Capoeira Basic Moves Every Beginners Must Know

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Capoeira Basic Moves Every Beginners Must Know

The Moves

So you've seen the Capoeira inspired movies, like Only the Strong and Capoeira: Fly Away Beetle. Perhaps you've come across top Capoeira Influencers such as Mestre Mindinho - who has been teaching Capoeira lessons in San Diego since 2002.

You may have just been walking around and stumbled upon street performers partaking in a very unique style of martial arts. Whatever the story about your initial introduction into the intriguing world of Capoeira may be - it has inspired you to explore deeper. Bringing you to this blog post. An article that will teach you about the Basic Capoeira Movements.

Let's get straight into it then. But firstly, we'd like to point out that it is advisable to have assistance or an instructor present when practicing these moves, as they may cause injury. Now, here's a look at 4 of the best Capoeira Moves for Beginners:

1. Ginga

Ginga means "swing". The move is performed by swinging from side to side. It is a vital move in capoeira. Therefore, mastering the ginga is especially important for every capoeirista.

There are three parts of doing the ginga and they are as follow:

I. Footwork

The first part of ginga is passada. Here's how it works:

  1. Imagine that you are forming a triangle with your body.
  2. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart.
  3. Slightly bent your legs and maintain a relaxed position.
  4. Slide-step one foot to the back. Leaving you in a deep lunge position. Make sure that your legs remain bent and that you are on the balls of your feet.
  5. Protect your face with your hands.
  6. Then get back to the original triangle position. Repeat the above steps, using your other foot.
  7. You are essentially swinging your body from side to side to the rhythm of the music.
  8. Now you are ready to learn the Balanco.

II. Balancing

Next, it is important to always maintain balance to allow for smooth flowing movements.

To achieve a steady balance:

  1. Move your body weight from the front foot to the back foot.
  2. In a rocking motion, shift your body weight back to the front foot again.
  3. Repeat these steps and keep your legs bent slightly.

III. Jogo de corps: Play of the body

Here, players have their own personalised move. There are no specific methods of doing this. It is merely the way a capoeirista may choose to defend themselves through the use of their arms and upper body.

2. Au

Au is basically a cartwheel. In Capoeira, you can use the Au to maneuver around your opponent. It may also be masked as an attack.

Master your Au:

  1. Get in the triangle position from your ginga. Bend your knees, with legs slightly wider than shoulders.
  2. From there, lean to either side. Stretch your hand out for balance.
  3. Place the palm of that hand firmly on the ground.
  4. While watching your opponent, shift the weight of your body to your palm.
  5. As your body swings over, plant your other hand on the ground and balance your weight as you land.
  6. Place your feet down one at a time - ensuring your knees are bent as you land.

3. Cocorinha

This is one of the forms of Defesa (defense) that can be used to evade kicks from your opponent.

The steps are as follow:

  1. Position yourself in the triangle position.
  2. Squat right down to the floor. Shield your face with your hand.
  3. While in this position - you can look down to avoid the kicks or rise back up while watching your opponent.
  4. Stand back up.

4. Meia-lua de Frente

Meia-lua de frente or front half-moon kick is a strong kick that allows you to attack the opponent from the front. It allows you to take down your opponent.

Here's how you do it:

  • Start with the ginga. Legs slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Bend your legs to maintain balance.
  • With one leg firmly planted on the ground - swipe the other leg across your body - with the assistance of your hips. Strike your opponent.
  • Then bring back the attacking leg to your initial position.

There you have it. A few of the basic Capoeira moves to get you started.

If you are finding it difficult to wrap your head around all the fresh Capoeira terminologies - perhaps you will find it enlightening to read our guide on the 15 Basic Capoeira Terms Every Beginner Should Know.

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