Capoeira Effectiveness

Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by BlueDot, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. BlueDot

    BlueDot New Member

    I've been researching and training on and off in capoeira for some years now, and I've come to realize that it suffers from similar problems common to eastern martial arts.

    Generally speaking, you can certainly enjoy the delightful, folky, devious, and spiritual atmosphere of capoeira communities, get some damned good excercise, learn some portuguese.

    There are a good number of useful techniques, and generally unorthodox attacks that tend to throw opponents off their game, however it's very important to seperate the principals of the roda from the principals of actual fighting/sparring.
  2. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    Have you ever actually TRAINED in it at any point?
  3. BlueDot

    BlueDot New Member

    Yes. I've also done some cross training and have attempted sparring with it against people who do different arts.
  4. Lad_Gorg

    Lad_Gorg Valued Member

    Hey Rand86, it's me again. :p (someone should put that danger symbol on this thread)

    @ BlueDot; I fall into the camp that Capoeira is totally useless for real-world application. That's from personal experience with the art, and judging it on it's "face-value" techniques (what's taught in class), and also it's conditioning to violence and confrontation. It's not a popular view on this site, but it's my honest evaluation of the art.

    You'll likely hear from Dormindo (hope I spelled the name correctly), he may give you a different opinion. And Rand86 n I may walk down a similar road again. :p

    I will add, that ultimately almost all MA's teach things that have no or limited application in a real world situation, and that the main reason we train is to satisfy our "inner-warrior" or something as equally asinine. So if something makes you happy while training you should just "shut up and train".
  5. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Depends who you train with I guess!
    Rand has shown me professor mola stuff which looks good.
    And capo formed the base for vale tudo and many bjj clubs runs capo class. I've seen roger Gracie mess with it.
  6. Gripfighter

    Gripfighter Sub Seeker

    People actually do Capoeire to learn how to fight ? and as a pre-emptive before anyone post's that video of the cartwheel knock out or any other freak knock outs in MMA those are exceptions not the rule.
  7. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Well, there are certainly groups that have and do just that. Overall, though, I think it tends to be the relative newbies and the overly optimistic in capoeira that think that they could fight in the same way that they play in the roda. There are other things learned in the roda though, that are meant to be applicable to living in a streetwise way, so to speak. Now, how many actually do is up to debate.

    Out of curiosity and the desire for further clarity of your position, what are the principles of the roda that need separating from the principals of fighting/sparring?
  8. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    With whom did you train and for how long--if you don't mind my asking?
  9. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Lower case 'd' sir. I'm definitely not of the opinion that capoeira is useless for fighting, though I'd like to hear why you think so.

    Your final paragraph I'd wholeheartedly agree with, except I'd change 'almost all' to 'many'--as I tend to be conservative in my statements about other arts that I don't practice (with the one exception of Grand Celestial Do--as that is unequivocally the greatest MA ever).
  10. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Yeah, I'd say it definitely depends on who you train with and that group's/mestre's focus/objectives. There have been capoeiristas in vale tudo since the days of Santana and there have been attempts to 'martialize' capoeira even before Bimba's creation of a luta regional da bahia (Burlamaqui's pamphlet springs to mind). But the fact is that most groups do have as their main objective the 'playing' of capoeira in the roda.
  11. Lad_Gorg

    Lad_Gorg Valued Member

    Well I'm looking at the average Capoeira school, the one that the majority of people will be practicing or know about otherwise; so Angola and Regional (I'm not qualified to talk about Contemporanea). As I worded it earlier, when we look at these schools at face value, so with the ginga and all the ground game stuff, there isn't much that can be used for the purpose of street fighting.

    I also talked about conditioning to violence and confrontation. This is because the roda is a game, nothing more and nothing less. I shouldn't really have to explain this point anymore to those that have studied SD.

    A common argument that I hear from Capoeira apologetics, is that "you just do get it" or "some interpretation needs to be done in order to use Capoeira for SD". This argument has actually been used in this thread already. My issue with this is that you aren't getting you moeny's worth as far as learning SD goes. Either you have to be training for ages before you understand the SD side, or you have to have your mind constantly obsessed with the SD aspect trying to find the applications for each technique. This is opposed to joining a Judo club, and not have to interpret anything. Ergo the "bang for the buck" with regards to SD is lacking in Capoeira.

    Before people jump on me with "there are more/other reasons to train in Capoeira", the SD aspect relates to the OP question.

    Not to just go directly against your rebuttle, but I stick with "almost all". Even the majority of the MMA curriculum is only for the ring and may be difficult to perform under the high stress high risk situation of a street confrontation. But this is a debate for somewhere else.
  12. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    I don't do Caporeia myself (I don't have the build for it), but I would argue that if it were cross trained with other martial arts, say Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai (or Boxing), I could imagine it being able to do some serious damage. Though as a rule on the street, no, you wouldn't want to be flipping around as you would in Caporeia. Simple is better in self defense, but in the cage (Vale Tudo or MMA), I could image Caporeia (in the right hands) doing really well. I found these videos on youtube (below is a nice little video of a sparring match);


    And then I found these, I think from what I know about Caporeia (which is very little) Marcus Vinicios and Marcus Aurelio are good examples when it comes to demonstrating the use of Caporeia in MMA and Vale Tudo (I sure as hell wouldn't want to be on the end of one of their kicks).


  13. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    There also appears to be a well established Capoeira group known as Axe Capoeira, they spicalize in bringing Capoeria into the cage (Marcus Vinicios, Marcus Aurelio and Achilles Estremadura are members of the fight team)

  14. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    A few years ago in a bookshop in La Paz, Bolivia, I was looking through a book of 19th Century photographs of South America. One of the photos was a Capoeirista teaching a teenage boy, and it looked nothing like any Capoeira I've seen, in fact it looked more like Wing Chun. Both were stood upright, and the teacher was stepping forward on the student's right side with his left foot, trapping the student's right hand with his rear (right) hand and shoving his lead digiti minimi (knifehand) toward the student's throat, with the palm facing the floor.

    I've not been able to find the photo on the internet since, but I understand this to be somewhat of the "heyday" period of Capoeira.

    It made me think that there had been a lot more practical technique to Capoeira in the past, and perhaps what came out of Brazil in the 1970s was not representative of what was being used before the 20th Century. Which, to be honest, makes sense to me.

    The thing I enjoyed about the few Capoeira classes I attended was the unorthodox exercises that got to those hard-to-reach and not often used muscles. It seems great for that, agility and balance-in-motion. The thing I wasn't so keen on was that these "unexpected" moves only really fool the dim-witted, and the continual opening of centre-line targets doesn't make up for looking cool (which it undoubtedly does), in a practical context.
  15. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Okay, but what specifically about the ginga/ground game do you find useless? I need a clearer explanation.

    First, the conditioning to violence I would agree with--but not every group has as their sole objective playing in the roda and, therefore, have rougher training sessions where they put their skillset under pressure, after a fashion.

    Secondly, SD is a separate issue to fighting/sparring (I define SD as situational awareness, knowledge of the legal boundaries around the use of violence, deescalation tactics and scenario training.

    First, where have such 'apologetics' been used in this thread?

    Secondly, many arts would need some tweaking to cover self defense--I'm not sure that capoeira is drastically different in that respect.

    Thirdly, are you learning SD in a Judo class or fighting techniques?

    The OP mentions fighting/sparring, not SD. Also, no need to bring up the myriad reasons people train--no one has thus far.
  16. Lad_Gorg

    Lad_Gorg Valued Member

    Well just that, all of it. Where would it be usefull?

    Well at the end of the day it's Capoeira vs. Capoeira; ginga vs. ginga; ground game vs. ground game. This severly limits your conditioning to external training methods, by that I mean most of thier tricks and tactics become limited when faced with someone who isn't a Capoeira player. This is my opinion, and something I have tested when I used to take Capoeira many years back.

    I stick to my opinions about Capoeira and SD, but I agree that we should be talking about sparring, so I'll switch accordingly.

    Actually it was you that brought up the point albeit slightly modified. "Overall, though, I think it tends to be the relative newbies and the overly optimistic in capoeira that think that they could fight in the same way that they play in the roda. There are other things learned in the roda though, that are meant to be applicable to living in a streetwise way, so to speak. Now, how many actually do is up to debate. ". For a MA to be effective, it should be a little be more transpirant then that IMHO.

    I'm in the camp that Capoeira needs "drastic" tweaking for it to be effective in the ring. An exception would be those that cross train (how much is what he doing Capoeira, or the other MA he learnt) and the shock value of the opponent who may have no idea why his opponent is dancing.

    As for Judo, even it's sport version is very effective for various SD situations. I would have also used boxing.

    Preventative measure :p
  17. Lad_Gorg

    Lad_Gorg Valued Member

    Here is where your argument fails. If crossed trained with MT and BJJ, ANYTHING can be deadly including ballet :p

    What I would be more interested in is if these guys were pure Capoeira Regional players taking out MMA guys. But we almost never see that.
  18. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Okay, here you're switching things over to me. I simply asked you to expound on your statement as to what you see as being useless about capoeira--give me some examples besides references to the game and ginga. You should be able to cite things that even those that may view this thread that don't know anything about capoeira could understand.

    Believe me, after 15+ years, I could come up with longer than any you have about the problems of trying to take joe average straight from a 'typical' capoeira class into the ring, street corner, what have you. But this is about getting some clarity from you beyond the 'its played as a game' argument or the 'moves on the ground suck' argument and into specifics that we could talk/debate/argue/froth at the mouth about.

    I tend to agree with the above, but will also say that a number of groups actually do spar with other styles. Is this the common mode of things in capoeira--no, not as I've experienced it, but it is far from uncommon and, again, it isn't new either.

    Sure. For the record, though, I don't disagree with you about the SD, nor do I think that capoeira is so strikingly different to many arts in this respect. I think that what you may be going for, instead of capoeira being less efficient at SD than other arts is that you seem to feel that capoeira's numerous techniques are useless in a fight.

    But I wasn't bringing up SD at all in that statement and if you're suggesting that I was apologetics, I'll have you know that I was responding to Bluedot's point regarding the need for capoeiristas to shift from the principles of the roda to those of the fight. Experienced capoeiristas I know--even those that feel that most of the movments in the art could be applicable--don't think that one could fight in the same manner as one plays. Not apologetics, not meant to demonstrate that 'no you're wrong capoeira totally does in the streets,' just an observation about people's attitudes that shows that there is a distinction between playing and fighting for capoeiristas.

    Now as to how many are actually and, more importantly, realistically training (whatever that may mean) to be ready for a fight I don't know. What I do know is that there are a fair few that are (and some that always have) and the methodologies range from that head scratchingly strange/hilarious to the near Spartan. So, it is out there even if, admittedly, it isn't the general trend.

    Okay. I think that in the ring/cage, capoeiristas will have to crosstrain (as nearly everyone does) in order to cover all ranges, but that people will also find that while things cannot be expected to be pulled off quite the way they are in the roda, that a number of the strikes can still be applicable and that their skills at leading will have to improve. But this part here is merely my speculation and conjecture and I offer it as such, not an arguement.

    Again effective at fighting, or at SD? You see, I tend to think of SD (at least all of the awareness/preemptive aspects) as having failed by the time you get to the fighting part of it. Of course, the preceding statement is far more general than I'd like and I'm definitely not an expert like JWT and others, but that is my humble opinion. Not sure if you get those things in your typical MA class of whatever style.

    Fair enough.
  19. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    It was never designed to be an effective martial art , so no, it won't be. ;)
    Take it for what it is, beautiful!
  20. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Oh, you know about capoeira's design--do tell!

    I, for one, do take it for what it is and realize that it is caught up in a lot of other things besides being a martial art. So, I take it as it is and enjoy it as such.

Share This Page