Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art, or more like a movement art, which has many intriguing movement patterns and drills even the absolute beginners can learn in a short time.
In this article we'll go through a movement flow and 5 kicks from capoeira anyone can learn even if you are an absolute beginner. Capoeira is a movement art which is somewhere between a martial art and a form of dance.
There are a wide variety of different movement patterns in capoeira, which can be fun to learn even if you aren't interested in capoeira as an art form.
This is what Vahva Fitness and movement really stand for: picking up the best things from different arts and bringing it all together to one big ceiling called the movement.
All of these can be practiced safely in your room and you don't need to join a capoeira club to learn how to do capoeira (although it's the most efficient way to learn capoeira).
How to Do the Ginga Movement Flow
Ginga is the first thing you'll learn in a capoeira class and for a good reason: the ginga is the heart of capoeira.
The ginga is a basic movement pattern in capoeira where all the different moves start and finish. It's the transition phase between tricking and powermoves.
There are rules to the ginga, but otherwise it is a very personal movement flow where the goal is to create a version of your own.
In order to really learn the technique of the ginga, please watch:
Depending on how you do it, you can train different aspects of your body. For example, a low stance ginga will nicely strengthen your lower body.
Learning how to do the ginga is a great way to start learning some basic movement flow. Start with the ginga and then at some point start adding cartwheels, spins and other moves.
5 Capoeira Kicks For Beginners
These are very basic kicks, which anyone can learn in a short time frame. Mastering them completely will take a long time though. Most of these kicks the beginners of capoeira learn in the first few weeks.
Many of these you might have already seen in movies or MMA fights. Especially the compasso is a popular kick.
These are very easy to integrate into your martial arts practice or your personal movement flow. You don't have to be a capoeirista to learn capoeira.
To really understand the form and how to do these kicks, please watch our kick video below:
How to Do the Bencao (Capoeira Front Kick)
Bencao is a very basic front kick in capoeira. The basic form is a push kick - it's a kick designed to push someone away. However, it can also be done as a snap kick.
At first, kick to the height you'll find comfortably for your flexibility. The goal is to be able to kick to the height of someone else's stomach or head.
How to Do the Compasso
Compasso is probably the signature capoeira kick most people remember from capoeira.
It's a kick where you are bending the hips and leaning towards the floor and then creating a spinning kick with your body.
This is a kick which is actually effective to use in a real fight and we've even seen mixed martial artists utilizing this kick in MMA. The spinning nature of armada makes it extremely explosive.
How to Do the Queixada
Queixada is a special kick where you cross your legs and use the momentum of your twisting hips and obliques to throw the kick in a nice looking half-circle.
There are many ways to do this: you can either kick with your heel or your toes pointing upwards.
How to Do the Armada
Armada is the standard spinning kick of capoeira. You make a pirouette with your body and allow your leg to follow the movement of your twisting body.
The strength of this kick comes from the hips and the spin - you barely need to use the strength of your leg to do the armada.
This kick requires a bit more balance and practice, but it's still one of the simplest capoeira kicks out there.
To further understand the form, please watch our video.
How to Do the Meia Lua De Frente
Meia lua de frente is another very basic capoeira kick where you are creating a half moon with your leg.
This kick requires a bit more balance and control, because after execution you need to return the leg back to the ginga position where you started.
Capoeira as a Part of Movement Flow and Training
These kicks can be implemented immensely well into any movement practice whether it's a form of dance, breakdance or your own movement flow.
Practicing the ginga and capoeira kicks will also very nicely improve your flexibility, mobility, coordination and overall movement capability.
In the beginning you practice each of these kicks individually, but eventually you can start mixing different kicks together and integrating them to your movement flow.
You can train the ginga and capoeira kicks as much as you like, depending on your ability to recover. Try to do sets of 10-30 kicks and then take a rest.
Train hard, stay safe.
Hey Samuli, enjoyed the article. I have an old Capoeira book on the shelf that I now have the urge to dust off. Got a question for you regarding the Bencao. Why does Capoeira stress leaning back so much on this kick? Just from my personal experience, this would seem to put you in a vulnerable position as well as make you likely to fall on your butt if you hit something/someone solid. Would like to hear your take on it.
Hey Jacob. I think capoeiristas lean back, because it gives more push to the kick (which is the primary aim of bencao). Maybe it is an aesthetic thing as well. I used to lean back when I did capoeira too – it feels natural 😉
Hmm, I’ll have to play with it and see how it compares to how I was traditionally taught. I can see a few benefits to leaning back, but also some potential drawbacks. I was always taught to keep the upper body straight up (or even a slight bend forward) so you’re not throwing half your weight forward and the other half back, thus weakening the kick. Thanks for your input!