Archive for the ‘beginner moves’ Category

Next, we will learn Mestre Bimba’s Sequence #3!

mestre bimba sequence 3 - capoeira washington dc

Player One (Plain Pants) Queixada, Queixada, Cocorinha, Benção, Aú
Player Two (Striped Pants) Cocorinha, Cocorinha, Armada, Nevagtiva, Cabeçada
Step 1 The two players begin to ginga
Step 2 Player One steps forward (with the right leg)
Step 3 Player One attacks with Queixada but Player Two defends with Cocorinha
Step 4 Once Player One finishes the kick Player Two stands up
Step 5 Player One attacks with Queixada, Player Two defends with Cocorinha
Step 6 Player One finishes the kick and Player Two stands up ready to attack
Step 7 Player Two attacks with an Armada. Player One defends with Cocorinha
Step 8 Player One stands and attacks with a Benção. Player Two defends with Negativa
Step 9 If Player Two were to pull Player One’s leg he would fall badly
Step 10 Player One escapes with an Aú. Player Two attacks with Cabeçada

Again, here is the video for sequences #1-5. Look out for the techniques mentioned above in Sequencia #3:


Review: 

Next, we will learn Mestre Bimba’s Sequence #2!

sequence 2

Player One (Plain Pants) Martelo, Martelo, Cocorinha, Benção, Aú
Player Two (Striped Pants) Banda, Banda, Armada, Negativa, Cabeçada
Step 1 The two players begin to ginga
Step 2 Player One attacks with Martelo but Player Two tries to sweep him with Banda (but doesn’t!)
Step 3 Player One attacks again with Martelo (opposite leg) and once again Player Two tries to sweep him with Banda (but doesn’t!)
Step 4 Player Two attacks with Armada
Step 5 Player One defends with Cocorinha
Step 6 Player One stands and attacks with Benção
Step 7 Player Two defends with Negativa
Step 8 Player One escapes with an Aú
Step 9 Player Two attacks with a Cabeçada (while Player One is still in the Au)


Review: 

Did you know capoeira can burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour?

Or… that Halle Berry did capoeira to get in shape for Catwoman?

Learn a few basic moves and some fun facts about capoeira from Brett Hoebel (recently a trainer on The Biggest Loser).

Did you notice Brett’s form? He kicks his bênção with his heel out, and returns his foot to the back after each kick. Contra Mestre Bomba would approve for sure!

Pop quiz: Can you name any of the moves Brett does in the intro and outro? Leave your guesses in the comments.

Hat tip to student Ben for posting this video in our Facebook Group! Obrigada!!

For a lot of people here in Washington, DC, capoeira is virtually unknown. When friends and colleauges ask me what it is, I usually try to describe it as a mixture between dance, martial arts and gymnastics.

So what happens in a typical capoeira class? Instruction will vary depending on the teacher, your group’s style, and even what part of the world you are practicing. In our class, we use many instruction techniques passed down from the mestres of capoeira in Bahia, Brazil as our instructor, Contra Mestre Bomba, grew up in Bahia and taught capoeira for many years in Brazil, until moving to DC a few years ago.

Before class starts, many of the students arrive early to start stretching. We will do stretches during and after the class as well, so if it is your preference to stretch beforehand to get loosened up first then plan on arriving a few minutes early.

Usually, we start the class with a light jog. Then, we warm up our arms and legs with different movements across the floor: crab walk, bear walk, hopping, high knees, and so on. If we are doing a class in a smaller space, we will do jumping jacks and different kinds of jumps to get warmed up. When the weather permits, we will go on a short run outdoors, generally up to 10 minutes of running time.

It is crucial to get warmed up properly because when you’re practicing capoeira, you are using muscles you probably haven’t used in a while, if ever. You will be working your legs, arms, and core throughout the remainder of the class so a good warmup will prepare your muscles for performing drills and practicing your technique later in the class. Plus, the warmup will improve your cardio, get your heart rate up, and help prevent soreness after class.

After our hearts have started pounding and our bodies are warm, we will do some leg stretches to work on flexibility. These stretches are based on many of the basic defensive movements of capoeira such as esquiva lateral and cocorinha.

Then, we’ll start with some basic moves of capoeira: au (cartwheel) and role (roll). Most beginning students haven’t done a cartwheel since they were a kid. So we practice them to build strength and balance and to perfect our technique since the au is a basic building  block of capoeira.

If you’re just starting out, the important thing to remember is to get used to the movement and work on your technique. As you continue practicing capoeira, your au will get better and better.

If you’re having trouble with your au, this video has some good tips:

This week at class we have been practicing the beginning sequences of Mestre Bimba. According to Capoeira Cinco Seixos:

Mestre Bimba, the creator of the Regional style of Capoeira, created the first method to learn Capoeira, it consisted of a logical sequence of attack, defense and counter attack movements, put into a simplified form for the initiates.

It permitted the students to learn how to play with a strong sense of motivation and security. Jair Moura, ex-student explains, “These are a series of complete physical exercises and they are organized in a number of practical and efficient lessons for the beginner in Capoeira. They are executed inside a small with as little time as possible to convince the student of the value of the fight, as a system of attack and defense.”

The original complete sequences of learning were formed with 17 strikes, where each student executed 154 movements to 308, to condition the student physically and to teach specific motor skills to the practitioners. See more movements.

Here is a video showing Sequences 1 through 8:

You can find a complete step-by-step guide to all 8 of the above sequences at Capoeira Cinco Seixos website.

Why not give these moves a try at the next capoeira class here in Washington DC?

Classes have resumed at Bloombars on Saturday and Sunday mornings and at BTI Dance studio on Sunday afternoons. We will be having a graduation within the next month or so, so keep coming to class and practicing. Also, wear your uniforms to class so that we can take pictures for the website. When we have an exact date for the graduation, we will post it on this blog and the Facebook Page.

As part of a Brazilian Cultural Event held at Catholic University in DC, Contra Mestre Bomba and a few students from Capoeira Barro Vermelho DC were asked to do a demonstration and give a talk about the origins of Capoeira, it’s traditions and Brazilian culture. Here are a few videos from the event, in case you missed it.

This video shows the traditional way a Berimbau is made by hand using wood, a gourd and some hand tools.

Here is a video showing Contra Mestre Bomba and Pete playing capoeira.

This video shows “malicia” or “mandinga”, an often misunderstood element of capoeira that uses trickery and deception to gain an advantage over an opponent.

In this video we see another example of trickery on an opponent.


Afterwards Contra Mestre Bomba gave a talk on Capoeira, then gave a beginner lesson to several volunteers.

And what Brazilian cultural event would be complete without a little samba?