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   This movement, pronounced 'jinga', is probably the most important part of Capoeira. From this dance like movement the capoeirista is in constant movement and can flow from attack to defense with little thought. The ginga controls the capoeiristas' movement and timing. Only through practice can one truly master the ginga. The ginga differs slightly according to whether you are playing Angola or Regional. In Angola the ginga is very free and up to the individual, where as in Regional the movement is much more structured.

   The negativa, similarly to the ginga, is one of the important basic techniques in Capoeira, but not necessarily the easiest to master. Using the negativa the capoeirista learns to control his/her movements to the floor. Learning the negativa also teaches the player to quickly recover from an attack, a fall or even execute a takedown. Similar to the ginga, the negativa has two distinct variations, namely 'Negativa da Angola' and 'Negativa da Regional'. The main visible difference between the two variations is that the Angolan version is much closer to the ground where as the regional version is more erect. In negativa, and Capoeira, only the palms of the hands and soles of the feet are allowed to be touching the ground.

   This move pronounced 'Ah-ooo' is in actual fact a cartwheel. Through learning this technique the capoeirista becomes more aware of their surroundings whilst upside-down and in motion. The Aú can be used as both an attack and as a means of defense. Many beginners to Capoeira feel that learning the Aú is absurd and are more concerned with learning attacks than defensive techniques. The Aú plays a very important part in the game of Capoeira. If executed correctly it can leave your opponent dizzy, unbalanced and hesitant or even open his guard. The Aú can be used to both approach and retreat from an opponent and can be the beginning of a number of possible combinations.

   Cocorinha is a dodge used to evade close quarter circular kicks and horizontal blows. When the kick or blow is begun the capoeirista ducks into a squatting position, lifting an arm to protect the head. In order to keep your balance whilst in the cocorinha the entire soles of the feet must be touching the floor. Do Not use the cocorinha to avoid direct and front kicks.

   This technique is similar to the cocorinha but where as in the cocorinha the weight is evenly balanced on both feet the Resistência is unevenly balanced with the torso leaning to one side. The resistência teaches you to evade the attack without retreating.

Queda de Quatro
   In Queda de Quatro the capoeirista dodges, moving away their body and face but keeping their feet in the same position. The most common follow-up to this move is the negativa, from which a rolé can be executed to return to the ginga position.

   This is a very effective way of dodging a horizontal blow. This involves removing the head and torso from the trajectory of attack.

Meia Lua de Frente


   The armada is the standard spinning kick in Capoeira. Starting from the ginga rotate 270 degrees on your rear leg and then 180 degrees on your front leg. Twist your body round until you can see your opponent. Do this quickly as eye contact is lost for a moment. Once you cannot twist any further, lift your rear leg, the resulting release of tension will spin your leg around and return to the ginga position.

   Pronounced 'kay-shah-da', the move is literally the inverse of the Mei Lua de Frente. The queixada can be executed in one of two ways: 1) The body is twisted thus creating enough force to 'pull' the leg back round into the ginga position. 2) The leg is thrust forwards and then completed using a small twist of the body to land back in the ginga position. The difference between the two variations is that one uses the front leg whilst the other uses the rear leg. The queixada is usually aimed at the opponents head or cheek. As with most techniques in Capoeira you finish in the ginga position ready to perform another attack or to defend from an attack.

   The Bencao is a very common technique used in both Capoeira Angola and Regional. The capoeirista will take a step forward from the ginga before releasing the kick. If full contact is made the bencao is a very effective form of attack. To execute the bencaoyou have to lift one knee and hunch your torso as if to grab your opponent. Slowly stretch your lifted knee and at the same time pull as if you were to drag you opponent behind. Kick with the soles, do not attempt to snap the kick

Chapa de Costas
   Typically, a kick used in the Angolan form of Capoeira. Usually executed from a negativa, the player uses a rol?to get closer to the opponent, then aiming at the groin or face with the chapa. This kick is similar to a mule kick.


   The Martelo is a very common kick in the Regional form of Capoeira. Requiring a good sense of balance and good stretching of the legs. The martelo, at first look, seems simple but takes a lot of practise and hard work to master. The martelo is a fast and explosive kick. The kick is made with the top of the foot, the foot kicks and comes back quickly and controlled.

Meia Lua de Compasso
   The meia lua de compasso is one of the main kicks of Capoeira and is also one of the most deadliest kicks. This is due to the fact that contact is made with the heel. The meia lua typically starts from the ginga position but can also be executed from the negativa. In order to execute the meia lua de compasso, bend your upper body inwards and down. reach down until your hips can twist no more, drop your head to keep eye contact with your opponent. Unleash the kick by taking your rear leg off the floor, the resulting power should bring you all the way back around and into the ginga position.

   The rasteira is one of Capoeiras trademark manouvers. Any player who has mastered the rasteira and is able to execute it, without thought, when being attacked, will be able to overcome the most violent of opponents. 'The Little Capoeira Book' describes the rasteira as being "The weapon of the weak against the strong, of the oppressed against the oppressor". As with all the takedowns in Capoeira, they are used when being attacked. This makes the mastering of the techniques more difficult. The capoeirista is usually attacked quickly, leaving them no time to hesitate.


   Arrastero The Arrastero is primarily used to defend against a punch or attack with a stick. It is very effective when playing with an element of surprise. When performing this move the shoulder is placed against the top of the hip whilst both hands pull from behind the knees, thus forcing the opponent to completely lose balance and fall.


   Meaning 'Cross', you can use this move when attacked by a Beno or something similar. Using a esquiva you can take down your opponent with the cruz. The cruz takes hard and constant practice to master, but once learned correctly can be used against even the best capoeira practitioners.

   Banda Usually used against the martelo or similar kick, but can be used when the opponent is not attacking, although it is rarely successful. After positioning your foot behind the opponents support leg you, usually, twist your body in order to sweep the opponents foot from the floor.

Boca de Calce
   This technique works best when applied quickly. It is often used from a cocorinha position against a spinning kick, an armada for example. The Boca de Cal? is applied to the support leg of your opponent, pulling it from under him...causing him to fall.

   The vingativa is an effective takedown from both the Ginga position and from a negativa. When executing this technique the executor places his right leg behind his opponents support leg and uses his leg and body like a vise, to take down his opponent.

Negativa Derrubande
   Negativa Derrubande The negativa is not only a way of controlling movement to the floor, it is also a very effective takedown. This form of negativa is usually used against a Beno. When the attacker begins the kick you go into negativa, placing the out stretched foot behind the support leg of the opponent. Drawing the leg back in towards you will cause the opponent to fall.

   An effective takedown if executed correctly. This technique may look simple but is in actual fact very hard to master. The attacker approaches his opponent from a distance, although the tesoura can be applied much closer. The attacker executes the takedown only when he is near. The force generated by the body makes the technique work.