To make Taekwondo kiddies feel better: Capoiera

Capoiera is probably the worst ever activity to ever make it into the catergory of ‘martial arts’. I personally haven’t done any capoiera and I have only been exposed to this style for only a few years, which usually would put me in an unqualified position to critisize…. but I’ll do it anyway since capoiera is quite self evident.

Just a very brief history, capoiera is an afro-brazilian martial art, termed so because it was created by African slaves in Brazil (sometime between the 1600s to late 1800s… yep, I’m being very specific…) basically to give them something to do and keep up morale….. and sanity. Then when the slaves were released they spread it to the world yadda yadda… just google it, I won’t pretend to be a know it all, that’s how I know this stuff. The term ‘capoiera’ seems to have a lot of possible origins (none of them good…):

“”Capoeira” has several meanings, including any kind of pen where poultry is kept, a fowl similar to a partridge, and a basket worn on the head by soldiers defending a stronghold. “Capoeira” is also what people used to call a black inlander who mugged travelers.” –

but I think the true origin is this one:

” The Portuguese word “capoeira” derives from the word capão, which translates as capon, a castrated rooster.”

Here’s my arguement:

nice kick…….

brought to you by Mazda

To be honest, I can’t find any videos that can do Capoiera any justice. Amongst the few videos of capoiera fighters actually fighting, they’re either beginners and worthless (like Mr. one-hit-wonder up top) or have their style dominated by something else like jujitsu or something. To the Taekwondo people, I really tried to find a video that can pay tribute to you guys fighting capoiera fighters… but realised I can’t tell the difference while watching it, my most sincere apologies.

this was probably the most exciting battle I found for the whole time I’ve been writing this.

Capoiera means different things to different people. To some: the deadly; to others: hip-hop with drag queens (second picture); to me: dancing with lots of male ego.If capoiera wasn’t considered a martial art but a dance style I’ll have a lot of respect for it, but since it’s not I feel a moral obligation to crucify it and spread the hate. For those that don’t agree with me, leave and go back to your Tekken and watch your Tong Yum Goong/the protector:

[just to clarify, I do not dislike any of the 2 mentioned]


5 Responses to “To make Taekwondo kiddies feel better: Capoiera”

  1. Raymond Lam Says:

    Yo sexy,

    I have added you to my blogroll. I enjoyed your Edison Chen post the most. I think most people expect sweet ol’ Gillian to remain in pubescent stage forever and ever… even after the world is exploded and destroyed. She’ll still be singing them damn puppy love songs.

  2. iniarebel Says:

    It is curious that you should publish a post on something you admittedly seem to know so very little about. (Give the slaves something to do? that’s rich) You can’t even spell the word capoeira properly.

    No matter. The point is that you are too quick to diminish the significance of the art. You have intentionally picked the lamest footage you could possibly find (what the hell was that first video anyway?) to make it look like some kind of floor exercise at an acrobatics school. I have met a number of capoeiristas who are quite skilled and could easily hurt or kill someone if they felt so inclined however most of those truly skilled are not involved in MMA and you will not see them on Pride or WEC.

    If the very definition of a martial art is contingent upon whether or not it appears on the Versus or pay per view then, sadly enough, i can understand your point. However I would advise that you not underestimate the skill it takes to become a good capoeirista. Breaking someone’s jaw is not necessarily the point but rather to make someone fully aware that you could.

    Finally regarding your definitions of the word, it is interesting that you omitted a significant section (but it does go well with the crappy videos).

    Via your reliable source at

    –The Portuguese word “capoeira” derives from the word capão, which translates as capon, a castrated rooster. The sport’s name may originate from this word since its moves resemble those of a rooster in a fight”

    A capoeira “fight” is one that implies that the purpose is a pretend cockfight, whereby men participate to show off their skills rather than fighting to actually kill or harm an opponent

    Here are some other etymologies worthy of consideration.

    –Portuguese: Big basket or cage in which capons and other birds are kept. From capão [capon, a male chicken castrated when young] + the suffix eira. This suggests that slaves bringing cages of birds to sell at the market used to pass their time there by playing capoeira.

    –African: From the Kikongo word kipula or kipura. In the cultural context of the Congo, these words referred to sweeping ground movements used in martial arts. The connection of this etymology to capoeira is through the movements, since the art of capoeira uses many ground movements and sweeps.

    Perhaps in the future it would be prudent to do some research before you start with the denigrating remarks. But on the positive side, if you could spin shit like that you might be able to land a job at FOX news or CNN.

  3. freakychinaman Says:

    First of all thank you for your comments, but I don’t think my remarks are unjust.

    About those capoeiristas, have you actually seen them fight? because it’s very easy to snap a few boards and make the punching bag go boom, and being able to do a hook kick in mid-air doesn’t mean he can fight.

    All disciplines work on the same few fundamental ideas, and in martial arts it’s simple: achieve your aims by force… I mean sure, that sounds barbaric, but by definition: the word “martial” is –

    1. Of, relating to, or suggestive of war.
    2. Relating to or connected with the armed forces or the profession of arms. (…not that important…)
    3. Characteristic of or befitting a warrior.

    [Via your reliable source at

    So although making someone aware that you can hurt them and scaring them away is a good way to avoid battle (martial arts 101 right?), but really how do you convince a person that doesn’t know you that you can in the first place? or do you plan to say: “I can kick your ass” then do some back flips and handstands while someone has a knife to your throat? In the end, if you can’t break that jaw it all means nothing.

    Although I may not be able to define what a good martial art has, I can still spot what makes one bad, and the biggest problem I have with capoeira is that the movements are too wide, making it highly energy demanding because of a large amount of unnecessary movements, leaves you open for the other guy to do whatever he pleases, and finally makes you unrealistically slow; so while there’s definitely a lot of power behind those strikes, the chances of them landing are too low. And also since there’s so much acrobatics involved your balance and defense is going to be extremely bad, and thinking you can fully dodge every attack thrown at you is just stupid.

    I fully understand the idea that good martial artist don’t necessarily appear in mma since there are still a lot of rules in the type of contact, but it gives a comparison with other martial arts since they are matched under the same circumstances, and the fact that almost none succeed (came across this one guy but he cross trained a whole lot of other things) tells you something.

    ……………..and for the latter half of your comment about the etymology (I really can’t understand why…)… I did see it, but I don’t see how “Big basket or cage in which capons and other birds are kept” and “Kikongo word kipura, a term used to describe a rooster’s movements in a fight and meaning to flutter, flit from place to place, struggle, fight, or flog” helps your argument, and I didn’t want to waste the readers too much of their time….

    [and how come you get to say “slaves bringing cages of birds to sell at the market used to pass their time there by playing capoeira” and I can’t say “give them something to do?” is there some sort of word limit?]

    And honestly, they really were the best clips I could find on youtube, if you can find better ones please post the link.

    [p.s. if I can’t find work I will take your recommendations into consideration.]

  4. geevumone Says:

    if you look at youtube under best capoeira mma you will find a kickboxer whom practices capoeira and fights mma. im not sure of his name nor his record but it would be a better video than the ones you have. perhaps you should do some more research into capoeira like join a class if just for a few kicks. plus after you take a class or two or three your blog will hold more water.

    good luck


  5. freakychinaman Says:

    I’ve seen those vids too (I spend way too much time on youtube… seriously…), not sure if we’re thinking of the same person but I know a good fighter called Marcus vinicios (at least something like that, anyone that tries to write a paragraph about how I spelt it wrong can go to hell), who’s a capoeira fighter that also cross trains kickboxing. But see, the types of entries here I avoid these types of hybrids, because seriously then whether it be capoeira, karate, wing chun… they’re all gonna be exactly the same (watch those chinese San Da tournaments, you can’t tell where the dragon ends an the crane begins… :P). If I’m really going to need an insight for capoeira first hand, then I’d at least need a month or two before they stop making me dance around and do crescent kicks… and since I don’t want to do that I listen to friends who have. Cheers.

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