Types Of Kicks In Capoeira

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Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art form that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music, is renowned for its dynamic and fluid movements. One of the most captivating aspects of Capoeira is the impressive array of kicks employed by its practitioners. In this article, we delve into the world of Capoeira kicks, uncovering their unique characteristics, significance, and variations. From basic strikes to advanced acrobatic maneuvers, we’ll explore the different types of kicks in Capoeira, shedding light on the richness and diversity of this mesmerizing martial art form.


What is Capoeira?

Capoeira traces its origins to the African slaves who were brought to Brazil during the colonial era. It evolved as a means of self-defense, disguised as a dance, to evade detection by slave owners. Over time, it has transformed into a respected martial art form and cultural expression, blending martial prowess with rhythmic music and acrobatics.


Why are kicks significant in Capoeira?

Kicks are an essential element of Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that blends dance, acrobatics, and music. In Capoeira, kicks hold immense significance, serving as both offensive techniques and strategic tools. They are instrumental in striking opponents, creating openings, and maintaining distance. Capoeira kicks are characterized by their fluidity, speed, and acrobatic nature, making them visually impressive and effective in combat. Beyond their practicality, kicks play a vital role in the strategic aspect of Capoeira, allowing practitioners to confuse opponents, set up combinations, and seize opportunities for escape or counter-attacks.

Furthermore, kicks in Capoeira provide a means of self-expression and individual style, allowing capoeiristas to showcase their agility, creativity, and personal interpretation of the art. The integration of kicks with the rhythmic music of Capoeira further enhances their significance, as they harmonize with the beat and melodies, creating a seamless fusion of movement, music, and community interaction. Lastly, kicks in Capoeira carry cultural significance, paying homage to the art’s historical roots in the African slave communities of Brazil. They embody the acrobatic movements and fighting techniques developed by African slaves, serving as a testament to their resilience, cultural heritage, and contributions to Brazilian society. Through their multifaceted role, kicks in Capoeira contribute to its captivating nature as a martial art, dance form, and cultural phenomenon.


What are the basic kicks in Capoeira?

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It is known for its fluid and rhythmic movements, and kicks play a significant role in its repertoire. Here are some of the basic kicks commonly used in Capoeira:

  1. Meia Lua de Frente (Half Moon from the Front): This kick involves a semi-circular motion where the leg is extended horizontally from the front in a sweeping motion.
  2. Martelo (Hammer): The Martelo kick is executed by swinging the leg in an arc, aiming to strike with the heel. It can be performed with either leg.
  3. Queixada (Axe Kick): This kick involves a diagonal downward swing of the leg, aiming to strike with the heel or the lower shin. It is typically performed with the rear leg.
  4. Armada (Scything Kick): The Armada kick is characterized by a spinning motion. The leg swings upward and then comes down in a circular or scything motion, aiming to strike with the instep or the heel.
  5. Benção (Blessing Kick): The Benção kick is executed by thrusting the leg forward in a straight line, aiming to strike with the instep or the ball of the foot.
  6. Martelo de Negativa (Low Hammer): Similar to the Martelo, this kick is performed with a swinging motion, but it is aimed at the opponent’s lower body or legs.
  7. Chapa (Toe Kick): The Chapa kick involves a quick thrusting motion where the foot is extended forward, aiming to strike with the ball of the foot.
  8. Pisão (Stomp Kick): This kick is a forceful stomp executed with the foot or heel, typically targeting the opponent’s lower body or ground.


What are the acrobatic kicks in Capoeira?

a. Aú: A cartwheel kick, where the practitioner launches into a handstand and transitions into a cartwheel while executing a kick.

b. Macaco: A backflip kick, where the practitioner propels backward into a flip while extending a kick during mid-air.

c. Queda de Rins: A combination of a handstand and a spinning kick, where the practitioner balances on their hands while rotating the body.


How can one master Capoeira kicks?

Mastering Capoeira kicks requires practice, flexibility, and body control. Here are a few tips:

a. Consistent training: Regular practice and repetition of kicks are essential to refine technique and build muscle memory.

b. Flexibility exercises: Incorporate stretching routines to improve flexibility, enabling higher kicks and fluid movements.

c. Core strength: Developing a strong core enhances stability, balance, and control during kicks.



Capoeira’s captivating kicks form the backbone of this vibrant martial art form. From the fundamental strikes to the acrobatic feats, each kick in Capoeira adds depth and beauty to the practice. By understanding the different types of kicks and their unique characteristics, practitioners can elevate their skills and embody the essence of this centuries-old Afro-Brazilian tradition. So, lace up your boots, immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of Capoeira, and let the kicks guide you on a thrilling journey of self-expression and mastery.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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