Tactical scheme of capoeiragem

Knowing the techniques of capoeiragem is not enough; you must also know when to apply them; and how to bring those situations - called entries - about.
In other words, you need a tactical scheme.

Knowing fighting techniques without a tactical scheme is like having bullets without a gun - you have the power, but you have no way of getting it to the opponent.
Thus you must resort to brawling; which is precisely that: Applying fighting techniques without a tactical scheme.

Hence, this article is one of the most important on this site.


I repeat specially for modern capoeiristas: You cannot just attack whenever you feel like it. That is not a martial art, but brawling; and any fighter worth his salt will make a short work of you, especially if you use huge capoeira kicks. The same can be said for attacking in anger.

Capoeiragem must be used wisely, cleverly, with calm head; and using the proper tactical scheme.


Capoeiragem tactical scheme

The basic tactical scheme of Carioca (which is also the basic tactical scheme of kungfu; and of any sensible martial art) contains four types of entries:

4)grab defences

Generally speaking, each entry must be designed to somehow prevent the opponent from evading/blocking your attack; or even attacking himself at the same time(for details, see description of MS-1).

Note: This is a basic, physical scheme. Higher-level arts (including high-level capoeiragem) use more advanced schemes; but we will not discuss them here.



Jab entry is used when opponent's guard is somewhat open, and he is moving a lot.

The principle of this entry is that it uses a Quickstart (fast acceleration on the beginning of the technique) to beat opponent's reaction.
That is why most - if not all - jabs are either Seduction1, or LightLegs.

Jab can be either a hand technique or a kick.

Jabkick usually takes the opponent down or knocks him out; while hand jabs create a nerve disruption in the opponent that stops him from moving momentarily, which can be used to apply a more powerful technique.

In capoeiragem fighting, bandas are frequently used after hand jabs. (In fact, it is the only way you use bandas in a fight).



Guardbreakers are used when the opponent has a tight guard, and does not move; ie he is concentrated on defence.

The principle of this entry is that it works by starting from close, often body-to-body contact with his on-guard stance; so the opponent has no time to react to your movement.
That is why most guardbreakers are done by touching opponent's guard with your guard (either hand or leg); and then just using the hand or leg to apply the guardbreaker, point blank.

Guardbreakers are done either with hands, or with legs in capoeiragem.


Counters are applied when the opponent attacks; you evade the attack and at the same time, throw your own attack.

The principle of this entry is that while he is attacking, opponent's mind and body are blocked (see MS-1); so he cannot react to your counter. You only have to take care not to get hit with his attack as you counter.

In capoeiragem, there are throws, cabecadas and kick counters.

(In kungfu, you sometimes try to counter by clinching or arm-clinching the opponent; this is not used in capoeiragem).

Do not confuse this entry with evading, then attacking (as done in modern capoeira). This is not a counter, and does not protect you from opponent's attack! To use counter, you must attack while the opponent is attacking.

4)grab defences

Grab defences are applied when the opponent grabs you.

By grabbing you, he is commited and cannot defend your technique; also, you usually use positional nerve disruption.

Grab defences are widely used in kungfu; in capoeiragem, there is only a few of them, specifically, Clube X and Calcanheira.


Note that there are no reliable entries other than these (meaning, out of common entries; not counting preparing the situation and high-level contactless entries). For example, the evade-then-attack tactics, while popular and used in modern capoeira, is not a reliable entry; as the opponent is already ready and can easily use counter to beat your attack.

Similarly, just attacking with a normal (non-jab) technique is unsafe; it is simply brawling, not a martial art.



Fakes build upon the above system of entries; so do not attempt them until having mastered the basics.

Fakes consist of doing the beginning part of a technique; so as to force opponent's multisignal reaction to the whole technique; then taking advantage of it.
There are two kind of fakes:

1)Attacking fake - fake an attack to force the opponent to pull into a guard; then apply a guardbreaker.

2)Drawing fake - induce the opponent to attack; then apply a counter.


Peneiracao tactically

Peneiracao functions in all three parts of tactical scheme
-it conceals the approach to contact for guardbreakers
-it hides the true distance for jabs
-it presents a moving target for attacks (counters)

However, the real purpose of Peneiracao can only be seen in high-level capoeiragem.


The techniques of capoeiragem(Carioca+Bahiana) divided according to the tactical scheme:

1a)hand jabs
-eye fork
-elbow jab
-uppercut jab
-external slap
-internal slap
-breathsealer elbow(chest or side, 8sec)

jab finishes - bandas
-banda de lado
-banda de frente
-banda tracada
-banda de costas
-flying tesoura
-me esquece
-rabo de arraia
-double jawkick
-boca de calca


1b)leg jabs
-pe de panzina
-jawkick (single)
-de lado low entry

2a)hand guardbreakers
-hand-grab and cabecada to the chin (Bimba's cabecada presa)

2b)leg guardbreakers

-corta capim
-rasteira low

-cabecada (solta)
-chest smasher cabecada (with or without punch block)
-cabecada with a legs grab
-Rooster cabecada (upward)

-chibata (martelo with hands on the ground)
-41 flying
-pantana de lado
-voo do morcego

-escorao (combination of drawing fake and counter)
-clube X (positional nerve disruption against rasteira or grabbed cabecada)
 figure 4 (positional nerve disruption; against lowkicks etc)

-carioca lightlegs evades+slaps
-De lado from Aqueada

4)grab defences
-clube X
-Rooster cabecada (straight)
-Pastinha's Eagle claw (and cabecada)


There is one more way to set up fighting technique: Fooling the opponent into thinking he is not in a fighting situation. This is called 'producing the situation' in MS-1 and 'malandragem' in capoeira.

Basically, you buy the opponent a beer and while he is drinking it, smash his head with an ashtray.

We will not analyse the production of situations here.


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