Oftentimes I find myself in conversations with other Afrikans who are studying karate, jiu-jitsu and various other asian martial arts while disparaging Capoeira as ineffective. Such people are often ignorant of the proven history of Capoeira as an effective technique used by Afrikans in real life to free themselves, fight wars and engage in street combat. Such conversations oftentimes go into whether or not it would be effective in the sport of mixed martial arts. While there are and have been MMA artists who use aspects of capoeira in part, it should be noted that Capoeira has historically and contemporarily included many movements which are banned in MMA sport. Thus while capoeira isn’t banned, most of the devastating movements of Capoeira ARE banned from MMA. Because Capoeira wasn’t a “sport” but rather a “by any means necessary” art used to get free, stay free and fight wars, moves such as cabecada (head butting), dedeira (eye-gouging), etc were built into it and are still used in fight rodas and jogo duro. If you look at the moves prohibited in MMA, half of them are standard Capoeira techniques (as copied below for convenience). If Capoeira was allowed in all of its vicious and unrestricted glory, I’m sure it would be found to be just as effective as it was found to be in the Triple Alliance war with Paraguay: http://capoeira-connection.com/capoeira/2011/10/why-sing-parana-e/

  • Headbutting
  • Eye gouging
  • Hair pulling
  • Spitting
  • Biting
  • Fish-hooking
  • Attacking the groin
  • Strikes to the back of the head and spinal area (see rabbit punch)
  • Strikes to, or grabs of the trachea
  • Small joint manipulation (control of three or more fingers/toes is necessary)
  • Intentionally throwing your opponent out of the ring/cage
  • Purposely holding the ring ropes or cage fence
  • Grabbing or putting a hand inside the trunks or gloves of the opponent
  • Pulling or holding onto an opponent’s gloves or trunks


The actual practices of malícia, maldade, malandragem would rather encourage such techniques as necessary depending on context; especially in contexts of fighting for one’s freedom, in war and in street combat. In short Capoeira is not only an effective martial art, but also it is ours as Afrikan people. I would encourage other Afrikans to learn and grab firm hold of their ancestral birthright as it is currently being exploited by culture bandits who want to say that it is anything but Afrikan so that they can legitimate their theft of our heritage and inheritance to be passed down to future generations.