Capoeira for fighting against capoeira

As I wrote in my other articles, one way Capoeiragem degenerated during the 20th century was by trying to create 'a capoeira for fighting against capoeira'.

We can see its embryonic form in old Bahian capoeira, where (low) rasteiras and cabecadas are used against capoeira kicks. But that is still acceptable; after all, it could not be done any other way; and both cabecadas and low rasteiras are applied the same way against punches.

However, this tendency was expanded by Bimba; in his Regional, we see the application of Vingativa and other formerly-batuque bandas (including Cruz) against capoeira kicks.

What is that good for? Do you expect to be attacked on the street with an Armada? Queixada? Martelo? In a fight, it will not be a spinning kick, but rather a punch out of a firm stance.

Unlike low rasteiras and cabecadas, these bandas cannot be used against punches the same way they are used against capoeira kicks; so capoeirista is training something he is not going to use in that form.

After Bimba, the tendency of 'fighting against capoeira' got even stronger; with some of the modern 'bandas' based on catching opponent's kicking leg. Again, what is that for? Are you going to fight against a capoeirista who will use high kicks?

In the second phase of this type of degeneration, capoeirista learns counters against these bandas; which is now doubly absurd. You learn to apply a banda against armada - that you are not going to use -; and then learn to apply a counter against that banda - that nobody is going to use against you!

In all of this, we clearly see the tendency of trying to 'win in a roda'. What else would a counter against vingativa be good for?


Simultaneously with this development, we see the degeneration of techniques that were supposed to be used against a normal attacker; for example cabecadas, low rasteiras and common kicks. All of these are usually almost unusable in modern capoeira (see my articles on rasteiras, cabecadas and Lightlegs); and are only suited for 'kicking the air'.

Hand in hand goes the degeneration of bandas; as it is quite easy to throw somebody who stands on one leg and spins around; while a much better technique is needed to throw somebody who stands firm and expects the takedown.

(Note how many beautiful bandas were there in Carioca; these bandas are unusable in modern capoeira because they are applied against a firm stance; not against a kick).

Bandas degenerate also tactically; but that is beyong the scope of this article.


How to stop this process of degeneration?

1. Return back to the original division: Bandas belong to Batuque, kicks and cabecadas to Capoeira.

2. Play capoeira the way it was originally played; ie with the emphasis on the first kick and feinting; without 'kicking the air'.

This is why I differentiate capoeira into three types of game (among others):

But that is again a topic for another article.



















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