Bahian capoeira cabeçadas (Rooster+Seduction1)

In old Bahian capoeira, a special type of cabeçada was used; done using Rooster+Seduction1 mechanics.

(Note that it is possible to execute the cabecada without the Seduction1 modificator(ie Rooster mechanics only); but then it is useless. You have to add the Seduction1 modificator.)

There are three types of this cabeçada; all use Rooster+Seduction1 mechanics and all flow naturally from Bahian ginga.

1)Rising Bahian cabeçada

This cabeçada (Rooster+Seduction1) rises obliquely upward and it hits opponent's solar plexus. It has two uses:

In capoeira game, the primary purpose of this cabeçada was to uproot kicks; throw a lifting Rooster+Seduction1 cabeçada somewhat slowly into opponent's torso as he kicks to throw him. The kicks must be done using LightLegs for this to work! This is another proof that original Bahian capoeira used LightLegs kicks.

When you throw this cabeçada against a LightLegs kick, the opponent is thrown down.

(Rising Bahian cabeçada in the 50's, countered with a knee. Note how he uses his crossed arms to protect the head.)


The second use is in a combat; you throw the Rising cabeçada full power to his solar plexus and apply a shout(a high-energy point: "Haaa!"); the effect is an organ crusher; this can injure or even kill the opponent.

Note: This is not a joke! In the book 'Capoeira sem mestre', it is written that people have died from this cabeçada. Of course, I never joke when I warn you against injury; but here, I wanted to stress it as many people seem to regard cabeçadas as a joke techniques.

(Rising Bahian cabeçada thrown by Mestre Bimba. Note he has his arm spread which is more natural to do from his Nemer cocorinha.)



Tactically, this cabeçada is used as a counter; when the opponent punches or kicks, you squat underneath it and then counterattack with a rising cabeçada into his solar plexus.

From the photos of Bimba, it was evidently a favourite of his; done from Nemer Cocorinha (see my article on Bimba's style of fighting).


2)Straight Bahian cabeçada - Breath sealer cabeçada("Arpao de cabeça")

This headbutt goes in a straight line: You squat a bit and do the Rooster+Seduction1 cabeçada in a straight line into opponent's chest, and apply a shout(this is a high-energy point: "Haaa!"), the effect is a breath sealer (6 seconds).

The same technique can be applied into the center of opponent's back; again, this is a breath sealer(8second).

Note that this cabeçada is done using the forehead, not the top of head as Tiger cabeçadas.


I believe this is what Bimba launched when the Creole turned his back to him('Os negros lutam suas lutas misteriosas;Bimba é o grande rei negro do misterioso rito africano' by Ramagem Badaró(1944)); and also what he had in mind when he designed the sequence no.5, and called "Arpao de cabeça" (Harpoon of head)


Tactically, this cabeçada is used as a counter against front grab - either double chest grab or arm grab. When the opponent grabs you, equip Rooster+Seduction1 and squat just a bit; this applies a nerve disruptor through his hold that breaks it. Then attack in a straight line into the center of his chest.

Done with the vocalization, it seals opponent's breath.


However, it had one another tactical use! As it is the only cabeçada that works against opponent's back, it is used when the opponent turns his back to you. (See my article on 5th sequence).


Additionally, this cabeçada is used against Au in Bahian capoeira - aim at his dantien (belt) with a lifting impulse (Seduction1) to uproot the opponent and throw him down. See my article on 'Kicking the Au'.


Bimba also used this cabeçada in conjunction with a hand block against kick - you block the kick to the outside with one hand and strike opponent's chest. However, this one only works against non-LightLegs kicks (see my article on blocking LightLegs kicks)


3)Pastinhas arm-spread takedown cabeçada("Pastinha's cabeçada")

This is a special type of Rooster+Seduction1 cabeçada; put your hands in front of your face, then spread them up and down, pressing opponent's chest and hips with your respective palms as you throw a straight cabeçada into his stomach. This throws him on the floor.

The principle is that by pressing opponent's chest and hips with your hands, you prevent him from evading the force of the cabeçada either high or low.


This cabeçada was probably a favourite one of  Mestre Pastinha; he does it both in this Blackbelt article:


(Pastinha in Blackbelt article (1964) doing his patented arm-spread cabeçada)

and in the video:



Tactically, this cabeçada is used as a counter; when the opponent punches or kicks, you squat underneath it and then counterattack with armspread cabeçada to take him down.


Excursus - bad cabeçadas:

There are cabeçadas done in (todays) Bahian capoeira that are wrong; and you should not do them. Notable examples are:

 1)Curved Tiger takedown cabeçada

There is another cabeçada used in Angola; using Tiger archetype,bend over and throw a curved strike with the back of your head into opponent's torso, uprooting him.

Do not use this cabeçada, as it has bad mechanics - it does not lock opponent's arms to the sides like the proper cabeçada, so he can gouge you, grab you, use a weapon etc.

 2)Rooster to the face and chin

Some people try to apply the Rising Bahian cabeçada (Rooster+Seduction1) to the face or chin of the opponent. This is wrong; it has wrong mechanics and the damage goes to your own neck (cervical spine). Morever, it also does not lock opponent's arms, so he can gouge your face.

Bahian cabeçadas were never meant to hit chin or face; use Tiger ones for that! See also my article on cabeçadas to the face.




















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