10 Capoeira Training Tips
These 10 Capoeira training tips can help improve technique, form, and efficiency. This Afro-Brazilian martial art was created in the form of a dance, in an effort to disguise its martial art application. The martial art is performed to music, unless of course it is being used in real-world application, and features acrobatic moves that secretly double as defensive and offensive moves. Proper nutrition, flexibility, and recovery after practice will help improve technique and form.
- Stretch to avoid injury: The moves require fast performance which will become more accurate with practice. Stretching will reduce the risk of injury while increasing flexibility to aid moves. Most importantly, stretching the hamstrings, hip flexors, and quads will help improve abilities to perform the core moves continuously, while preventing injuries. If working on hand stands, be sure to stretch the chest and arms to prevent injury and strain here as well.
- Drink enough water: Capoeira, like a lot of exercise, is high-intensity and practice can drain your body of essential water. Be sure to replenish water while working out and practicing Capoeira, as well as throughout the day. A recommended goal is 64 ounces of water, plus more as needed with extra exercise exertion.
- Weight training will help the acrobatic moves: Hand stands and similar moves utilized in many Capoeira techniques require sufficient upper-body strength as well as a lean physique. Weight training several days a week will help increase strength and metabolism, burning off excess body fat. Work on strengthening the entire body, but most importantly, major muscle groups in the arms, chest, back, core, and legs. This will greatly improve technique.
- Eat a balance but lean diet: For proper muscle potential, a balanced but lean diet is essential. Opt for lean meats and chicken, fish, and vegetarian protein sources and consume a protein with every meal. Keep carbohydrates to a moderate intake, but do not avoid them because they are essential to energy needs.
- Sleep and rest: Just like weight training requires a day of rest between workouts, Capoeira requires some rest between workouts. If practicing every day, try to keep the sessions about the same length in time, and engage in practice about the same time every day to ensure at least a day’s rest. Aim for a proper sleep cycle each night of six to eight hours, and try to keep the sleep cycle the same every day.
- Strengthen your core: A strong core, including both abdominal and back muscles, will help protect your spine while performing Capoeira moves as well as aid in perfecting hand stands and flips. Focus crunches that target the abdominal muscles from various angles, such as upper and lower abs or obliques. It is also important to strength the back which can be done with weight training and back extension exercises.
- Use mirrors or video to watch yourself: This will allow you to see where your moves and form need improvement, as well as get an idea of where you may be vulnerable in a real sparring match or fight. An alternative is using a video recorder to record then review your performance, similar to NFL players reviewing film in practice before the next big game.
- Have a buddy to practice with: Having someone to practice with will greatly improve your Capoeira training because the moves were designed to be performed by two or more people at a time. This will also help keep motivation to practice higher.
- Be patient, perfection comes with time: Perfection is nice, but it is not always necessary. The spinning, swinging, rapid motions of Capoeira make it easy to mess up here and there, but they also help make it easy to cover up mistakes.
- Practice, practice, practice:No one ever became an expert at Capoeira overnight. Years of practice are required to perfect the moves and increase the ability to actually use the form as a martial art. It is best to avoid trying to use it in a fight unless absolutely necessary.