Au com role (Au baloon)

As noted in my articles, proper Au(cartwheel) in Bahian capoeira was done using LightLegs. This made it impervious to kicking attacks; so it had to be attacked with a cabeçada (see my article Kicking the Au).

So, in old Bahian capoeira, what should you do when you did a (LightLegs) Au and the opponent tried to take you down with a cabeçada (Rooster+Seduction1)?

This is documented in Bimba's sequences: You turned your Au into 'Au com Role' to escape the cabeçada. This makes your body twist and arch, so you land on in a squat on one leg and then continue with a role.


However, this is not all. How exactly is Au com role supposed to defend the cabeçada?

With modern Au com Role, it does not make much sense. Yes, you twist a bit in the air, so you do not get the full force of opponent's cabeçada; but you certainly not evade it altogether; you still get hit with opponent's head in your stomach.

So how was Au com role supposed to work?


Again, the answer is high level body mechanics. There are two ways you can do it:

1)Use LightSkills(Nemer+LightLegs) to turn into Au com Role; as you inhale. The inhalation is the key; it makes your body inflate.

Done properly, this will bounce opponent's cabecada away as it hits your stomach; creating a nerve disruption in the opponent, making him twist around.

2)Use Dom Eagle to turn into Au com Role; again, as you inhale.

This will inflate your body and create a disgust emitter; making the opponent cabecada again bounce away from you; making the opponent spin around (with disgust) even more.


This switch into LightLegs/Dom Eagle is not easy and is the core of the exchange. (Compare it with MLDC com Role).


We call the proper form of Au com Role 'Au baloon' because of the inflation effect.


This maneuver - LightLegs Au countering cabeçada with 'baloon' - was one of the classic 'call-and-response' patterns of old Bahian capoeira.

(You course, you could also apply Au com leque; but this another story).




So this is the real purpose of Au com role, or Au baloon, as we call it: Done properly, it will applies a nerve disruptor or disgust emitter to the opponent who attacks with a cabeçada and will bounce him away. (I stress that this is caused by the proper archetype together with the inhalation)

This was the real defence against the opponent trying to topple your Au with a cabeçada: It will make him bounce away as if hitting an over-inflated baloon!

Of course, this possibility makes the opponent think twice before attacking your Au. In some of the old videos, you can see that some capoeiristas execute Au always with the Role; thus making it practically unassailable.

Now tell me, was not the old Bahian capoeira magical?

This incredible sophistication of old Bahian Capoeira is of course lost today; people do not do LightLegs Aus, cabeçadas, or nerve confusers. But they sure do a lot of flips. It is sad, really.


Note: The baloon effect only works when the opponent's cabeçada hits your stomach.

Therefore, while the same technique can be done standing(provided you do the archetypes right); it only works if the cabeçada is aimed at your stomach, which no real Bahian cabeçada should be (read my articles).

So while this is a nice trick, it remains something you do only while in Au.



This is the main distinction between Carioca and old Bahian capoeira: Carioca was mostly a combat art, while Bahiana was primarily a game.
That means that in Bahiana, the center of the capoeira is a call-and-response pattern:

You make the call by executing an attack; while the opponent must apply some special skill to answer that attack.

For example, you kick; the opponent must evade.
He sweeps your standing leg with a rasteira; you must use LightLegs Au to escape it.
You attack his Au with a cabeçada; he must use Dom Eagle Role to escape the headbutt.

You invite him to Chamada de balao and throw him in a Balao; he must use LightLegs to escape the Balao (see my articles on Bimba's Cintura desprezada and Angola Baloes).
The same goes for high-level techniques such as Chamadas. Etc.

The whole Bahian capoeira works like this; for every attack, there exists an escape as response to it. It might be hard to execute, but it is there.
Even Mestre Bimba in his Regional kept this pattern; it can be seen in his sequences, for example.

Only if you take this into account do some old Bahian techniques - such as Leque or Au com leque - make sense: You execute an Au, daring the opponent to attack you with a cabeçada; and when he does it, you already a counter prepared: Leque from Au; so you twist his head and throw him down. And you won!

Contrast this approach with Carioca that was never a game; so most of the attacks simply do not have a defence. Once you are caught, it is over.


















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