Stealth kicks for ginga: How to kick with Armada, Mldf and Mldc from ginga so the opponent has trouble evading


How do you kick somebody with Armada? And here, I do not mean as a counter, but directly, from Ginga! And I also mean kick somebody who does not want to be kicked.

During my capoeira Odyssey I learned relatively early that as a kick, normal Armada is useless. And I am talking about classic Filhos de Bimba style Armada from the back leg; not even about the stupid three-step Armada of modern capoeira, which is of course even worse.

Before you complete one of these, the opponent has enough time to execute an open heart surgery on you - and add any number of rasteiras, bandas etc.

I found that out the hard way (we played using a lot of rasteiras back them); and since then, I only did Armada as a fake, just the turn without the actual leg swing.


Yet, Armada was one of the primary kick of the old Bahian capoeira! Which was not a stupid dance, not a silly ritual, but a fighting game; so the techniques they used had to work!

So very probably, they had a trick how to kick somebody with an Armada. But back then, my understanding of body mechanics was not on the level needed to unlock it. It now is; so let us look at how to execute a proper old school Armada!


First, your Armada must be kicked using LightLegs (which means, from the back leg; read my article on LightLegs kicks in Bahian capoeira); this is a given.

However, there is still a little trick! Let us describe it.

You step your right leg back in ginga; shift your weight on it, equip LightLegs, lift your front foot a bit; them step down while twisting it inward, preparing for the turn.

But then, before you turn, extend your right leg to the right side, as if stepping in ginga!

This will confuse the opponent, who will believe you are indeed just going to step into the front position of the ginga.

But instead, using the twisted tendons and ligaments - which are even more twisted due to the action of your right leg - let your right leg fly in an arc as you spin rightward.

Breathe out as you kick; hitting the opponent's head.

This way of doing Armada out of ginga is very sneaky; the opponent cannot detect it and will get hit. I believe this is how Armada was supposed to be done in old Bahian Capoeira (and Bimba's Nemer Capoeira).

Note that it does not work without LightLegs.

Also note that the opponent must be more to your left (when you kick Armada with your right leg) than you are used from 'normal' (useless) Armada. This Armada also has a bit longer reach than the common one.

Note: Done properly, this results in the Armada itself done using LightSkills (Nemer+LightLegs); but I do not want to complicate this even more.


Ginga with LightLegs step

To kick Armada using the above way, you must adjust your ginga a bit. Of course, your ginga must use Monkey+Seduction1 mechanics - the proper Bahian mechanics. However, then moment you are on the rear leg and start to come back forward, also equip LightLegs for a moment.

This makes you do a short 'step' with the front leg; lifting it and the putting it down. This movement is the key to hidden kicks from ginga; because you can use it to immediately fire hidden (LightLegs) kicks.

If you do not kick, simply turn LightLegs back off and step to the other side of ginga normally.

Mestre Pastinha does this in his ginga too, by the way.



Meia lua de frente and Armada were two main attack kick of old Bahian Capoeira; so it stands to reason there is similar trick for Meia lua de frente.

And indeed, there is:

As you step with your right leg back in ginga, again, shift your weight on it; equip LightLegs; lift your left foot and step down; then stretch your right leg rightward as if taking a step into the front of ginga.

However, instead immediately convert the step into a MLDF into opponent's face; using the stretched tendons courtesy of LightLegs. Again, breathe out as you kick.


Again, this way of doing Mldf is very sneaky; and it even feels natural as it gives the kick the sideways wind-up, expanding the arc; which is kind of awkward from normal start.

Note that it does not work without LightLegs.



Note that Meia lua de compasso is more of a counter-kick; it can, however, be hidden and used as a jab from ginga using the same trick as Armada, described above.

From the rear position of the ginga with your right leg, equip LightLegs, lift your front left foot and place it down turned rightward; then lift your right foot adn stretch it to your right,as if taking step into the front of ginga.

Immediately twist your body down and rightward, putting your hands down (both hands, of course) and converting the step into a right-legged Mldc.

Done right, this is the real Mldc, ie using LightLegs and Seduction1 (see my article on Mldc and Mldc hierarchy); so there is a vocalization("Ha!").



The above is the way you properly throw Mldf, Armada and Mldc, three primary kicks of old Bahian capoeira, from ginga. Using LightLegs, it hides the wind-up of the kicks behind the step-like action of Ginga; and then it unleashes them on an unsuspecting opponent.

Thus it allows you to throw these otherwise quite telegraphic kicks as a fast jabkick (jab entry).

Note that these tricks only work when you use LightLegs to throw the kicks; this again shows that LightLegs are not some kind of 'bonus' skill; but instead, essential element of the old Bahian Capoeiragem.

Note also how crucial was the ginga (the original, Bahian one, Monkey+Seduction1) for masking these two primary kicks of old Bahian capoeira. Without the step of the ginga, there would be nothing to hide them behind.

Thus Ginga, Meia lua de frente, Armada  and Mldc form the core 'system' inside the system of Bahian capoeira.


The use in sequences

You perhaps noticed that this version of kicking completely alters the timing; unlike normal kicks, which are evaded when you step forward into front position of ginga; hidden kicks hit when you are about to go backward.

In this way, you cannot use normal Cocorinha to evade. You can, however, use LightSkills Cocorinha! LightSkills Cocorinha works even when you are about to go backward; this is another proof LightSkills Cocorinha was a very important evasion in original capoeira.


Excursus: Jawkick

As I write in my materials, Jawkick was probably used also in old Bahian capoeira. Regardless, it can be hidden in ginga using the same method as Mldf:

When your right leg is in the back, equip LightLegs, stretch your right leg to the side as if taking a step into the front position of Ginga; and then suddenly convert in into a right Jawkick into opponent's, well, jaw.


Excursus: Other kicks

As I already write in my other articles, modern kicks - queixada, martelo, chapa etc - cannot be done with LightLegs; they were never meant to be a part of old capoeiragem arsenal. Therefore, they also cannot be done using this method.


















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