CAPOEIRA MOVES! (a few)

Here are some Capoeira moves with short descriptions.
This is not every Capoeira move, mind you, as there are infinite movements and only so many names to go with them. And there are some really wicked kicks I don't know the names to. Besides, according to the region or teacher, different Capoeira movements can have the same name, different name, or several names at once.

IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT USE THIS PAGE TO TRY TO TEACH YOURSELF CAPOEIRA! TRYING TO LEARN CAPOEIRA OFF OF THE WEB WON'T GET YOU ANYWHERE. THIS PAGE IS JUST SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT THE MOVEMENTS ARE LIKE AND TO GIVE OTHER CAPOEIRISTAS IDEAS AS WELL. DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOU CAN LEARN CAPOEIRA FROM THIS PAGE. IF YOU'RE REALLY INTERESTED, THEN DO IT RIGHT AND GET A MESTRE! BESIDES, CAPOEIRA ISN'T JUST ABOUT LEARNING THE MOVES. READ MY FAQ.

Capoeira Moves:
-Ginga: The standard movement from which all Capoeira moves are performed. (See Capoeira Corner for an animation)
-Queda de Rins: A stance positioning your legs over your body, elbows and head supporting the weight

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-Queda de Tres: Angola position with both hands on the ground, one leg straight. This position is used to land into to escape a banda or other attack and go into an evasive move.

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-Queda de Quatro: Angola Position with legs straight in front on the ground and weight on your hands. You use this to escape or back away from an opponent. It's also a position you fall back onto to escape takedowns like the queda de tres

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-Esquiva Baixa: A low dodge with one leg back, one hand blocking your head and one supporting your weight.
-Esquiva Lateral: Like Esquiva Baixa but to the side, and one arm is overhead

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-Cocorinha: A crouching position.
-Ponte: Backbend or low backbend (arms and legs bent but back isn't touching the ground)
-Resistencia: Like cocorinha, but one leg can be forward, you lean back as you escape. You use reistencia to go to a low ponte, rol or rasteira to the side.
-Entrada: A sidestep dodge, also a step forward. The entrada step is also what leads into spinning moves like the Armada, Mei Lua de Compasso, and Meia Lua Solta
-Balano: An evasive maneuver to the side with legs spread, you use the momentum to bounce back into other moves.
-Rol: A way of moving low to the ground, legs sweeping short in front of you.

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-Escala: Defensive move where you fall back onto one leg. From here usually you spring forward to attack, a sweep or Chapeu de Couro

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-Reverse Planche (left) and Manna (right): These strength holds are sometimes seen in the roda by very strong capoeiristas. Just thought I'd throw them in.

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-Vingativa: A counter that uses your weight and leverage to topple an opponent.
-Cruz: A counter that uproots the opponent.
-Boca de Calca: A simple takedown where you grab the opponent's ankles and yank.
-Arrasto: Takedown where you move in close, shoulder to the opponent's chest, grab their thighs and heave their skull to the ground.
-Acoite de Braco: A body slam or throw or takedown. Grab one arm, put your other arm between his legs, heave him up onto and over your shoulders and plunk him on the ground.
-Cintura Desprezada: A series of 4 acrobatic partner exercises developed by Mestre Bimba to teach students how to land on their feet. This training helped students learn moves like backflips, forward flips & au sem mao. I don't know what these are and I've never done them before, so don't bother asking.
-Arpo: Spinning handslaps.
-Giro: To spin on your heels, like faking a kick
-Asfixiante: Forward punch.
-Godeme: A backhand elbow, backhand or overhead strike.
-Galopante: A swinging palm strike.
-Cutelo: Any hit with the outer edge of your stiff hand, like a chop
-Dedeira: Eye gouge
-Telefone: Smacking both sides of the head with your hands
-Cutevelada: Any elbow strike.

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-Banda: A standing sweep, used to place the foot for one of the following takedowns

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-Banda de Costa: Takedown where you move in, put one leg behind his and push him over.
-Banda por Dentro: Takedown where you sweep the inside leg rather than the outer leg.
-A: A cartwheel. There are many variations, i.e. legs tucked, a into hand/headstand, one-handed, legs together, etc.
-A Agulha: A cartwheel, but in the middle you hop off your hands into the landing.
-A Leg Switch: A cartwheel but the legs switch position midway through and you land on the opposite foot.

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-A Cortado, aka Slanted A: A cartwheel slanted with the legs coming down over head rather than sideways.

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-A Queda de Rins: A really low, over-slanted cartwheel with the legs traveling more around than over.

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-A Esquisito: An inverted cartwheel with your legs bent behind you

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-A Giratria: A spinning cartwheel/handspin.

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-Handspin: A spin only on one hand. Can be started several ways; from a sweep, from a handstand, or from a rotating step-in like the A Giratria.

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-Biriba: A variation on the A Giratria, but ends like a walkover.

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-Handstand Twist (aka A Cortado): A falling kick from a handstand or cartwheel, normally used to transition to role

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-A Twist: Midway through the a you do a half rotation and switch sides.

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-A Batido: An overhead kick, hand-plant on the ground.

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-Elbow A Batido: Same kick on your elbow or forearm.

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-A Batido Switch: An A Batido but you switch hands after the first and do a reverse one. Also can do it to a slanted a

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-Dual A Batido: An A Batido that brings both legs together.

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-A Batido Macaco: An A Batido starting from a Macaco position.

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-A Batido Giratoria: An Au Batido done after starting Au Giratoria

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-A Chibata: A low rolling twist kick. Can be done low to the ground (top) or with the leg higher overhead (bottom)

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-Aerial A Chibata: Same kick but without hands. Difficult to land.

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-A Sem Mo: A cartwheel with no hands, aka Aerial. The Capoeira aerial doesn't need legs to be perfectly vertical, but the torso should be so you can see your opponent. If your torso is horizontal it's a butterfly kick. Eddy Gordo's animation shown below. Also see Chimp Flip!

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-A Sem Mo Walkover: An A Sem Mo that twists slightly during flight so the legs come down overhead rather than sideways. Also can be done as a straight forward walkover (below), which is much more difficult.

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-A Sem Mo Switch: You switch landing legs in midair.

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-A Confusado: An A Sem Mo, only the legs are balled up after takeoff. Good example is how Mestre Amen did them in only the Strong.

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-Negativa: A crouching stance with one leg forward, one hand on the ground and the other protecting your head. It looks like a troca, only stationary.

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-Negativa Angola: A takedown with your back leg that pulls the opponents standing leg away.

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-Negativa Tesoura: After hooking the leg with Negativa Angola, then use the other leg to Tesoura the opponent's legs
-Meia Lua de Frente: An inside circular kick.

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-Meia Lua de Compasso: A spinning heel kick with one or both hands on the ground. Below shows one hand, and two hands. After you come up your arm should be guarding your face

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-Meia Lua Queda de Rins: Same Meia Lua start but you fall onto your elbow like Queda de Rins

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-Meia Lua Solta: (aka Chibata) A Meia Lua de Compasso with no hands, a spinning heel kick. Leg stays straight throughout.

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-Meia Lua Reverso: A Meia Lua de Compasso that follows completely through, using the standing leg as an extra kick. Can also be done vertically, so it's like meia lua to a forward walkover. Eddy Gordo's animation shown below

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-Meia Lua Pulada: A meia lua de compasso with both legs off the ground, either top leg (above) or both legs (below) straight.

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-S-dobrado: A sweeping leg motion that can lead into any number of different kicks. Usually its used to go into a macaco, as shown in the top illustration. Also shown below are s-dobrado into a batido, a giratoria and headspin.

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-Macaco: A hand-plant backspring. (See Chimp Flip!) Eddy Gordo's animation shown below

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-One-Hand Macaco: A Macaco with only one hand

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-Macaco Reverse: Twist during a macaco and land facing the opposite direction.

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-Macaco Lateral (aka Xango): A back handspring. (See Chimp Flip!)

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-Macaco A/Macaco em Pe: A Macaco done like a cartwheel standing up. Can be done continuously. (See Capoeira Corner for an animation) Eddy Gordo's animation also shown below

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-Macaco A Switch: Macaco A that switches in the middle so you step out like a forward walkover

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-One-Leg Macaco Lateral: Done like Fola Secca, with the same leg kicking off and landing.

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-Armada: A spinning outside crescent kick.

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-Double Armada: 2 Armadas done in a row without the kicking leg touching the ground

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-Armada Baixa: You stop the armada when it gets in front and drop down to a low beno position

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-Armada Pulada: A jumping armada.

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-Armada Dupla (aka Parafuso Dupla, Envergado): A high round kick with both legs together. For an explanation, see Chimp Flip! Eddy Gordo's animation shown below

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-Armada Dupla Flip: Instead of going around, go backwards and over.

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-Armada Dupla Split Flip: Same as above but split legs in midair.

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-Beno: A stamp kick. Can also be done from a Queda de Quatro or Queda de Tres, shown below

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-Beno Pulada: A lunging stamp kick.
-Queixada: An outside crescent kick, done after a dodge/escape (entrada)

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-Queixada de Frente: Outside crescent kick done without an escape or entrada

-Martelo: A high snap kick, aka roundhouse.

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-Martelo Rotado: a 360 roundhouse, you whip the leg and turn completely around.

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-Jumping Martelo Rotado: Done like a Parafuso, only the first leg to come up stays bent. Can also be done by landing on the kicking foot

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-Martelo do Chao: A Martelo done from a role

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-Ponteira: A high front kick. Easiest kick there is.

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-Gancho: Hook kick

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-Chapa: (aka Escoro, Piso, Cruzado) A side kick.

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-Chapa Baixa: A low side kick to the knee.

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-Chapa Giratoria: A standing or jumping spin side kick. Sometimes confused with Meia Lua Solta because they kind of look the same, but the difference is that Chapa Giratoria has the kicking leg bent, then pushes out during the follow through. Meia Lua Solta just keeps the leg straight all the way. Eddy Gordo's jumping Chapa Giratoria animation shown below

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-Chapa de Costas: A mule kick, done with one leg or two. Normally used in Angola

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-Suicdio: A high kick that brings both legs up, aka forward toe-touch. Eddy Gordo's animation shown below

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-Joelhada: A knee.

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-Tesoura Angola: Can be done from Queda de Rins. Legs spread and sliding back towards the opponent. Normal move to evade is an Au, a more daring way is to slide through the legs of the oncoming player. You can stick your heel in his/her face (calcanheira) as you're sliding through

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-Escorpio: (aka Calcanheira) A low scorpion kick, when very low to the ground you kick up your heel to fend off an attack. A variation is standing on both hands (below). The high version you can kick with both legs

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-Tesoura: Leg scissors, a takedown done from the side
-Tesoura de Frente: Leg scissors that are done while facing your opponent, you wrap your legs around his lead leg and take him down
-Tesoura de Costas: Leg scissors done by placing a leg behind the opponent first, i.e. starting a meia lua but turning over to trap the opponent
-Cabeada: A headbutt. Fun! Normally used to knock someone over from a meia lua or bananeira or can be used like vingativa.

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-Arpo de Cabea: A more vicious cabeada that thrusts forward at the opponent, directly at the chest or head
-Gafanhoto: A meia lua de frente but your kicking leg doesn't touch the ground. From here you put one hand back then go into macaco or macaco a.

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-Chapu de Couro: A counterattack. The rasteira sweeps in as a fake and the martelod do chao kicks around and high. You move forward if done properly

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-Rasteira: A low forward sweep/takedown. Not like other sweeps when you just swing the leg. In rasteira you sweep to place your foot behind your opponent's and you pull it away

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-Rasteira em pe: A short rasteira done from standing without putting hands on the ground
-Rasteira de Costas: Backward sweep with leg straight, sweeping across the ground (both hands should be on the ground)

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-Troca: A position used to switch legs, in Negativa. Both knees are together, one leg out and you put your weight on one hand while switching legs

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-Corta Capim: Done by sweeping the kicking leg underneath your body and around. Very Kung Fu, also a breakdancing move

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-Ground Walkover: From a squat position, knees together, go straight over backwards and walk over your legs, keeping your body low to the ground

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-Sideways Walkover: Same as above, but instead of going overhead you go around sideways on one elbow. Kinda like Queda de Rins

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-Pio de Cabea: A no-hands headspin. (See Capoeira Corner for an animation)

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-Relogio: A backward sweep on one hand, also an evasive maneuver to a low backbend.

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-Coice de Mula: A spinning kick up. Kick up with a turn so you land facing the opposite way.

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-Rabo de Arraia: Forward handspring. This name covers many moves, also known for meia lua de compasso and escorpiao

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-Compasso: Forward handspring on one hand, only switching hands and landing with one leg straight

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-Mortal de Frente: A forward flip (See Chimp Flip 2!)

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-Mortal Americano: Forward flip done from a side flip or back flip start

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-Side Flip: A side flip is done launching off of both feet and landing on both feet, not taking off kicking one leg in the air first

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-Mortal: A backflip. (or Mortal Salto. See Chimp Flip!) Eddy Gordo's animation shown below

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-Folha Secca: (aka gainer) Backflip done with one-leg, i.e. taking a few steps, just standing or a half spin then kicking one leg completely over. Can land on both feet but it's not as impressive

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-Folha Secca Twist: Like Folha Secca but you kick up at an angle to land sideways

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-Folha Secca Switch: Start Folha Secca, but midway switch legs and land on the opposite foot

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-Folha Secca Flail: Kick out your legs two or three times while in midair. You need crazy air to do this.

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-Folha Secca Full Twist: After the kick up, do a full twisting backflip.

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-Parafuso (aka Martelo Cruzado): A very high double spin kick, basically an armada followed by martelo in midair. A variation on the better known Hurricane or Tornado kick. Explanation on Chimp Flip 2!

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-One-Leg Parafuso: aka 540. A variant, it's a Parafuso that has you land on the kicking leg only.

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-Reverse 540: Cool Capoeira kick I don't know the name to. it's like a Parafuso with and extra half rotation. You can kick out the last leg only (top) or keep the first leg straight so it's like an armada and meia lua sota (bottom)

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-Vo do Morego: A jumping dual side kick. But NOT a drop kick.

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-Raiz: Like a Parafuso but the torso is parallel or lower to the ground. You can also think of it like a half twist of a Mariposa

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-Sideswipe: A half twist, only you land on the second leg or both together. Also a Tae Kwan Do kick.

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-Mariposa: A 360 degree sideways spin. Aka butterfly twist. For another illustration and explanation, see Chimp Flip 2!

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-540 Mariposa (or Folha Secca start): Same as Mariposa, but the kick start is upward like Folha Secca rather than sideways so you get an extra half rotation. See Chimp Flip 2!

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-Vertical Mariposa: A Mariposa, only done upright and kicking out hard with the right leg. It's almost like a weird 540. It's like the Mariposa in that you take off and land the same way, except the body is upright.

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