Evil techs of old capoeiragem: Au chibata

What is Au chibata, anyway?

Naively, it resembles "41" kick without LightLegs/LightSkills that gets unwrapped, so you land into negativa.

I remember that when I started capoeira, as an absolute beginner, we believed the purpose of Au chibata is to perform a downward chopping kick with your heel. This is not only stupid; also if you miss, especially on a hard surface, you are going to mess up your heel badly. Smashed heel needs a long time to heal, as we learned the hard way at that time.

Afterwards, we stopped using Au chibata. Done like described above, it is a useless kick.


But still, there must be something to it. So now, with my current knowledge - what is the purpose of Au chibata?

The devil is once again in the detail - or rather, in the archetype.

People today do Au chibata using Snake mechanics:


This is just a physical movement that 'looks like' a kick that 'could' hurt; but in reality, it lacks any useful kicking energy.

So this Snake Au chibata is just a useless movement modern capoeira has a lot of.


To do a real Au chibata, you must use Giraffe archetype.

Done using Giraffe archetype, Au chibata becomes a real kick. However, it does not smash down with the heel, but it thrusts forward with the sole of your foot; and the target is opponent's thigh, inside, outside or front, does not matter. Yeah, it is supposed to be that low.

When it hits, it creates a peculiar energy that dislocates opponent's hip (if he is standing just on one leg, ie kicking).

So Au chibata is not some stupid acrobatics, a pretty version of Au, or a way to squash down sitting opponent with your heel; it is a brutal hip dislocator kick.

If you do it solo, you can stand up immediately on the kicking leg in the direction of the kick.

But how do you setup this kick? It can be seen miles away with its Au-like entry.

Au chibata must be done as a counter against a circular kick. When the opponent throws a left Mldf or similar kick, bend leftward underneath it, following it and placing your right hand on the ground; then as the kick flies over you, perform the overturn and kick opponent's standing leg - thigh - with your left sole.

Tactically, it remembles the way Mldc is used as a counter against circular kick in modern capoeira - by bending under the kick, putting your arm(s) on the ground and twisting out etc.

This pushes him brutally backward, making him fall forward on his face, dislocates his hip and puts him out of combat.

You can also picture Au chibata as an evil version of the backward sweep popular in video games and kungfu movies. It is very probable it stemmed from the low Mldc done against a high kick.



The main difference from the Snake version is that in Giraffe version, your hips get extended open, which powers the dislocation; in Snake version your hips stay closed so there is no power.

Its energy has something of a scourge in it, hence the name, chibata (scourge); especially the way you extend your hips in the middle to perform the push kick. But that only works for the proper (Giraffe) kick - the Snake version has no reason to be called a scourge.

It also alludes to the way giraffes swing their heads like mallets on their long necks.



Now there are two reasons Au chibata is not a particularly good kick:

First, because it works (only) against capoeira high kicks. When you need to dislocate opponent's hip, it is on the street, where the opponent is not going to use high circular kicks.

In roda, there is absolutely no need to cripple the opponent in this fashion.

So Au chibata is a kick for wrong occassion.

Second, it only works against LightLegs kicks and lower, not against RubberLegs kicks (see my article on evading RubberLegs kick). That means it was created only after 'real' capoeira was forgotten; and it is a part of its degeneration.


Now do not take me wrong - technically, the technique is very interesting and sophisticated; the way you get under opponent's kick, curl your body in the air on one arm, and the expand it against his standing leg to break his hip. It is a great secret weapon.

But principially, it is wrong; as it cannot be used for any good purpose. It can only be used to cripple your opponent in the roda; which is evil.

So Au chibata is an interesting, but tactically useless kick. (Unless you want to cripple the opponent in the roda, which is evil).

But it is fun to watch what became of it in modern quasicapoeira.



In retrospect, it seems to me I have not thrashed the modern Snake version of Au chibata enough.

As noted, it is not only wrong, but also completely useless. The only way it can be applied is if the opponent is lying on his back on the ground motionlessly; then you probably can chop him with your heel. This is of course a stupid application (I say it because I know some people would say it is an OK application).

So people today use the wrong version of the movement without application to create 'movement flow sequences' around it - creating useless sequences around an useless movement (that once was a brutal kick). This is modern capoeira for you.



















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