In this article, we will tell you a few words about Capoeira, and how effective martial art it is for MMA.
Capoeira is great for MMA because it builds fighter’s strategy, physical capabilities, and gameplan.
There where many Capoeira fighters in the MMA world, and even some of the best fighters in UFC where training Capoeira in some part of their life. So stay with us, because we will show you how and why Capoeira is an effective martial art for MMA.
What is Capoeira?
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that incorporates elements of martial arts, games, music, and dance.
It originated in Brazil and was developed by slaves from Africa (especially from the area of present-day Angola) in the 16th century.
Capoeira is performed in a circle (genus) made up of capoeiristas. They sing, clap and play instruments, and create energy (ax) that two capoeiristas (who play) turn into attractive movements.
Capoeira is known for its acrobatic and complex moves, often involving hands on the ground and inverted kicks. It emphasizes flowing movements rather than fixed stances; the ginga, a rocking step, is usually the main point of the technique.
To date, it has developed in several directions and different styles, but regardless of style, capoeira is a dialogue of movement, a game of outwitting opponent with rhythm and positive energy that makes a kind of modern ritual and skill that develops the whole body and erases gender, age, and race.
How dangerous is Capoeira?
Capoeira is not a dangerous martial art to train because it has no focus on hitting the other person, the goal is to make the interaction of the two people through attractive movements.
Unfortunately, it is also not dangerous for your opponent, for example in a street fight, or in MMA, because in it you are not learning how to hit your opponent, or how to defend and deflect his attacks.
Why is then Capoeira effective in MMA?
Even thou it is not directly efficient in a fight, it builds fighter’s strategy, physical capabilities, and gameplan.
There were some great MMA fighters in history (we will mention some later) that were using Capoeira as their style of fighting.
It wasn’t their primary fighting skill, but Capoeira effectively helped them bring something new to the table.
It’s not easy for a fighter to adapt to a way of fighting that he has so far either not encountered or for which he has not prepared at all.
That is exactly what happens to the opponents of the guys who bring Capoeira to the fight.
MMA Capoeira fighters still mix other martial arts with it, they really have to because Capoeira isn’t even learning to hit and defend, but they have completely different styles, the style rarely any fighter expects.
Do they only do Capoeira? Obviously not. Is it necessarily always the main fighting style? No way. Do they get their wins with “secret Capoeira techniques?” No.
But they adapt their fighting strategy to something new, combining other martial arts, such as Muay Thai, BJJ, Kickboxing, and others with Capoeira, and some do it with very good results.
You will learn some physical capabilities specific to Capoeira style, like, kicking, flexibility, being comfortable in an inverted position, “rolling”, bridging, and managing the transition from standing to the ground (and ground to standing). These are places where Capoeira training techniques are unlike any other martial art.
Also, in Capoeira you are learning something that is called ‘malicia’. It is the capability to fool your opponent with the move you are trying to make. This is something that almost no other martial art is training, and what can, in combination with some other martial art, get real handy in a fight.
Just what we mentioned a bit earlier. Capoeira is training you on the technique of deception. Something that almost no other martial art is doing.
Even thou this is not a direct fighting skill like striking or submissions, it is an amazing capability to combine with other martial arts.
Imagine, good Muay Thai fighter being amazing in fooling his opponent in which direction he will hit, or BJJ fighter that tricks his opponent in different kinds of submission he hasn’t been ready for.
That’s exactly the gameplan you can induce inside your MMA fighting style if you are good in Capoeira, something nobody expects, something no one sees coming.
Capoeira forces you to think differently, and sometimes thinking differently is a useful skill to have.
Best MMA fighters that use Capoeira
There where some great MMA fighters that were using Capoeira style through their fightings. It has to be said, Capoeira wasn’t their only fighting technique, nor it was their primary fighting style, but it gave them something new, an unexpected edge over their opponents.
So here they are, some of the best MMA fighters that use or have used Capoeira as their fighting style:
- Marcus Aurélio
- Anderson Silva
- Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira
- Mestre Hulk
- Conor McGregor