Wait a Second, Breakdance Fighting is REAL!?

"They're break-dance fighting!"

"They're break-dance fighting!"

Last week, my friend Joe went to his first Muay Thai Boxing class at a gym in the area (blog post about it here), and hilarity ensued (to borrow a phrase from Tucker Max).  I’ve always been interested in studying a martial art to go along with strength training for a number of reasons:

  1. Why not?  It gives me something to do.
  2. I’ll be able to defend myself against ninjas, which is nice.
  3. It’ll improve my flexibility, which could use some work.
  4. I’ll feel like a badass. win-win!

Now, I was trying to decide which discipline to follow and I came across Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art originally developed by slaves.  What makes this one so awesome?  Um, it’s literally BREAK DANCE FIGHTING.  I’ll let that sink in for a second.  Yeah, take fighting, and throw in flips, spins, rhythm, and a big helping of awesome and you got yourself on hell of an afternoon.  I’ve been a terrible break dancer for years, and it’s something I’ve wanted to get back into, so I figure might as well learn some fighting moves and get better at that at the same time!

So I’ve done some research on Capoeira (apparently there’s this free encyclopedia on the net called Wikipeidia…who knew!), “Capoeira’s origins are not entirely clear. While many believe that the form displays a combination of African and Brazilian martial arts, historians are divided between those who believe it is a direct descendant of African fighting styles and those who believe it is a uniquely Brazilian dance form distilled from various African and Brazilian influences.  The sparring is marked by fluid acrobatic play, feints, and extensive use of sweeps, kicks, and headbutts.”  Sounds good to me, plus I’ll look like these guys:


Capoeira Circle

Now, I do have some concerns in going this direction.  One, there’s no real fighting when it comes to practicing Capoeira, it’s all about the movements and actually NOT hitting each other.  If you get in a fight with a dude, you’re not gonna wanna practice NOT hitting him.  You’re going to want to beat the **** out of him as quickly as possible if you’re in danger.   Plus, if it happens in a bar or some place similar, then break dance fighting probably won’t help.  Anybody out there ever done Capoeira?  Can it actually be effective in a real-life situation?  I’d consider studying Capoeira alongside a more applicable study like Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (also taught at the same gym) or Muay Thai boxing with Joe.  Either way, I’d definitely like to jump into Capoeira soon.  At the very worst, I could look like this guy and get cast in the next You Got Served movie.


Best Break dancing I’ve Ever Seen

Any Capoeira people out there? Any recommendations? Would anybody NOT recommend Capoeira?

-Steve

Get The Rebel Starter Kit

Enter your email and we’ll send it right over.

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • The most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete your first workout today, no gym required.
  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.
  • Freedom

    Holy freaking crap those guys are in shape. I forgot how motivating watching some breakdancing and flips can be! Freaking awesome.

  • Freedom

    Holy freaking crap those guys are in shape. I forgot how motivating watching some breakdancing and flips can be! Freaking awesome.

  • http://www.divergentshadows.com/ Evan

    I believe this will answer all of your questions:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6oiADjOdFg

  • http://www.divergentshadows.com Evan

    I believe this will answer all of your questions:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6oiADjOdFg

  • http://www.nerdfitness.com/ Steve

    Wow.

    Evan that link is ridiculous, and that kick was unreal. Thanks for the link, and looks like I can move forward with Capoeira hopefully over the next few weeks!

    -Steve

  • http://www.nerdfitness.com Steve

    Wow.

    Evan that link is ridiculous, and that kick was unreal. Thanks for the link, and looks like I can move forward with Capoeira hopefully over the next few weeks!

    -Steve

  • http://www.fatnessbegone.com/ Anthony

    All I have to say is WOW. There is a studio for this stuff less than a mile from my house. You should see the honeys that come out of that place. This is definately something that I am going to look into in about 75 pounds.

  • http://www.fatnessbegone.com Anthony

    All I have to say is WOW. There is a studio for this stuff less than a mile from my house. You should see the honeys that come out of that place. This is definately something that I am going to look into in about 75 pounds.

  • Pingback: Steve’s Goals for June 1st - Did I get there? | Nerd Fitness

  • http://www.ilidimages.com/ ilidimages.com

    Hey, never felt the urge to actually follow through and post anything on a blog or forum, but this time I just have to! I have done Capoeira on and off for 6 years. My 4 yr relationship is with a professional b-boy (breakdancer). Of course, capoeira surely isn’t breakdancing fighting, but does resemble some of the amazing aesthetics. Before training capoeira, I practiced other martial arts (tae kwon do and Okinawan karate) for 8 years and competed on a national circuit. I love the fight! Because Capoeira is so lethal, it is not often that you watch a Roda (the circle where capoeiristas fight) that shows extensive contact. That is to say that if you were actually following through with your circular kicks, the blows would be devastating. The meia lua (kick) was originally used to take out horses’ legs for heck’s sake! I have had my fair share of concussions and broken peices, trust me. As well, coming from a very egotistical martial art form (karate and tkd) I never initially gave capoeira the benefit of the doubt. I was absolutely wrong! Because capoeira has no linear handicap as many other asian style martial arts have, they are not as restricted and came dynamically attack from literally anywhere! Of course, ultimately it depends on the martial artist. But it is an awesome art that can be used for many things. Breaking, too, is an amazing form that takes just as much-if not more- strength, bodily control, diligence, sweat and bruises. One thing that makes it even harder to master is that you are often learning on your own or with few people instead of being able to use the infused energy of a capoeira roda!

  • http://www.ilidimages.com ilidimages.com

    Hey, never felt the urge to actually follow through and post anything on a blog or forum, but this time I just have to! I have done Capoeira on and off for 6 years. My 4 yr relationship is with a professional b-boy (breakdancer). Of course, capoeira surely isn’t breakdancing fighting, but does resemble some of the amazing aesthetics. Before training capoeira, I practiced other martial arts (tae kwon do and Okinawan karate) for 8 years and competed on a national circuit. I love the fight! Because Capoeira is so lethal, it is not often that you watch a Roda (the circle where capoeiristas fight) that shows extensive contact. That is to say that if you were actually following through with your circular kicks, the blows would be devastating. The meia lua (kick) was originally used to take out horses’ legs for heck’s sake! I have had my fair share of concussions and broken peices, trust me. As well, coming from a very egotistical martial art form (karate and tkd) I never initially gave capoeira the benefit of the doubt. I was absolutely wrong! Because capoeira has no linear handicap as many other asian style martial arts have, they are not as restricted and came dynamically attack from literally anywhere! Of course, ultimately it depends on the martial artist. But it is an awesome art that can be used for many things. Breaking, too, is an amazing form that takes just as much-if not more- strength, bodily control, diligence, sweat and bruises. One thing that makes it even harder to master is that you are often learning on your own or with few people instead of being able to use the infused energy of a capoeira roda!

  • http://www.nerdfitness.com/ Steve

    Wow, great comment!

    Ha, I realize that Capoeira is so much more than breakdancing fighting, but it’s a pretty accurate description if you had to tell a completely uninformed individual in two words! :)

    You just made me so excited to start Capoeira training one day. As soon as I can afford to join the gym where it is practiced I’ll be going a few nights a week hopefully to try this out.

    -Steve

  • http://www.nerdfitness.com Steve

    Wow, great comment!

    Ha, I realize that Capoeira is so much more than breakdancing fighting, but it’s a pretty accurate description if you had to tell a completely uninformed individual in two words! :)

    You just made me so excited to start Capoeira training one day. As soon as I can afford to join the gym where it is practiced I’ll be going a few nights a week hopefully to try this out.

    -Steve

  • Pingback: My UFC 100 Story from Las Vegas | Nerd Fitness

  • Pingback: Do What you love - there's no time for anything else | Nerd Fitness

  • Adan Kohnhorst

    Capoeira looks like tons of fun and I wholly recommend taking it. However, I strongly dis-recommend using it for self-defense. It takes years of consistent study before you can use Capoeira for fighting, it’s difficult even for the masters. Some of the main reasons are that it requires lots of range and most fights start from very close quarters, and also that it was developed to look like dancing and to be used in a roda, against other Capoeira practitioners. This is why knockouts like Evans are so spectacular. They rarely happen. You said the same gym also offers BJJ classes? Get in on that if you have the money. Very useful for fighting, also tons of fun. Have fun with your martial arts!

  • Adan Kohnhorst

    Capoeira looks like tons of fun and I wholly recommend taking it. However, I strongly dis-recommend using it for self-defense. It takes years of consistent study before you can use Capoeira for fighting, it’s difficult even for the masters. Some of the main reasons are that it requires lots of range and most fights start from very close quarters, and also that it was developed to look like dancing and to be used in a roda, against other Capoeira practitioners. This is why knockouts like Evans are so spectacular. They rarely happen. You said the same gym also offers BJJ classes? Get in on that if you have the money. Very useful for fighting, also tons of fun. Have fun with your martial arts!

  • http://www.nerdfitness.com/ Steve

    Hey Adan, thanks for the advice. I’m going to look into doing both capoeria and BJJ – I think they even have breakdancing too. Unfortunately the gym is quite expensive, so I need to save up some money before I can afford another monthly fee.

    -S

  • http://www.nerdfitness.com Steve

    Hey Adan, thanks for the advice. I’m going to look into doing both capoeria and BJJ – I think they even have breakdancing too. Unfortunately the gym is quite expensive, so I need to save up some money before I can afford another monthly fee.

    -S

  • Pingback: Taking Up the Cause Full-Time. | Nerd Fitness

  • Pingback: 5 Life Lessons Learned From The Karate Kid | Nerd Fitness

  • Pingback: Have You Ever Seen a Fat Rock Climber? | Nerd Fitness

  • Pingback: Win a Free Copy of The Rebel Fitness Guide! | Nerd Fitness

  • Pingback: Train Like A Secret Agent: Becoming Bond and Bourne | Nerd Fitness

  • Pingback: Help Me Create An Epic Quest of Awesome | Nerd Fitness

  • Pingback: CrossFit Peachtree | CrossFit in Buckhead | CrossFit in Atlanta | CrossFit in Midtown | Personal Training Atlanta | Atlanta Strength and Conditioning Coach | CrossFit Football in Atlanta | Atlanta Speed and Agility Training

  • Jon

    I’ve been practicing Capoeira for 7 years and I’ve definitely seen flights break out, but only in the Roda against other Capoeiristas. It’s a martial art, and it must be approached like an martial art. Those kicks are very dangerous. The kick in the “20 second KO” video is called a Meia Lua de Compasso, or circular half moon kick. Even a beginner is dangerous when he throws that kick. I was knocked out a few years back by someone who has been training less than a month because I didn’t take it seriously, and I didn’t dodge the kick properly. It’s not an experience I’d like to relive. Capoeria is a very unique artform, and I wouldn’t necessarily use it in a fight, but there are kicks, and take-downs that I might use in a fight. and of course it hones your instincts and makes you a very tricky fighter.

  • Lifeisdesign

    Here’s what full contact Capoeira looks like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff4S4Am-Zoo

  • Lifeisdesign

    Here’s a “Best of” video as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO6XvxHJ4Vc

  • Joel

    I think the closest you’ll ever truly get to a break dance fighting would be what i just saw.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejM7ZCEzs5A …. its a form of drunken muay thai mixed with dancing… which after see that i really wanted to learn myself how to do it lol. I’ve loved chinese martial arts my entire life and i feel as if personally my soul connects with fu jow pai so i would like to learn what i believe is already in me (since we all have some form of a inner connection to the style we train in)… but aside from chinese martial arts i believe the closest to the chinese would have to be the thai people with amazing arts that almost no other man can come close to touching. 

  • Berrybright7

    Zoolander!!!!

  • Rodamagazine

    We love this blogpost since it was dedicated to learning Capoeira. And we are into Capoeira as well. We decided to put this in our blog. Our Blog is dedicated to Capoeira: 
    http://rodamagazine.com/Capoeira/News/Wait-a-Second-Breakdance-Fighting-is-REAL-.html?Itemid=13

  • Captncid

    Did you know there is a movie out that has a BUNCH of Capoeira in it? It is called “Only the Strong.”

  • Beau

    Steve. Capoeira is a pretty awesome style to learn and works well in a real life fight and if you know how to use Capoeira well then you can beat any person that trys to fight you at a bar for example. Capeoira does look like Break Dancing to an extent but hides the Martal Art Moves very well . Capoeira does also have some skills for ground fighting like Brazilian Ju-Jitsu.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1139492589 Jay Thomason

    Of course like anything else. Don’t get a big head, and know when to use a particular move or combo. A friend of mine who has run a dojo for several years and has been working with regional MMA with another style for the past few, got surprised. While I admit balancing on your hands and kicking is something that I need a heck of a lot of a lot of practice before I can even do that handstand much less the kick is nice to look at. Trying it on a non-martial artist who has gotten in many brawls over the years, results in your feet being pushed back and you off your hands. In this case, my friend was too surprised to control the fall and hit the concrete floor a little hard. no injuries just bruised pride.

    It was a good thing they were friends and nobody was angry at each other. Just a little showmanship

    edit: just remembered that his style is Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. But the idea of know what to use remains the same.

  • Pimen Tinha

    “One, there’s no real fighting when it comes to practicing Capoeira, it’s
    all about the movements and actually NOT hitting each other.” –> that is actually not true! I have been doing capoeira only for 2years but got a few kicks! And yes, we also learn how to kick, and also how to control the kick. I would recommend for you to start it! its awesome! Axé!

  • Nina

    I know this is an old post, but i only saw it now, so my comment maybe out of place. There is a lot of actual fighting in capoeira, that is because is divided in two diferent styles, regional – the one that are learned in gyms, and angola, the old one, that the brazilian slaves used to show self-defence so they could be free. the second one it was forbitten to be practice in here (i am brazilian) because it was actually really dangerous, and it was about malice and checking how your oponents move to prevent your moment,that is more similar to what anderson silva does, or did before breaking his leg, and much less to do with the flourish and break dancing moves. the regional style was the clean version that was invent to preserve that great part of our history in just a safe and beautiful way, and looks much more like a dance or game than real fighting

  • Thiago Militão

    I’m capoeirista 1 year here in Brazil and I see things that you guys out there have never seen. I saw colleagues who died at the wheel and almost killed a colleague with a a.rmada is a joke that if not careful your name will stop the obituary.