From my original Bloody Elbow Post.
Before you read this post please review these Youtube Videos on Capoeira (just in case the Hyperlink does not work here is the short version of the url courtesy of Google's url shortener http://goo.gl/m769N) .
Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game
I have practiced Capoeira since High School. I discovered it while researching African-Brazilian customs, slavery, etc.
While attempting to show a student (who I have been teaching take down defense and balance) a regular leg sweep, I switched it up by placing my hand on the floor, as an achor and THEN spinning to deliver a capoeira style leg sweep.
I meant to surprise her or take her off guard to truly test her balance. I then decided to show her how capoeira players play (see videos) or "dance around" to deliver their strikes. I also began to punch (traditional boxing style, no spining to deliver the blow) as I played. I had an epiphany. Then is exactly how Frankie Edgar, Cruz, and Pettis fight.
However, I think their style draws a little from capoeira AND Boxing. Capo Kickboxing or Capoeira adopted for MMA.
Nester Capoeira's words - "The-Dance-Fight-Game".
I will now define it.
N. a style of of stand-up striking
V.that incorporates the dancing (circular) footwork of caopeira, with the traditional (non spining to deliver a blow) upright striking stances of kickboxing (K-1 style and boxing); also combines the best aspect of angle changes from the parent arts. For takedowns, it incorporates traditional wrestling as opposed to spinning leg sweeps.
Also spins are exhanged for lateral movement; flamboyant spinning kicks traded for kicks delivered while upright.
Also a math formula:
Caopeira Dancing + (any strike from muay thai, boxing, kenpo, wing chun, sanshou, etc.) = Capoeira Adapted for MMA
It is an improvement over Capoeira for 4 main reasons ( 4 main weaknesses in terms of MMA):
Capoeira Weakness 1:
Capoeira turn their backs to opponents while spinning (vulnerable for a window of time) to kick and are not use to someone coming in and taking them down by grabbing their legs or taking their back for a rear naked choke.
Edgar/Cruz use lateral/diagonal movement (no spins, no turning the back to your opponent) and cut in towards a opponent and use a traditional strikes. Pettis is unorthodox or the exception.
Capoeira Weakness 2:
Caoeira players leave their hands out and to the side for balance. While spinning to deliver a kick they may place their hand on the ground to increase the power of their kicks.
This leaves their chin wide open and can be tagged by traditional punches. Also, MMA is close-quarter, hand to hand combat. Capoeira fighters are NOT used to someone grabbing them in a Thai Clinch.
They keep their hands in a traditional boxing stance. This guards their chin and face, allows them to deliver traditional boxing blows, and to hand fight (guard against throws, dirty box, and guard against, or apply the Thai clinch).
Capoeira Weakness 3
Capoeira Stylist use only leg sweeps to take down an opponent. They are mostly acomplished by surprise, deception of intention (spinning away as if to run away only to revolve around to move forward and strike), changing angles, and most importantly the feet or sweeps (although you could dance, then center your opponent and surprise him with a Muay Thai forward kick, Tik (sp) Kick I believe) .
They are free to use their hands to shoot in and use traditional wrestling techniques and even judo techniques.
Capoeira Weakness 4:
Capoeira players may need wide, or significant space to pull off spinning roundhouse kicks (capoeira style) or spinning axe kicks.
Once again, MMA is close quarter and they have eliminated spins.
Keys to Victory:
If you are a traditional capoeira fighter looking to get into MMA, don't be prideful or feel you are not representing your culture if you vary your style as I describe above - research all of the pure capoeira artists who lost (See. Youtube link above) in MMA matches and learn from their mistake.
Also, some other observations about their style (capoeira/kickboxing):
Capoeira is built for lightweights:
The dancing requires a huge reserve of cardio. In other words it is a high energy stance and better suited for the 155 lb. and below fighters.
I think boxing is a energy conserving stance built for the heavier weights. Most of the changing of angles comes from moving the upper body at angles (back, forth, side to side) with the feet firmly planted.
Also, Capoeira players also "tag" in and out because of the high energy demands, while boxers, even heavyweights, can go for 12 rounds if necessary.
Key to Victory:
To defeat Edgar/Cruz/Pettis I would advise you bring in some high-level, fast, and pure capoeira players to spar with - they are the only ones who can imitate the style of Edgar/Cruz/Pettis.
Thanks to everyone who ever gave me a positive comment on my articles. I have decided to start my own blog and various micro blogs on topics such as religion, movie and music reviews, interviews with MMA fighter (audio version), etc. I also want to trail blaze satire in MMA writing.
Special thanks to Jonathan Snowden - you are a big inspiration.
I study about P.T. Barnum alot so with that said -
Thank you for coming to my circus and paying the price of admission (thoughtful comments)!
MMA: No Heels (fabricated villains created by ++E creative, pro wrestling writers, or bookers) Required