The Capoeira Blog

12 Essential Tips for Playing Capoeira Well
April 9, 2008, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Tips & Guides

Photo by bantusjp (Flickr)

Every capoeirista should take pride in being a life-long learner.

There is never a point in any of our capoeira journeys when we can sit down and say that we have learned all that there is about capoeira. We should always be open to tips, hints, lessons, etc. wherever they may come from.

With this in mind, here are 12 essential tips that every capoeirista should read and always keep in mind. I pulled these from a list written by Mestre Bola Sete, and translated by Shayna of Capoeira Connection. The list was written for angolerios, but I compiled the ones that apply to every capoeirista

  1. Aim to learn the ginga well. Remember that it is the main movement of capoeira, the first to be taught and, consequently, its base.
  2. Every good capoeirista, besides playing capoeira, must know how to play the berimbau and sing. Learn these.
  3. When you are playing, only execute capoeira movements of which you have complete control.
  4. When you play with a stranger, don’t show all of your game. Save your best hits for the decisive hour, if necessary.
  5. The graduated capoeirista who still finds difficulty in learning a certain capoeira movement must stop doing it, trying instead to perfect himself in the movements that he has already learned.
  6. Only after acquiring good technique through the execution of attack movements in a slow and progressive manner should the capoeirista worry about speed and, consequently, with the power of his blows.
  7. When practicing capoeira, keep your hands relaxed. If you make a fist for a brief instant, relax it immediately. The closed fist is completely foreign to capoeira’s characteristics, which consist of relaxed movements that allow the free circulation of the blood, and thus the execution of more spontaneous and agile movements.
  8. Wherever the capoeirista is, capoeira must accompany him. The body and the spirit must be prepared for any situation
  9. Observe your more experienced training partners. If you do this, you will learn better.
  10. While playing capoeira, do not apply aggressive hits, grappling, and kicks below the waist of your partner with players who are more experienced than you.
  11. Try to play without touching your body to the ground. Only the hands and the feet must touch the ground. The best capoeiristas used to play in white clothes without dirtying them.
  12. Only enter a roda when you are already completely prepared for capoeira.

There are more tips that I didn’t list here, but like I said, I think these are the most important ones. If you want to read the rest, head on over to Capoeira Connection, and thank Shayna for the translation!

And if you want even more advice on how to play capoeira well, check out these other posts here on The Capoeira Blog:

How To Get Better At Capoeira
Building Flexibility, Strength, and Balance for Capoeira
6 Keys To Building Upper Body Strength
The 5 Best Strength Training Exercises For Over The Holidays (And Anytime!)


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

These were discussed a while back on… I agree with all except for #5. I have to believe that one has to always push themselves into new places they didn’t think they could go- part of the beauty of the game – and that includes new movements and sequences.
Nice post

Comment by Leopardo

I agree that you should push yourself to get better. But I took that to mean that maybe sometimes if you’re having trouble, it can be good to focus on practicing the basics for a while, then go back to whatever you were trying before. Breaks are always good to clear the mind, and you can never have too much practice in the basics.

Comment by faisca

Another great post! Thanks for the links too!

Comment by Pipoca

Yeah, maybe it’s a translation problem, but #5 is quite ridiculous, and #3 is suspect too. You should always be trying new things and find creative ways to expand your game.

Comment by TexasSinkholeFan226

Quite amazingly, #7 was the one which more sensibly improved my game. But I came across this post only now, so I discovered this fact by myself about 3-4 months ago.

Comment by topcomer

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