How to apply bandas in a fight

(Applying bandas in a fight is a part of the tactical scheme of capoeiragem, which we will show later in its entirety. Today, we will discuss the part about bandas).

Bandas are takedowns of old Capoeiragem; techniques where you used your legs against opponent's legs to take him down.

As noted in my articles, bandas were applied against opponent standing in a firm stance, both in old Capoeiragem and in Batuque. There were no bandas done against kicks, as in modern capoeira - only an amateur would let you close in with a banda while he is kicking.

Bandas themselves were used to their fullest in Batuque or Pernada, legwrestling games that specialized in them. However, seeing that bandas had a combat value, fighters who liked them brought them over to Capoeiragem, ie streetfighting. For example, most of Carioca techniques shown by Burlamaqui(1928) are bandas.

Here probably originated the later confusion that has Pernada described as a 'type of Capoeiragem'. This is because sometimes they indeed shared techniques - the bandas. However, strictly speaking, bandas were not the part of 'pure' Carioca.

Transplanting bandas from Batuque into Capoeiragem brings about a problem: How do you apply them, tactically? In Batuque, the opponent is standing still, waiting for your banda, only defending(the way bandas are defended in Batuque is a topic for another article); so you can take your time, tricking, moving closer and finally applying the banda.

In Carioca (and streetfighting) there is no such luxury; the opponent is moving around and counterattacking all the time. If you move in, he will escape backward. That means that tactically, bandas cannot be applied the same way as in Batuque.

We already know how Mestre Bimba tried to solve this problem in his Regional: Bandas were modified so that they are applied against kicks. As noted, this solution is flawed for many reasons.


The key to applying bandas in Carioca are the jabs; short quick hand techniques, applied using Seduction1 mechanics. They are quick enough (quickstart) so that you can hit even a moving opponent with them (this is the principle of jabs); and when they hit, they are designed to produce a short nerve disruption.

This nerve disruption nails the opponent in place so he cannot move for a second or so. Now that his legs are steady, you can immediately move inside and apply the appropriate banda to take him down.

Once he is on the ground, fall on him or stomp on him to finish; escape; or engage another opponent.

This is the tactical scheme for applying bandas in Carioca: Against a moving opponent, apply a jab and if it creates the nerve disruption, move in and apply a banda.

Note that:
-you apply the banda against a more or less firm stance
-the bandas are applied with your legs; so you can use your hands to guard against any counterattack attempt
-jabs are jabs /precisely/ because they produce the nerve disruption, allowing the above tactics. Jab is not just any hand technique that you hit the opponent with.
-bandas without jabs make little sense in a fight

As presented in my research, jabs of the old carioca were:
-internal slap, external slap, eye fork, elbow jab, uppercut jab


As you see, bandas could never be applied to their full potential in Regional; because Regional (and probably Bahian capoeira in general) lacked hand jabs (and no, Galopante, Asfixiante and Godeme are not jabs; they are just hand hits).


Why bandas?

Why add bandas to capoeiragem at all? As I already noted, 'pure' - high-level - capoeira does not need bandas; it can be applied with great success just using rasteiras, cabecadas and kicks. Bandas belong primarily to Batuque.

However, some people clearly liked bandas; so they brought them over to Capoeiragem and used them in fighting; thus creating a banda-centric capoeiragem. An example is Burlamaqui(1928), and maybe even Besouro Manganga.

As I wrote in my article "1000 a 1 capoeira carioca", there was never an 'official' Carioca; so anybody could alter the repertoire using his favourite techniques.
If you liked bandas, you used them in your capoeiragem.

Bandas were probably also used to cover 'holes' in one's understanding or capoeiragem skills; but that is a topic for another article.

So ultimately, it is up to you whether you want to include bandas in your capoeiragem; if you like them, go for it.
However, whether you use bandas in capoeiragem or not, you should still practice Batuque; as it is an important part of the physicality of old capoeiragem; and also great fun!





















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