Do not Rasteira a Bençao!

If you have studied my materials, you probably understand by now that Rasteira (low Bahian rasteira, for the purpose of this article) was a very important technique in old Bahian capoeiragem.

Rasteira was one of the basic 'answers' of the game. When the opponent 'challenged' you with a kick, you 'answered' the challenge by evading and using Rasteira on his standing leg. This was a 're-challenge' on your part; which the opponent was supposed to 'answer' by escaping with an Au. Etc., see my other articles.


It is a sad fact that today, 99% of capoeristas are unable to escape Rasteira applied against their kick with an Au. This renders that classic exchange useless. (And that also applies to you, my dear reader: If you cannot escape Rasteira used against your Armada with an Au, you are a poor capoeirista, by the standards of old Bahian capoeira).

From that, it follows that any game where Rasteira is used today is a short game indeed: One capoeirista kicks, the other sweeps him down with a rasteira - and that is it. This is one of the sure signs of degeneration of contemporary capoeira - the dialogue, the game of challenge, answer and re-challenge is completely lost.

It also means that Rasteira is today considered a very un-friendly technique; one that is rarely used unless you want to 'teach the opponent a lesson'. (This is utter nonsense in the optics of old Bahian capoeira - Rasteira is a friendly challenge that allows the opponent to demonstrate his command of capoeiragem, not some arrogant game-ender).


When Rasteira IS used in contemporary capoeira, it is used indiscriminately, against any kicks, circular or straight.

This, however, is a mistake. You can see in Bimba's Nemer system that Rasteira was used from (Nemer) Cocorinha; and Cocorinha is only used to evade circular kicks.
If you used Cocorinha against Bençao, you would get kicked.

And similar, only worse, thing would happen if you used straight-up Rasteira against Bençao. If the opponent used LightLegs Bençao (and he would), he could easily redirect the kick downward and stomp on you while you tried to sweep his leg. Using LightLegs Bençao, this would knock you out.

This is why in old Bahian capoeiragem - and in any real capoeiragem - you never use Rasteira against Bençao!!! (And against Pontape, but thay is beyond the scope of this article).


Then what do you use to counter(re-challenge) Bençao? Look into Bimba's sequences - it is there, conserved! Against Bençao, you use Negativa; and then the Nemer takedown from it (see my videos).

Negativa is, again, not some beginners evasion; it is a core technique used to answer and re-challenge Bençao. As a bonus, you can launch another challenge by jumping up from it and trying to take the opponent down with a cabeçada should he escape with Au.



In Bahian capoeira, use Rasteira only against circular kicks: When the opponent kicks, evade with Nemer Cocorinha and twist it into a Rasteira (which he should evade using Au!).

Against Bençao, never used a Rasteira (unless you like getting knocked out). Instead, use Negativa and follow-up Nemer takedown.

There is no Rasteira against Bençao!





















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