Cabeçada to the face

How not to do it

You might have noticed that neither in our techniques list, nor in the Bahian cabeçadas article is there a free cabeçada to the face (solta).

Why is that?

That is because cabeçada solta to the face - done using Tiger mechanics, top of your head to his nose, without clinching - is too risky.

Some people show it; but without clinching, the cabeçada is too easy for the opponent to evade (by simply turning his face to the side) and entangle you with his arms - transforming the fight into a wrestling one. Also, it is very easy to get a knee to the groin in this position.

(Compare it with the cabeçadas to the chin that throw the opponent to the ground and are very hard to evade).

- Nemer cabeçada to the face, shown by Mestre Deputado and probably taught/used to some extent by Mestre Bimba, has the same problem (and in fact has the same archetype - Tiger - underneath).

- You can also try to hit his nose with your forehead from extremely close distance with a snap of the head(Tiger). Again, without clinching, this is very easy to get wrong (and get a knee to the groin).

- Some people show Rising Rooster(+Seduction1) cabeçada to the face; this is completely invalid, as this cabeçada has a wrong mechanics for face (and chin) hits. Do not use this cabeçada for these targets; this is a cabeçada for solar plexus hit (see my article on Bahian cabeçadas).


So how do you strike opponent's face(nose) with a cabeçada? There are two ways.


1)Double ear-clinch Tiger cabeçada

First is using a clinch that will keep his head steady, so he cannot evade or grapple you (too much).

The easiest clinch is to grab his ears with both hands and ram the top of your head into his nose (Tiger).

The moment you strike his nose, it will lock opponent's arms to the sides, so he cannot grab you back.

(This technique was probably called 'Caveira no espelho' - Skull in the mirror - in Carioca, because it looks like that (Plácido de Abreu,1886)).


2)Sideways swing Eagle cabeçada

The second way is to strike sideways with the side of your head (Eagle) into his nose. This is the proper face-striking free cabeçada.

It also requires you to be close; but even if the opponent evades with his head and you strike just the side of his face, it has the same effect of locking his arms to the side, so he cannot grab you.

(This technique was probably called 'Topete a cheirar' - Give your forelocks to be smelled - in Carioca, because it looks like that (Plácido de Abreu,1886)).


For the context of capoeiragem, this is sufficient. There are several other clinch headbutts to the face; I recommend my book on Shisochin kata, where I list all the headbutts I know.

And I repeat: Do not use the other cabeçadas to the face; they are dangerous

Also note that these cabeçadas wil probably break opponent's nose; so exercise caution when using them.




















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