The Capoeira Blog

How Do You Feel About “Cardio Capoeira” Videos?
February 18, 2008, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Questions

As soon as something starts to become “cool” and “trendy,” you know there are people out there who will try to make as much money off it as they can.

Capoeira is no exception.

If you do a search online you can find a bunch of different “Cardio Capoeira” type workout videos. They come in all shapes and sizes, and I’m not going to bother linking to any of them here (well, except for a couple of example videos), but you know they’re out there.

Some are good, and some are pretty dismal. Here’s an example of each.


(I can’t link to the example video from the blog, but go to YouTube and search for “cardio capoeira DVD” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

I say this is bad because the capoeira in it is just awful. Granted, I haven’t seen the entire video, and I’ve never seen these two play in a roda or anything, but I mean come on; they’re not fooling experienced capoeiristas. You can’t claim to be an instructor of anything when you look like you’ve only been doing it a month yourself.

And I won’t get started on the wannabe quasi-techno capoeira music they have playing…

They are also targeting this “capoeira” workout at “all age levels”, i.e. claiming that adults can’t do any of the ground movements or acrobatics, so they just took that part out of their capoeira, but they’re still leaving the “spirit” of capoeira intact. Last I checked, those are two of the most important parts of the capoeira game. But what do I know?


(I can’t link to this video either, jeez, but go to YouTube and search for “capofit” and you will find it.)

I actually own this video (I was intrigued, it looked halfway decent, so I decided to order it) and it is pretty good. The instructor is actually good (Professor Fabiano, not sure what group he’s from) and so are his students. What’s amazing is that they’re actually doing capoeira. It’s not some watered-down “workout” version, which is OK with me.

The videos also include footage of rodas and demos (so you can see capoeira in action and you know why you’re doing these movements), and they use real capoeira music on the DVD.

If you’re just learning capoeira, or if you’ve had some instruction but can’t get to a class on a regular basis, I would actually recommend buying these videos so you can follow along and train on your own. This series (and I’m sure there are a few others out there) uses true capoeira as a workout, it doesn’t water-down capoeira and change it at all, which is why I’m OK with it.

So now, the question is, what do you think? As we’ve seen, there are good and bad examples of “cardio capoeira” out in the world. Do you think it’s good for the art? Do you think it’s exploitation of capoeira?

Please share your feelings in the comments!


10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think it’s good in theory, but in all honesty capoeira IS a cardio workout. Covering up half-assed attempts at making a buck with half-assed moves from some parts of a martial art and not even teaching the history of the art itself is kinda wrong in my opinion. I could be completely wrong! But from what I can gather from previous “cardio-martial art-workout” videos is that you would be better off just “youtubing” or “googling” REAL capoeira and copying what you see on those vids. I understand the people who make the videos are not always completely about making $$ off of what seems like a “cool” thing, and that this might actually spark some GENUINE interest in the art itself. This would be the UP side. If people get interested enough in capoeira then we will have more ‘ristas, and as Bimba had said it is our job to spread it throughout the world nad ensure it’s progress. I dunno..I’m on the fence about it…hmmmm

Comment by Pipoca

i have no issue with it. i DO have an issue with non capoeiristas who try to make money off of it. i feel that if a mestre or a higher cord comes from Brazil to teach Capoeira, they should be allowed to make money as legally as possible. this is one way they could do it. i would rather see a mestre teach this stuff then some non capoeirista.

my thing is, whatever can draw people into capoeira, the better off we all are.

Comment by Brotheromi

Ya… er… ya… what shall I say. Yeah I think this discussion has invaded most Forums about Capoeira. I don’t know myself if I shall say it’s good or bad because I see things benefiting Capoeira (promoting it) in it, but when looking at the vids then I get the feeling all who see it will get a completely wrong idea about Capoeira.

Hard to say good or bad…

Comment by Maritaca

Check this one:

I like the exercices, the demo and the game 🙂
She’s good!

Comment by Mariposa

I used to think it was kind of bogus that Edna Lima is so proprietary about her Capoeira Workout classes ( but I am starting to see where she is coming from. Honestly, if cheesy Capoeira Cardio means that people who aren’t interested in the game can get their fix a the gym, I can live with it. If these people ever decide they want to join a roda, they’ll be quickly humbled. And if they’ve been ginga-ing to techno they won’t even be able to keep up with the music.

A lot of capoeiristas in NYC teach in gyms, and a lot of new capoeiristas take workout classes in between capoeira classes to work on their fitness. I’d probably be a better player if I spent more time at the gym between classes.

Comment by anon

These are some good comments, guys. Thanks.

I agree that some of the workout videos are better than others. And yes, if the instructor is an actual mestre or professor or something, then it’s not really that bad. But I just can’t stand stuff like the first video I mentioned, where it’s some guy who trains in other martial arts, but then takes a class on capoeira and thinks he can teach it.

But you have a good point those who mentioned that its a good way to draw people into capoeira. That’s for sure.

Comment by faisca


Can you let me know where I can find the Capofit DVD for purchase? I looked on & couldn’t find it. I’m a beginning Capoeirista & I had a chance both read your posts & check out the dvd’s on Youtube & I agree with you this one is pretty good. I think that as a beginner this dvd you be very beneficial as I’m financially only able to attend classes once a week. This dvd would be good for me as an at home practice guide. Also, does this dvd include examples of floor work/ground movements as well as examples some of the acrobatics like cartwheels & aerials, etc.? Thanks, I look forward to hearing back from you.

Comment by Jolivia

Oye galera,
I think it is more important to purchase capoeira gear (dvds, abadas, instruments) from mestres, instructors, or profesors. In this way you support other capoeiristas, not corporations. All my capoeira clothes, instruments and DVDs I have bought from my mestre, professor or visiting mestres. One problem with capoeira work out videos as that you get better and look for more challenges! It is important to take capoeira from someone who is qualified. Someone in Canada, I won’t be more specific than that, took lessons for 6 months than tried (ultimately failing) to teach it at a dance studio.

Comment by Catarina

I think some of you are missing the point. These reason behind some of these cardio capoeira dvds isnt to teach strategy and philosophy of a jogo, that’s what going to an instructor is for. This is more for people who want something new and fresh to workout with, and get cardiorespitory benefits. Do you believe that every aerobic kickboxing instructor is an elite kickboxer….no. These are aerobic classes inspired by capoeira movements.

Comment by Jake

I think some of you are missing the point. The point behind these videos isn’t to teach the philosophy and strategy of a jogo, but to achieve cardiorespitory gains. People are always trying to find new ways to make an exciting and fresh physical activity programs that appeal to the masses. Do you think that every aerobic kickboxing instructor is an elite kickboxer?… No. These are aerobic classes inspired by capoeira movements.

Comment by Jake

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