Ever since my ballet days (many moons ago), kicking has fascinated me!  And long before Capoeira I would walk around car parks en route to the car and lightly kick K or one of the kids on their backsides, to K’s dismay!

Before I started Capoeira, I expected (apart from the hectic acrobatic moves) that returning to the Ginga after a kick would be the most difficult.  I was pleasantly surprised that my body kind of naturally returned to a Ginga quite easily.

Ginga (jeen-gah)

The ginga, according to Wikipedia is the fundamental footwork of capoeira. Its constant triangular footwork makes capoeira easily recognizable as well as confusing since it looks much more like a rhythmic dance step than an orthodox static fighting stance.  The main purpose is not dancing but rather to prepare the body for any number of movements such as evading, feinting, or delivering attacks while continuously shifting stances all while providing confusion.

Basic Capoeira Kicks

Below are some of the most basic Capoeira kicks, from here on out, you get (1) some additional kicks and (2) more complex versions of the below.  Similar to the one hand / no hand au mentioned in last week.

Meia-lua de Frente

Meia-lua de Frente (Half moon to the front) is the first kick I learned in Capoeira and probably the most basic of Capoeira kicks.

Martelo (mar-tell-o)

Which means hammer.  This is one of my favourite kicks.  Probably because it makes me feel like a Ninja Turtle and looks so impressive.  A basic Martelo can be low to kick the shin, medium height for mid section of high to kick the head or temple of the opponent.

Benção (ben-sao) 

Which means ‘blessing’, is a kick with your heal to push your opponent out of your space and make space for whatever kick / move you want to perform next.

Meia Lua de Compasso

Can be translated as a compass half moon.  These babies look super difficult but they really aren’t and it is such a fun move in a roda.

Queixada (kay-sha-da)

Fun twisty kind of kick!  Really lovely!

Armada (ar-ma-da)

Armada is a full spinning kick.  In all honestly – I get ever so slightly confused between the Queixada and the Armada – I know the differences.  I can see the differences in  my head – but for some reason when tasked to do the kick on the spot, my feet get stage fright and staggers!

Capoeira kicks are a whole lot more fun than ballet kicks – their is strength and purpose in these.  And when you do get kicked (by girl with a hint of a blue eye) it is pretty painful!

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