I’ve never seen it countered, even though most of these situations have been in non-elite level fights. The kick is not well understood, and very nontraditional. It’s no wonder that people would not know how to counter it… because nobody does it. This trickery is the first advantage that Meia Lua has.

The second advantage is its speed. The kick is undeniably fast what looks like a wild left hook with your legs. The movement uses the entire body to generate an incredible amount of energy that you unleash on your opponent. If you ever see the kick done in Capoeira rodas, the kick looks like a whip, zooming around. And at this speed it looks ferocious.

The last thing this kick has going for it, is that when you hit, you hit with a very small surface area. Ask yourself, would you rather get hit with a metal bar or a hammer of equal weight? Most people would say the metal bar. The surface area of the hammer is much smaller and the weight is at the very end. The concentration of force guarantees a hard hit. This differs from other kicks done with the shin, which is also extremely strong, but perhaps not as concentrated as a circular kick using the heel.

(Video) What is the strongest kick? Karate, Capoeira, MMA, Taekwondo.

If it’s so Good, then why doesn’t Everyone use it?

But, if it were such a good kick, then everyone would be using it. Just because the kick has the ability to knock someone out, doesn’t mean that fighters will use it. Fighters use techniques that have a proven and reliable ability to put down their opponent or at least provide them with some advantage. MMA fighters in this sense are perfect test subjects for understanding why one kick is “effective” and why others are not.

The Chapeu de Couro Kick

Lets take another Capoeira kick that has gained some notoriety for its raw strength. 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. It’s clear that for these reasons, chapeu de couro is not used in MMA. I can’t think of a single instance in which this kick was used. And if mixed martial artists don’t think that it’s useful or even worth trying, then it’s “power” is questionable.

(Video) What Martial Art Hits the HARDEST?

Why not use Meia Lua de Compasso in MMA?

There seem to be a couple reasons why you shouldn’t use this kick in MMA. The first one to me seems to be fairly obvious, which is that the kick is difficult to do. Kicks like the spinning back kick also suffer from this and therefore get a lot let use in the octagon. George St. Pierre trained with Joe Rogan to learn a spinning back kick and… had OK results. and this is a top tier fighter! Meia Lua is mechanically demanding and can take a fighter years to learn. As impressive as it looks, part of the reason it looks so great, is how hard it is to actually do. A fighter can spend months practicing this kick and not get it right. On the other hand, there may be other techniques that are less mentally and physically demanding, that can be learned in much less time. Take a look at some Capoeira kicks done by Anderson Silva and Conor Mcgreggor. Both amazing fighters, but both have lackluster Capoeira kicks. If you don’t practice Capoeira, it might be hard to see the flaws, but let me assure you that they are OK. Consider the fact that Connor looks like he’s going to fall over when he does this kick.

The second issue with this kick comes from one of its greatest strengths. The point of contact for this kick is the heel, which pools all the force generated into a small space. At the same time, that small surface area is difficult to kick with – especially when you’re spinning around. I’ve seen Conor throw this kick, but it’s difficult to hit. In fact, the only flush hit I’ve ever seen was the from the video above and this one here.

The last issue with the Meia Lua that might explain why it’s so rarely used in MMA is that it is exhausting to use. The movement incorporates the entire body in an explosive way. The arms, feet, and core all collectively generate force to create an incredible blow. I have never seen this kick used outside of the 1st or 2nd round, and I think does hinder its utility. It seems more likely that a fighter would choose to rely on techniques that do not severely drain them, particularly during the later rounds.

(Video) Martelo de Negativa Tutorial: CAPOEIRA The world's most powerful kick

Why and when to use the Meia Lua

If this kick was a car, it would still be in the proto-typing phase. That is to say, people are still workshoping when the best time to sue this kick is. Is it on the defense? On the offense? After a combination attack? It’s not clear to me, and I think it’s still unclear to the MMA talent out there. Despite this, I’m very hopeful that this kick and get incorporated in the world of mixed martial arts. There have been many cases of other martial arts bringing their techniques to supplement or even form the foundation for a fighter’s style. Karate and Tae Kwon Do come to mind.

It’s for this reason that Capoeira has a lot of hope. There have been UFC fighters that have shown interest in the martial art and it will be interesting to see how (and if) they apply it. If anyone’s going to have a say about the effectiveness of a martial art, it’s going to be the ones at the very top of the sport. Listen to Connor Mcgreggor talk about Capoeira.

(Video) Learning The Strongest Kicking Position In Capoeira

His point is that , “there is a time and a place for every technique”. I think this is why so many strikers (particularly the ones that enjoy a lot of movement in their style) gravitate towards this Capoeira. It might be the movements, it might be the dodges, or in the case of MMA today, it could be incorporation of the Meia Lua de Compasso. Regardless, it can be argued that Capoeira has a place in MMA with many big names going to learn its techniques. Some examples are, Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva, Conor Mcgreggor, and Thiago Santos. For now, the Meia Lua de Compasso holds its own as the most dangerous Capoeira kick used in MMA.


The Most Powerful Kick in Capoeira – Capoeira? ›

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

roundhouse kick
A roundhouse kick (also known as round kick or turning kick) is a kick in which the practitioner lifts the knee while turning the supporting foot and body in a semicircular motion, extending the leg striking with the lower part of the shin and/or the instep (top of the foot). › wiki › 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 is the most powerful kick in Capoeira? ›

One of capoeira's most powerful and best-known foot techniques is the mevlva de compaso, which means “half moon of the compass.” Although this kick might be compared to the wheel kick used in taekwondo, a major difference in its delivery is apparent.

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.

Is the back kick stronger? ›

The back kick is an extremely powerful and potentially lethal weapon. It can be much more powerful than a roundhouse kick, carrying over 1,500 lbs. of force upon impact.

Can you punch in 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.

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.

Are capoeira kicks strong? ›

Capoeira has the strongest kick, the meia lua de compasso. The involvement of the entire body and spinning creates immense momentum but is very difficult to execute.

Can a kick be stronger than a punch? ›

Kicks (Geri)

Each kick utilises a different part of the foot to strike the opponent. The mass of the leg is quite considerable when compared to the fist, it is approximately twenty five times the mass of the hand. This means that kicks when executed with correct form carry much more energy than a punch.

Do stronger legs make you kick harder? ›

Develop Lower Body Maximal Strength

The determinants of kicking hard are similar to punching hard. Being able to generate forces with the legs and transfer that force through rotating the hips and trunk. Therefore, generating high forces with the lower body is critical for kicking harder.

What makes a kick powerful? ›

Developing and honing in on proper technique will always veer toward more power than an incorrectly thrown kick. Simple things, like your weight not being thrown into the kick properly or not allowing your arms to move properly while throwing the kick, will inhibit some of your power.

Is it possible to kick 1080? ›

1080 kicks

While theoretically all the variations of the original 360 kick are applicable to a 1080 kick, there are actually few variations of a 1080 that have actually be successfully executed.

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 capoeira useful in a 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.

Can you use capoeira in UFC? ›

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.

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.

What are the easiest Capoeira moves? ›

First move that is usually practiced by the beginner Capoeira practitioner is the 'Ginga. ' This move is a dynamic combination of partial range Squat and Lunge. For various purposes the movement can be wider and deeper or practiced in different ways. This move usually first challenges coordination.

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.

Are there weapons in Capoeira? ›

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 a kick boxer beat a boxer? ›

There have been many fights pitting a boxer and kickboxer against one another, and the winner usually is the kickboxer. When he keeps his distance and uses his legs, the boxer always has a hard time finding answers to the debilitating low and destructive high kicks.

Who can hit the hardest punch? ›

'" Ngannou holds the record for the hardest punch ever landed at 129,161 units, with Dana White putting that figure into real-life situations.

What muscle makes you kick harder? ›

Gets its power from: Quads (for a front leg kick), quads, glutes, lower back muscles and front hip flexors for a kick that utilizes the whole body weight to maximize impact.

Which leg is usually stronger? ›

If you're like most athletes, your left leg and foot are probably stronger than the right ones. Right now you can probably do more heel raises, step-ups and partial squats on your left leg than your right. And - the really key point - you're probably stronger with your left leg when you run.

Are high kicks useful in a fight? ›

So yes, high kicks can be effective in sports competition but I would not recommend using them in self-defense situations. Whenever you launch a high kick, you run the risk of slipping and falling down. Landing on the floor can be fatal in a self-defense scenario.

How powerful is a human kick? ›

How Strong Is an Average Human Kick? An average human can kick with up to 1000 pounds (453.6 kg) of force. A man may deliver around 1200 pounds (544 kg) of force, while a woman can provide about 500 pounds (227 kg) in a kick. The amount of force a human and fighter changes based on their height, weight, and training.

How do you make a huge kick? ›

If you want to make your kick sound huge, start with additive equalization and then introduce clipping - ideally to the transient of the kick or 808. From there distortion, compression, air EQ, and some form of maximization and limiting will help your kick sound huge.

Is 540 kick effective? ›

The tornado kick, also known as the 540 kick, is used in taekwondo and MMA to confuse or distract opponents. When executing this effective and powerful kick, you jump, kick, and land all on the same leg. This whirling kick is divided into three parts: a guard stance, spin kick, and crescent kick.

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.

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.

Is Capoeira effective in a 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.

How strong is Joe Rogan's kick? ›

Joe Rogan initially set the benchmark for the hardest kick with a record of 152,000 franklins. He even broke Francis Ngannou's 129,000 franklin record for his punch.

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 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)

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.

How do you win in Capoeira? ›

The most common way for someone to win in Capoeira, is to dominate the space in the roda, stifling the opponents movement. This can be compared to backing someone into a corner in Boxing. Strikes, takedowns, and executing acrobatics called “floreios” are other ways to score “points”.

How many spins is a 540 kick? ›

It involves a rotation of approximately 540 degrees (although when performed correctly the performer has only done a spin of 360 degrees – not including whatever takeoff used).

Which animal kicks the hardest? ›

In a battle royale for Most Powerful Animal, a red kangaroo might take the martial-arts belt, thanks to a bone-shattering kick that delivers 759 pounds of force.

Could Joe Rogan fight in MMA? ›

Rogan is a legitimate martial artist and has worked for the UFC since UFC 12, however, he has never competed in the UFC, or any mixed martial arts contest, for that matter. He has competed in Taekwondo, holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and trains in a variety of martial arts.

Who has the strongest kick in UFC history? ›

  • "El Guapo" Bas Rutten. 28-4-1. Recent Fights: ...
  • Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović 38-11-2, 1 NC. Recent Fights:
  • José Aldo "Junior" 31-8-0. Recent Fights: ...
  • Edson "Junior" Barboza. 23-11-0. ...
  • Thiago "Pitbull" Alves. 23-15-0. ...
  • Anderson "The Spider" Silva. 34-11-0, 1 NC. ...
  • Renan "The Baron" Barão. 34-9-0, 1 NC. ...
  • Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida. 26-12-0.


1. Most amazing capoeira knockout ever recorded HD
(Hemstock Films)
2. Capoeira strongest kick | Amazing Capoeira Skills | Brazilian Martial Arts | @MrArslanTKD
(TKD Action)
3. The most powerful kick in capoeira
(Capoeira do amanha)
4. Conor McGregor, Thiago "Marreta" Santos & Elizeu Zaleski doing the Most Powerful Kick in Capoeira
5. Most DANGEROUS Capoeira Kicks Combo
(Xplaining capoeira)


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