What Are Some Famous Capoeira Moves?

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Capoeira is an ancient martial art form that has roots in the African slaves’ fight for freedom in Brazil. It combines acrobatics, music, and dance-like movements that confuse opponents and keep them guessing. Capoeira has become popular worldwide, and it is recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In this article, we will focus on some famous Capoeira moves and their history.


What is Capoeira, and how did it originate?

Capoeira is a martial art form that originated in Brazil during the 16th century when Portuguese colonizers brought African slaves to work on their plantations. The slaves were not allowed to practice any form of fighting or self-defense, so they developed a secret martial art form. They disguised their movements as a dance, music, and acrobatics to confuse their masters and opponents. Capoeira was used as a tool for survival and resistance against slavery. The art form gained popularity, and it evolved into what we know today.


What are the main components of Capoeira?

Capoeira has three main components; music, dance-like movements, and acrobatics. The music is played using instruments like the berimbau, atabaque, pandeiro, and reco-reco. The musicians sing in Portuguese, and the lyrics contain messages of freedom and resistance. The movements are characterized by swings, kicks, and headbutts, and they are executed in a circular flow. The acrobatic moves are flips, cartwheels, and handstands, which give the art form a vibrant and energetic style.


What are some famous Capoeira moves?

Capoeira has many famous moves, but some stand out due to their unique style and effectiveness in combat. Here are some of the most popular Capoeira moves.

a) Ginga – It is the basic movement and starting position of Capoeira. It involves a side-to-side shuffle, which is used to dodge an opponent’s attack and position oneself for a counter-attack.

b) Meia Lua de Compasso – It is a spinning hook kick that targets the opponent’s head or neck. It is a high-risk move that requires excellent balance and timing.

c) Armada – It is a spinning hook kick that targets the opponent’s torso. It is a powerful move that can knock out an opponent if executed correctly.

d) Martelo – It is a spinning back kick that targets the opponent’s thighs or stomach. It is a fast and efficient move that can catch an opponent off-guard.

e) Queda de Rins – It is a sweeping hook kick that targets the opponent’s legs. It can destabilize an opponent and set them up for a takedown or a strike.

f) Macaco – It is an acrobatic move that involves a back-flip followed by a ground roll. It is a showy move that can be used to evade an opponent’s attack and counter-attack.


How do Capoeira moves differ from other martial art forms?

Capoeira moves differ from other martial art forms in several ways. First, Capoeira emphasizes movement and evasion over direct confrontation. The circular flow of movements makes it challenging for opponents to land a punch or kick. Secondly, Capoeira includes music, dance-like movements, and acrobatics, which makes it a unique art form that is not just focused on fighting. Third, Capoeira moves are designed to be fluid and graceful, which requires a high level of body control and flexibility.


How do you practice Capoeira?

Capoeira is practiced in a roda, which is a circle formed by Capoeira players and musicians. The players take turns performing Capoeira moves inside the circle while the musicians play music. The players try to outmaneuver each other, and the objective is to display your Capoeira skills while keeping the rhythm of the music. Capoeira can also be practiced in a studio or gym, where you can learn the basic moves and techniques through a qualified instructor.


What are the benefits of practicing Capoeira?

Capoeira has many benefits, both physical and mental. It is an excellent workout that helps improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. Capoeira also improves coordination, reflexes, and balance due to the emphasis on movement and acrobatics. Capoeira is a social activity that fosters community and friendship, which is crucial for mental health. The music and history of Capoeira also provide a sense of cultural awareness and appreciation.



Capoeira is a unique martial art form that combines movement, music, and acrobatics into a fluid and graceful style. The famous Capoeira moves are a testament to the art form’s rich history and versatility. Practicing Capoeira has many benefits, both physical and mental. With the right training and dedication, anyone can learn and appreciate the art of Capoeira.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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