Capoeira: notation and movements.

The following is a notation I came up with to help me write down sequences… Bare with me – my spelling is horrible.

b, f, l, r – back, front, left, right as modifiers.

LLB/RLB – left leg back/right leg back – usually refers to Ginga

FinB/FinP – finish back, finish parallel

Gb – Ginga Back
Sp – Step Parallel
Sw – Switch feet (LLB, E2:R:Sw:E3:R)

E1 – esquiva with legs parallel

E2 – esquiva with one leg back (you are in LLB and a kick comes FROM your left – you do E2 to the right)
E3 – esquiva with one leg back, but a bit like E1. (you are in LLB and a kick comes FROM your right – twist torso to go into E3)

PdML – Passata de Meia Lua

Ground moves
Ro – full role (2 step)
Ro.5 – half a role (1 step)
Nt – Negativa
QdR – Queda de Rins

Round Kicks
MlF – Meia Lua de Frente – front crescent
MlC – Meia Lua de Compasso
Ar – Armada
QxA – Queixada – Jawbreaker

More Sophisticated kicks
CdC – Chapeo de Coro

Straight Kicks
Mt – Martelo
Ch – Chapa

Au – Au
Ma – Macaco
AuSM – Au sem mao / Au without hands
Mt – Mortal, flip

Vt – Vingativa
Ts – Tesoura

A good link: Moves


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6 responses to “Capoeira: notation and movements.

  1. Now, here’s the geeky comment. Next step: write an engine that renders, say, a stick figure (to start with) doing those moves. There could be one out there already. Final project: enter whatever sequence and see the lil person on the screen do the impossible!

    • Hehe… actually I was thinking of it. Cause then you just have to define how the momentum is transferred to allow linking of moves together (i.e. E2:R does not go directly into QxA:L – QxA is the kick you did in your first class).

      We are not the first:

      • Yeah, I killed a couple of hours on v2 of that game some time ago.
        Although that’s not exactly what I was talking about. I was talking about something a bit more general, but ok.
        Oh, you know what would be cool… (since this thread is already hopelessly off topic). Remember that weird site (here it is… it’s That thing uses force->motion idea. Now reverse it. I know, I stopped making sense a couple of sentences ago, but here’s what I mean. Take each of the ‘lines’ of the stick figure (that now can do stuff) and attach four muscles to it (on each side). Now figure out what muscles are used when all the moves are performed (not forgetting about gravity). I can think of a couple of marginally useful applications of it, but it ain’t worth it. Of course, you can achieve this effect by simply going crazy at the gym the day before practice and finally making use of the delayed muscle soreness (in the name of science, no less).

      • Hehe… I think I get it. Must have been done before with all the 3D games and modeling out there. So if we were to do it, what would you suggest? There should be libraries for this… Sounds like some really intense mathematical modeling… :\ Or are you suggesting something else?

        I was thinking of a simpler way – there are movements and positions that act as standard segways, so, what we could do is simply feed in some movements and establish which can connect to which others. Then it becomes just a depth-first-search… ah… CS111 😉

        So, for example:

        Armada (Ar:R) is always entered through Step Parallel (Sp) and is optimal if momentum is going to the right as well. You finish Armada in one of FinB, FinP (finish parallel), or FinB.5… I agree that you end up with less flexibility, but what could you attain with your system that you couldn’t with this?

        Or are you looking for all the madness that can be theoretically done with the human body and no fear? 😉

      • Well, the idea about attaching ‘muscles’ is an add-on. Otherwise it’s pretty much what you said. Basically, going beyond stick figures goes into the pile of utterly useless ideas of mine (like modeling behavior of, say, atom and seeing what happens…)
        Ugh… there I go again: just think of the possibilities. You feed in a sequence of moves. The stick figure does all that while you’re recording how it’s muscles are flexed and record it. Can you guess what’s next? Exactly! You hook it up to a person and run the recorded program, making a person into a Capoeira master in a matter of seconds 🙂 Ok, ok, I know… you don’t have to say it…

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