Capoeira Effectiveness

Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by BlueDot, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Sure, I mention about as much. It may be a million to one shot, considering the need for an intervening, momentum building move.

    Is this not the way that capoeira is generally played/taught already--with an emphasis on misdirection, changes in direction, angles and levels in order to land the attack?

    I think the lack of grappling is due to capoeira being primarily a striking art, if we want to get into categorizations and I, personally, am okay with that. Muay Thai, Karate and many other arts have some standup grappling but are primarily striking arts. People just supplement the standup arts with some grappling training in other arts (BJJ, Judo, Sambo, Wrestling, etc.).

    So you don't think Grupo Topazio does this? They do train boxing and bjj in addition to capoeira. There are other groups that do this, too. Of the five capoeira groups that I'm aware of here in Houston, I know that one definitely has separate bjj classes for the group members (and the general public, too, I believe). Now, they don't allow bjj in their rodas and, perhaps, one could make the argument that their capoeira movements as a result may lack a preparedness for an opponent who wishes to shoot for the takedown. However, these guys would at least know what to do on the ground due to their crosstraining.

    As I said before, I think a number of groups crosstrain collectively or have indivduals that do. Admittedly, a lot of others don't, but that gets into objectives and may stray from the topic at hand.
  2. BlueDot

    BlueDot New Member

    To be fair, many martial arts have a move that is so impractical, yet would be awesome if it landed by some crazy chance.

    True, although it depends on one's play style in general. I suppose alternating between false telegraphs and not telegraphing at all would be difficult, yet effective.

    I don't really see how ground grappling could work very well with capoeira anyhow. You may as well just learn a grappling art and learn capoeira.

    I was unaware of them. To be honest, I don't know the names of many grupos.

    Welp, I'd say capoeira could certainly do with some more martial to it's art, but it's ultimately up to whoever wants to learn whatever. You could perfect a ponte into a bananeira, or you could perfect a fake martelo into a meia lua de compasso. Or both!
  3. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Well, Blue Dot, I pretty much agree with what you've said above, so I'm not sure where the thread goes from here.
  4. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    I'm gonna bump this thread by asking a couple questions here rather than making a new one. I've done a few martial arts and I've always loved cross training. In my opininon, even if you won't ever use the art, it will at least give insight as to what to avoid if ever facing a practitioner of the art as well as provide other advantages. Although I don't ever see me using Ki Aikido unless I had some sort of security job, it's definitely taught me a lot about staying grounded and relaxed, which I've in turn used in other more 'aggressive' arts.

    Anyways, there's a Capoeira school nearby that I intend on checking out and although it's not a style I think I'd ever use in self-defense (as I don't find it practical enough when all is considered). But I'm curious if anyone has found that certain Capoeira techniques transition over to other arts, like Muay Thai, without much trouble? I know it offers benefits like conditioning, increased flexibility, coordination, etc., but I'm interested in specifically utilizing certain techniques, if applicable. Also, from what I've read, there used to be some extremely deadly techniques like strikes to the throat, slaps to the ear, gouging, etc... are these practiced ever?
  5. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    I only train in capoeira angola (my life is busy enough as it is), but I would imagine that many of the kicks, sweeps, slaps, unbalancing takedowns and headbutts could be integrated, over time, with another MA.

    As for the 'deadly' strikes you mention (I've never heard them called that in all my years of capoeira practice), they are sometimes trained in line drills and occasionally mimiced in the roda (I've seen people inadvertently poked in the eyes because of someone mimicing an eye gouge/rake and losing control of their distance), but are just as often not due to the tendency, sometimes, of strikes like that increasing the amount of antagonism in a game. In short, you'll probably be taught those strikes in a passing fashion in many groups (though galopante--the slap seems to be far more common than eye pokes from what I've seen), but it isn't likely to be a major focus. Depends on the group, though.

    To be honest, I'm far more wary of the well placed headbutt or the well timed sweep than of these 'deadly' strikes you refer to--some of the falls that can happen at a roda are downright nasty and can lead to injuries (and this is among people who know what to expect).
  6. Lad_Gorg

    Lad_Gorg Valued Member

    It's always possible to infuse techniques unique to one martial art into another, but with Capoeira (mainly talking about regional) it's a bit more difficult since most techniques are taught with the ginga, removing the ginga from the equation may mean a lot of extra effort. That being said it can and has been done; also angola guys may have an easier time since they use the ginga less, and so don't require as much momentum to pull off their techniques.
    When I practiced Cap I revised all of my Cap techniques in a normal boxing/MT stance. Some techniques loaned themselves really well to the stance (generally speaking these were techniques that have a direct MT/TKD relation) while others, like meia lua de compasso, required a half ginga step before committing to the technique. Some might call that half step a "tell".

    But the obvious question is, what advantages will I realistically gain from infusing Cap techniques into a MT stance? That's hard to say since everybody's body type is different, and our reasons for training are different (SD, competition, self bettering, etc.), not to mention I don't know what your background is and so you may already know the techniques of Cap without it actually being Cap (I find a lot of similarities between certain Kung Fu techniques and Cap techniques).

    As for the deadly techniques, you could just as easily practice, or read a book about, Karate/JuJutsu/KungFu/MCMAP/KravMaga/etc. and learn about these pressure points and how to strike them. The thing about these "deadly" pressure points is that you really don't need that much practice to pull them off, also there is an inherent danger to practicing them in class (as dormindo demonstrated) and so it generally isn't given much time in class.
    But the moral of the story is that a person doesn't need to practice slapping people's ears 10 times everyday to be able to pull them off in SD, we all know how to slap and where to slap. Unless you have really bad hand eye coordination I think you're ok. :p
  7. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    The 'deadly' strikes are just some I read about online that are supposedly very old / traditional but thanks for the info!

    Well of course other arts have it and I've learne quite a few dirty things but when I see those things integrated into a certain art, I guess it gives me a little more faith within that art knowing that they have a true understanding of self-defense but of course, I can always include what I've already learne. I am, however, excited about trying some slaps after a while. Never trained them and they seem to flow pretty well with Capoeira.

    But thanks for the info as well.
  8. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Lad Gorg actually brings up a good point about considering the advantages/disadvantages to integrating capoeira techniques into your repetoire. You'll have to weigh whether or not it'll be worth it. Certainly, the conditioning and flexibility--the things you mentioned first--are things that you can gain and those can transfer to nearly any physical activity.

    If you do decide to join the class, I'd be interested in what your thoughts are about integrating techniques and the like once you've gotten a few classes under your belt.
  9. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Looks like you posted while I was typing, so...

    Yes, there are a number of nasty things that are in the art but, since present day capoeira performance is more centered on the roda and other performative aspects, those things don't get practiced much in my experience (except sometimes for advanced students), because they are difficult to do without risking harm to the other person. The dangerous stuff in capoeira also encompasses more than eye gouges, slaps and strikes to the throat, too.

    I actually don't find the eye gouge and strikes to the throat very dangerous at all in capoeira--a highly mobile, striking art--as they are not that easy to pull off on an equally skilled or more advanced player. I suppose if there were grappling in capoeira, those things might strike me as dangerous as a tactic that can be used on a person upon whom you've managed to attain positional dominance.

    I'll reiterate that I find the sweeps and the headbutts the most dangerous techniques in capoeira (outside of anything involving a razor ;)). They are more high percentage than the strikes you'd mentioned and can be quite damaging if landed properly.

    I'm interested since you mentioned the flow: are you interested in the mobile aspects of capoeira? The ginga? If so, do you plan to integrate that as well?
  10. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    Well I was thinking more of using the 'deadlier' techniques (in a safe manner, of course) in sparring and possibly integrating it in some self-defense training, not necessarily against other Capoeira practitioners.

    And I am extremely interested in the mobile / acrobatic aspects of capoeira and incorporating that into my training. And as far as the ginga, once I got comfortable with it, I imagine that's something I'd do off and on, but not necessarily through the entirety of training like in full on capoeira. But I'd love to throw it in the mix to confuse my opponents as well as gain momentum, etc.
  11. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    Oh, and I forgot to ask. Are weapons a big part of Capoeira and if so, is that something that is dependent on the trainer or is it rather common?

    Also, I know there is a little groundwork such as takedowns and such but is there much follow up? In other words, does Capoeira have any other groundwork other than takedowns?
  12. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    No. As far as I know, no one is teaching about the razors, clubs and myriad other weapons that members of the old maltas in 19th century Rio were known to use.

    No. There are lots of takedowns in capoeira, but no groundwork. The person taking you down is looking to then disengage (perhaps working in another shot as they do so). However, there are a lot groups that incorporate BJJ into their training (regional/contemporanea groups--I know of no angola groups that do this at the moment).
  13. Lad_Gorg

    Lad_Gorg Valued Member

    I'll tag out of this convo for now since dormindo is the premiere Capoeira guy on this forum. But the bolded section is something that I found really helpful when I was still training in Capoeira. Cap will really boost your dynamic flexibility which really helps you become more agile, and I can't even begin to stress the importance of agility in the MA's. Cap really helped in this area more so than any other practice that I've tried so far. Not to mention Capoeira (and being in the Roda) is hella fun!
    For the record I dis-continued Cap since it didn't really align with my idea of what I wanted out of the martial arts (but that's been covered here already :p).
  14. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    Razors sound fun... really fun. I've always preferred tradition so hopefully the club I'm gonna try out is a bit more traditional and more on the martial side. I'll be sure to post my experience here. Thanks for the clarification, dormindo and gorg.
  15. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    What style/school of capoeira is it?

    I have to agree with Lad really will help with overall flexibility, agility etc etc. One reason why I started to do capoeira is to help my back problems and other problems I have due to flexibility and a weak core. It's really helped at a fraction of the price of a physio and a lot more fun.

    Have fun with it and let us know how you get on!
  16. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    No need to tag out, Lad, as you brought up a couple of points that I hadn't thought about.

    The other thing is, as much time as I have in capoeira, my perspective is largely limited to angola (though I've been around regional/contemporanea the whole time) and I'm somone who has only ever trained capoeira (unlike even many of my fellow group members), so the perspective of those who have sought to integrate it with other arts is something I'm lacking.

    Razors sure don't sound fun to me. They don't forgive, that's for certain. :eek: In a number of games in angola circles, people will use their hands or some other prop to mimic cutting someone with a razor in a gallows humor sort of way--it does bring home the reality of spatial awareness and vulnerability to weapons in a toned down way. I've also heard a time or two from my elders in the capoeira community that one should play as though facing a razor or some such weapon, meaning, I supposed, that one should strike decisively and evasively and be fairly mobile and aware. I usually try to keep this in mind, but I certainly don't think myself able to glide away from the razor's edge at will. That's for film, legend and lucky circumstances, I think.

    I'm not sure how many capoeiristas or any MAist want to face a razor directly--I'm guessing none.
  17. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Oh, and do keep us updated, Anarch!
  18. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    This is their website, but I can't find what style it is. Any idea?

    And those things all sound good to me. I'll be sure to let ya'll know how it goes.
  19. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    Haha, I'd never want to face a razor but it'd definitely add on to the intensity. :p I do enjoy seeing arts include weaponry though, especially when, like you said, it serves as a purpose to teach better awareness and practice with a little more realism... although real reazors would probably end up being a little counter-productive.
  20. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Looks like a contemporanea group to me--batizados are the dead giveaway. Angola groups don't give batizados, though they do have graduation ceremonies. I don't know who the Marcos China is that one of the mestres on that site trained with, but if it is the Mestre China I'm thinking of, then they may have some exposure to angola as well (though many contemporanea groups that teach angola teach something often quite different from what one would get at a group that was exclusively angola). Looks like the focus will capoeira contemporanea though, from what I can see.

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