Kicking the Au?

You perhaps know about the custom of Bahian capoeira to attack opponent who does an Au using a cabeçada; this is archived for us in Bimba's sequences.

In the context of today's capoeira, it does not make much sense: Why risk a cabeçada, when you can just kick him in the chest with Ponteira or Bencao while he is upside down in the Au?

Today, we do not kick opponent's Au because it is 'not done', because Au is a ritual movement, because it would not be playful etc. All nonsense; there actually was a very practical reason behind this in old Bahian Capoeira!


The answer, as usually, is LightLegs.

If the opponent does a normal Au, you can of course kick him down easily. However, if he does Au with LightLegs - as was probably usual in old Bahian capoeira -, and you try to kick him, you give yourself a nerve disruption. Yes, that again. Not only your kick will be weak, ie useless; the resulting nerve disruption will make you stumble and the opponent can take advantage of it to counterattack.

This is why to attack a LightLegs Au, you must use a cabeçada! This way, you avoid the nerve disruption (however, you can get countered using Leque; I will publish this counter later).

So this is why in old Bahian capoeira, they used cabeçada to attack Au; and not a kick.


Note: At our training, one of my students tried kicking a LightLegs Au to topple the opponent over. However, the resulting nerve disruption made him fall down on his butt from the kick, which was extremely funny. Now he was lighter than the guy doing the Au, so it will not work every time; but it shows how stupid it is to try to kick down a LightLegs Au!


This once again shows how sophisticated old Bahian capoeira was - relying not on muscular power, but on nerve disruption, a concept completely forgotten in modern martial arts; and also how all the seemingly ritual actions of old capoeira actually make good sense. In this instance, it explains why they used cabeçada to attack the Au, instead of simply kicking the opponent.


Note: The above of course applies only to LightLegs Au; if you kick a normal Au, the effect is as expected.


Proper cabeçada against Au must be done using Rooster+Seduction1 mechanics; this gives it a lifting tendency which uproots opponent's Au and makes him fall on his back.


To escape cabeçada against Au, you can also use Au com Role; another technique that is not done much today. Again, this is archived in Bimba's sequences.


The above also hints that the Bahian capoeira players were not so stupid as to be hanging out in a vulnerable position in the middle of a fight (albeit a playful one) - LightLegs Au is pretty well protected by its ability to cause a nerve disruption to the opponent who kicks it.


















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