Is Capoeira Effective In A Fight?

The existence of Capoeira dates back to the slave era when black slaves in Portugal used it to disguise that they were dancing while in reality, they were practicing fight moves.

The skill involves a lot of handstands and acrobatic moves that allow Capoeiristas to evade their opponent’s strike. Although the skill still incorporates a bit of entertainment with music and dance moves. 

Today, Capoeira is used as a self-defense tool on the street. With modern Capoeira centered around just the hand and leg touching the ground. If you are interested in learning Capoeira, the first question you want to ask is if it’s effective in fights. Well, we will answer that question and many more as we go down this page. 

What Is The Capoeira All About? 

Capoeira is another member of the long list of self-defense techniques in the world today. However, it’s different from anything you’ve tried. Capoeira is more like a sport and incorporates a bit of everything. Music, dance, and killer moves you will be taught from other self-defense training. 

 Your best shot of seeing Capoeira live in action is on the street of Brazil especially in a heated fight between two aggrieved parties. It’s the most popular type of self-defense in the area and fits the samba music. 

While most people are bound to shy away from Capoeira because of the dance steps, you should know that the moves are purely a way to intensify things and add a bit of entertainment. In the advanced stage, you will be introduced to mixes of acrobatics which includes jumps, kicks, blocks, and several dodges which influences your opponent to get their moves wrong.

The moves aren’t as difficult as that of Jiangsu or systema. There are other impressive movements that march the motion of your body with the rhythm of the music. 

Benefits of learning Capoeira 

  • Improves flexibility  

Capoeira goes beyond entertainment. It helps with body movement as well as development. It will develop your muscles for survival in dangerous situations. With the constant movement of your hands, your reflexes and flexibility will improve.  

  • Helpful against amateur fighters 

This will be useful against amateur fighters and bullies on the street whose greatest asset is their voice. Although the movement might be useless when up against professionals especially kickboxers. 

  • Enhances your stamina  

Learning Capoeira will also improve your stamina. You will hardly go down easily and even when you do, you can easily get back on your feet with little or no help. Constant practice comes with improved awareness and sensitivity to your environment. You can sense danger from afar and have a better hang of body language.  

It’s a win-win situation for anyone looking to learn Capoeira and this isn’t limited to Brazil alone. The skill originated from Brazil and gained popularity among African slaves in Portugal who were looking to take on Portuguese authorities during combat. 

However, the great concern remain if it’s effective in a street battle,s, especially with armed opponents. 

Is the Capoeira useful for fights? 

The Capoeira is a form of martial art but confusion does arise from its implementation. Interested individuals who want to learn the art get their first impression about the skill from Youtube videos. Hence, confusion arises when music is played in the background. 

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 We understand that in real life fight scenes, you won’t have music playing in the background and you might be up against many opponents with no space for you to execute your move. The Capoeira will help you out in one-on-one street fights provided you can execute moves like spin kicks, dodgeand blocks which reverses the opponent’s move. 

 The truth is, you can’t transfer all the moves you will learn in the training into real fights on the street. You can’t rely solely on it to bail you out especially if you’re up against experienced fighters with years of the martial art training. 

The biggest advantage Capoeira gives you is that it leaves your opponent confused. They don’t know where you’re going to spin to next. They can’t anticipate your next move. It’s a pain for them to watch. Well, it’s difficult for a novice to take on a Capoeira expert during one-on-one battles and come out on top. 

Our best advice is to learn other self-defense skills in addition to Capoeira if you want to be able to take on anyone on the street. Regardless of size and age. 

Is Capoeira easy to learn? 

Like every new skill, it will be difficult at first. It’s something entirely different from what you’ve seen in martial art movies especially Kung Fu and Shaolin films. Capoeira has to do with flexibility as well as fluidity in your movement. 

The hardest part is to establish a connection with the opposite number. Keep in mind that you will have to transfer that fluidity to the opponent you meet on the street if you want to adopt it as your main self-defense skill. 

Most training start from simple to advance. At the early stage, the moves are simple but you also need to learn the songs which are in Portuguese. Next, you learn some dance moves and a few spin kicks which allow you to spin yourself out of dangerous situations. Spin kicks are much more difficult than the linear ones you will be taught at the beginning, hence the risk of injury is higher at the advanced stage. 

Once you get a hang of the easy movement, your practitioner will begin to push you toward the harder ones which allow you to establish direct contact with the opponent. This includes learning to kick opponents in sensitive parts such as the face and leaving them with a black eye. 

Does Capoeira involve a lot of energy? 

Capoeira works best against inexperienced fighters especially those who can’t differentiate one self-defense skill from another. You will surprise your opponent with your movement but there are a few drawbacks. Capoeira is energy-consuming. It uses more of a gymnastic style hence all your body muscles look to be involved as you spin and jump. 

However, as you come up against tough opponents especially MMA fighters who know Capoeira themselves, it’s less effective. This category of fighters will use your energy against you. Allowing you to initiate the attack while they play defense until they’re sure you’ve tired yourself out and vulnerable. We do think Capoeira is entertaining and visually appealing but you can’t rely on it completely to help you out. 

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Is Capoeira effective against armed opponents? 

Originally, Capoeira prepares you to fight against both armed and unarmed opponents. Some techniques allow you to defend yourself when even your arm is tied behind you. The last stage of Capoeira training is devoted to weapon work as well. Hence, Capoeiristas do know how to handle weapons as well as other martial artists. 

What do you need to learn Capoeira? 

If you want to learn Capoeira, we do not advise you to learn it at home. Join a studio and sign up for training programs. It’s already hard to execute the move with a trainer not to mention when you train alone. 

The early slaves who practiced this skill were fond of doing so shirtless. The only piece of clothing they had on were shorts or trousers. That has changed in the modern era. From clips on Youtube, Many Capoeiristas love to train in loosed clothing. The custome is usually white cotton trouser, sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts, and a belt. 

There will be someone that plays the music in the background hence you don’t need to worry about investing in musical instruments. You can choose to practice barefooted since the training is carried out in a room with tiled floors. 

How long does the training last? 

Capoeira is a complete universe on its own, it involves a lot. You won’t get a hang of it in weeks. You don’t have to rush, you simply have to take it one step at a time. On average, it will take about four years to learn all the moves and achieve the fluidity it needs. Things slow down when you get to the advanced stage where you need to learn all the difficult movements. 

Your level of skillset also depends on who you learn the skill from. To ensure you’re not wasting your time, look out for certified training centers run by instructors with at least 7 years of experience. Anyone with three years of experience isn’t good enough to take up the role of an instructor. 


You don’t want to take on Capoeira simply because it looks interesting on YouTube or because you love the music. This skill engages your muscle and as such a little bit of physical awareness is required.

The truth is you need to be fit to engage in this type of self-defense. People with physical disabilities can’t do it. If you’re not an athlete, it will take a couple of years to get a hang of all the movements. 

Also, you ought to know that there are no safety measures put in place to minimize the risk of injuries. Even though Capoeiristas don’t throw blows, they engage in physically demanding activities. Capoeira arms you with all the tricks and tactics to evade your opponent but be careful who you take on. 


Hi - I'm Jonathan, and I've been passionate about fighting ever since I was a little kid. I did some Karate, Judo, and Kickboxing, and always wanted to try Aikido. I started this site to indulge my passion for Martial arts, answering all the geeky questions I had. Now I want to share all the information I've learned with you guys.

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