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Thread: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

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    Default Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    This thread is an offshoot from a prior thread where we got to discussing how a kenpo person might deal with a capoeirista. I am giving a link here to the capoeira school where I train, where some videos are posted so that you all can take a look at some examples of capoeira, for those of you who are not familiar with the art. Any discussion about how a kenpo person might deal with this style, from weaknesses to strengths, etc., new ideas to consider and whatnot.

    http://abada.org/gallery3.html

    I am not in any of these videos. They were taken during the years while I was away from the school pursuing studies in the Chinese arts. I have recently returned to my capoeira training and am more active now.

    These videos were taken during a series of competitive games that my school was hosting. The idea is not to treat it like a fight, but rather develop a physical dialogue and develop a complex game, which still has elements of the fight. The "winner" is not the one who beats up the other, but rather the one who is able to best develop the dialogue and play creatively with the opponent, while still displaying some sense of domination and control in the game. It is more subtle that an open fight. I don't expect you all to pick up on those subtleties, but just thought I'd mention it to give a little perspective on why they aren't just hitting each other.

    The videos are separated into different sections, Sao Bento Grande, Benguela, Iuna and Angola. These are different types of games within capoeira. Some are fast and furious, others are slower and more deliberate and methodical, some stress the acrobatics, others are more like a chess game. It should be interesting to watch, and hopefully will stimulate some interesting conversation.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    The original thread that this spun off from is here, so you can get the background of what has already been discussed.

    http://www.kenpotalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2807
    Michael


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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    It would definately be a challange to deal with capoeira. One of the main objectives in kenpo is to destroy the opponents stance making them unstable and hard for them to strike back. But from watching (only a few) of the videos it's quite clear they a skilled capoeira practitioner can easily strike from what could be considered an unballanced or destablized position.
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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    i took capoeira seminar's and can see the value of it. But moreso i thought it was a game then anything. I remember trying to use some cap, i addapted the duck under for kicks and slightly changed my back kick to a more low and roling flowing kick. I think capoaira is a great boddy sculpter and wish there was a school for it out here. But i think the theorys of kenpo would in a reality based fight, to the death... kenpo would win. it's hard to dance with a broken leg, but this is just an opinion, based on the fact kenpo was built to stop an opponent in 2 seconds thats the time from the first hit to the time the oponent hits the ground. but cap has lots of good stuff to add in for tournament fighting and flashy fighting, exersise and more. i love cap.

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    ...discussing how a kenpo person might deal with a capoeirista. I am giving a link here to the capoeira school where I train, where some videos are posted so that you all can take a look at some examples of capoeira, for those of you who are not familiar with the art. Any discussion about how a kenpo person might deal with this style, from weaknesses to strengths, etc., new ideas to consider and whatnot.
    Amazing- on two counts:

    First, the videos actually ran on my computer.

    Second, that was nothing like I had visualized-- well, prety much nothing like it. It looked like there were a lot of opportunities for them to strike, especially with kicks. But the game is just to set up the opportunities.

    My impression, just from watching this, is that you would have to remain mobile, but Kenpo mobile. I wouldn't want to try and beat these guys at their own game. However, that kind of mobility and the unorthodox leg attacks would compromise a solid base at the onset. A lot of trips, sweeps and kicks comeing at too many different angles. However, when the opportunity to strike comes, you'd probably want the option to solidify or root a stance.

    Their weakness appears to be the same as their strength. Redirecting or quickly pulling a leg is more unballancing than with arms. It also requires more time to arrest momentum with those rolling leg attacks and with no base. They looked very vulnerable when changing direction. Also, since they use hands for a base in many attacks, their ribs and elbows looked especially endangered in a lot of those moves.

    I'm sure they fight a little different, and the unusual nature of what you'd be facing would be hard to adapt to at first. So I'm not dissing them, by any means. Just looking at how to deal with this. Looks like it would be a real test of your ability to adapt.

    Thanks for that, fc. Really interesting stuff!

    Dan C

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Amazing- on two counts:

    First, the videos actually ran on my computer.

    Second, that was nothing like I had visualized-- well, prety much nothing like it. It looked like there were a lot of opportunities for them to strike, especially with kicks. But the game is just to set up the opportunities.

    My impression, just from watching this, is that you would have to remain mobile, but Kenpo mobile. I wouldn't want to try and beat these guys at their own game. However, that kind of mobility and the unorthodox leg attacks would compromise a solid base at the onset. A lot of trips, sweeps and kicks comeing at too many different angles. However, when the opportunity to strike comes, you'd probably want the option to solidify or root a stance.

    Their weakness appears to be the same as their strength. Redirecting or quickly pulling a leg is more unballancing than with arms. It also requires more time to arrest momentum with those rolling leg attacks and with no base. They looked very vulnerable when changing direction. Also, since they use hands for a base in many attacks, their ribs and elbows looked especially endangered in a lot of those moves.

    I'm sure they fight a little different, and the unusual nature of what you'd be facing would be hard to adapt to at first. So I'm not dissing them, by any means. Just looking at how to deal with this. Looks like it would be a real test of your ability to adapt.

    Thanks for that, fc. Really interesting stuff!

    Dan C
    Glad you liked it, and you have made some good observations.

    Without studying the art and taking the time to really experience it, it is very difficult to gauge what it can and cannot do. The mobility and direction changing are so integral in the art that it becomes as natural as a horse or a bow stance. A capoeirista seems to be always falling and off balance, but in reality that is just his state of being and it is natural and works for the art. The ability to flow very easily from one thing to another, even when you are being swept down, can be amazing.

    As I alluded to earlier, the game of capoeira is different from the fight, and these videos are representative of the game. But they definitely give a good sense of how a capoeirista is trained to move (I hope you noticed the very brief "Lunge Stance" that occurs within the movement, which was the original topic that lead to this discussion). I believe that in a real fight, the movement would be very useful, but definitely toned down and less exaggerated. One wouldn't want to expend a bunch of energy for no reason, and this stuff can tire you out. In addition, I think the acrobatics would be removed, as they are dangerous and leave you exposed. Probably what you would end up with is someone who moves very quickly and unusually, who can throw tremendously powerful and fast kicks from many directions, and is good at sweeping your feet out from under you.

    I know some capoeiristas who are scary good, and trust me, you wouldn't want to fight with them .

    Anyway, I appreciate the feedback. I am not trying to present one art as superior to the other. But I do think that many people have little real understanding of capoeira, and probably underestimate its capabilities. Of course the quality of the practitioner makes a world of difference. A poor capoeirista is useless in a fight, and it is a difficult art in which to reach a high level. But a good capoeirista can do amazing and unexpected things, and that should not be forgotten.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    i took capoeira seminar's and can see the value of it. But moreso i thought it was a game then anything

    Ah, I am sure that there are a lot of capoeiristas who would be delighted to know that you see it this way .

    But i think the theorys of kenpo would in a reality based fight, to the death... kenpo would win. it's hard to dance with a broken leg, but this is just an opinion, based on the fact kenpo was built to stop an opponent in 2 seconds thats the time from the first hit to the time the oponent hits the ground.

    Keep in mind that capoeira has a history going back several hundred years to the colonial, slavery period in Brazil. Its roots are older than that, tracing to the African fighting arts. Capoeira grew up in a social setting of slavery and brutality. While it contains certain "ritualistic" elements, including the connection to dance and game, it is most definitely a fight and has been used very effectively as such for centuries. It has also changed much over this time. Capoeira today is quite different from capoeira done even 100 years ago. Today, I believe there is more emphasis placed on the acrobatics, and I think that is not necessarily good for the art. But its roots are most definitely in fighting, and capoeira today maintains those roots. Kenpo is not the only art designed to crush an opponent. An art like capoeira simply has a different approach, and it should not be discounted too easily.

    At any rate, I appreciate your observations.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHAix0QvavY

    Im not sure if you're familiar with this video but i thought you might enjoy this.
    "A warrior's ultimate act is to put down his sword"

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessRising View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHAix0QvavY

    Im not sure if you're familiar with this video but i thought you might enjoy this.

    Yes, I have seen that clip before, it is a pretty amazing bit of choreography and captures the spirit of capoeira well. I think in a real fight the acrobatics would probably go away because they would really leave you exposed to someone who knows what he is doing, but they did a nice job in filming this.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    I have an acquaintance, Max, who trains in capoeira. I'm not sure what his skill equivalence is; I think he trained for a couple of years. We both go caving together; however, I have not yet been able to play with him, pitting kenpo and capoeira together. About a month ago, he demonstrated some of his moves on my front lawn and I have demonstrated some kenpo (forms). Another friend, who also goes caving, demonstrated his blend of JKD. One of these days, we will have to try friendly sparring and see what happens.

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    I have seen demos and videos of Capoeira and it is an amzing art. It would be difficult to compare it to anything really without having trained at least a little bit in that system.

    I thought for sure this was a troll but when I saw that it was posted by Flying Crane I knew it was a legit thread. Interesting viewpoints so far...

    The first thing that comes to mind is that if the training is anything like a "game", than that mindset seems to part ways with pure self-defense, and war on the street! Same with acrobatics, a little bit is great for plyometric and explosive muscle development, and is probably fun but again--- if the goal is STREET, these things should be only a small portion of the curriculum.

    Again, I am posting based on limited exposure of the art and I am sure that like most systems, each dojo may have a different feel or mix regarding street defense. I also concede that there are probably some SUPER tough Capoeira folks out there... I put it in the same category as Aikido; awesome art, but I bet it takes a while to get where one can defend themself with it. (I took Aikido for over a year and a half and loved it, but would not consider myself AT ALL proficient in using it on the street)

    Cheers!

    EDIT: It also seemed to me to be primarily kicking techniques, with little hand-work.
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    I think Mark Dascos did a great job representing Capoiera in the Movie Only The Strong.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    [B][quote=Dianhsuhe;30169[/B]
    I thought for sure this was a troll but when I saw that it was posted by Flying Crane I knew it was a legit thread. Interesting viewpoints so far...

    Thank you for that! Heh heh...

    The first thing that comes to mind is that if the training is anything like a "game", than that mindset seems to part ways with pure self-defense, and war on the street! Same with acrobatics, a little bit is great for plyometric and explosive muscle development, and is probably fun but again--- if the goal is STREET, these things should be only a small portion of the curriculum.


    Yes, this is a very good observation, and I think probably one of the biggest hurdles for a capoeirista's training. I have seen capoeiristas who wished to "up" the training, to make it more street worthy. What they often do is just throw kicks harder and end up injuring each other in training. What they often fail to realize is that to truly prepare the art for the street takes a shift in mindset, and a real adjustment in the approach to training. Some things that work great in the game are just downright hazardous to try in a real fight. And just throwing kicks "harder" doesn't make it streetworthy. A more sophisticated approach to striking, knowing where and how to hit to be effective, and knowing how to set up those strikes is needed. Unfortunately for many capoeiristas, this remains elusive. They end up with a brawling method that can work to some degree, can even be nasty, but doesn't rise to the level that it could. I always felt that my kenpo training gave me some insights along this line that my capoeira buddies often didn't have.
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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    It looks like it would take a lot of body strength to do Capoeria.
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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Angel View Post
    It looks like it would take a lot of body strength to do Capoeria.

    Yes and no. It often is helpful, but to be honest, balance and leverage are key and more than make up for a lack of body strength. However, training in capoeira will definitely increase your strength and stamina.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Michael- Are there hand techniques? I cannot say I have ever seen a hand technique (limited experience) during the demo's I have seen. Reminds me of TKD (cringe!) in that sense...

    I see many apparent sweeps in the movements though...

    I notice that you "dance" and obviously come close to hitting each other- aren't you concerned that if you practice missing, you may "miss" in the street? Do you guys hit the pads and stuff to get used to the resistance?

    Honest questions- I have always thought (maybe incorrectly) that Capoeira was more "art" than "martial", do you feel that is true?
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Some great questions Mr. Gibson
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Nelson- I have finally come to the conclusion that style versus style favors the individuals themselves, rather than the arts they represent.

    I have trained with TKD folks who were tough- and others who were tip-tap harmless.

    I have trained with Aikidoka that were SO agile and quick that they were almost impossible to hit, and even when hit, they were tough as nails. (Seems unusual but true)
    Also, trained with Aikidoists who were useless in a self-defense perspective. (Understanding, that these people did not care about that)

    I have sparred with an EPAK guy who had MANY years of training who turned out to be more of a danger to himself than to me- (Again, it was the individual not the style- I know I am in EPAK land)

    In the end, I respect EVERYONE from any style but fear no-one... ***I do believe however that certain styles produce tougher fighters overall. ***

    I am biased towards Kara-Ho Kempo not simply because it is my chosen style, but because I have studied several others, and worked out with many more. We train hard, we attack hard, and we fight hard. Otherwise Professor Chow would come back from the grave and smack our okoles.
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianhsuhe View Post
    Michael- Are there hand techniques? I cannot say I have ever seen a hand technique (limited experience) during the demo's I have seen. Reminds me of TKD (cringe!) in that sense...

    I see many apparent sweeps in the movements though...

    I notice that you "dance" and obviously come close to hitting each other- aren't you concerned that if you practice missing, you may "miss" in the street? Do you guys hit the pads and stuff to get used to the resistance?

    Honest questions- I have always thought (maybe incorrectly) that Capoeira was more "art" than "martial", do you feel that is true?

    Sorry, I missed this post.

    Yes, there are hand techniques, but I have always felt that this is an area where the art is weakest. The hand techniques are fairly rudimentary and not very sophisticated, esp. when you compare to kenpo hand techniques. Given that I was a kenpo guy before I was a capoeirista, this has always been evident to me.

    We do train using focus mits and heavy bags, but in my opinion, not as much as perhaps we should, and not as thoroughly as we should. But this is how things are done in my school, and others might focus on this more.

    As far as the "dance" vs. "fight" aspects go: there is a difference between training and playing capoeira in the roda (the game), and training to use capoeira for fighting. I believe that most schools, including the one I attend, focus primarily on the roda. This implies that the game is played a certain way. What is important is that a physical dialogue be developed, which creates a flow and allows for the amazing aspects of the art to come into play. If contact were made, and the roda became a sparring match, then the physical dialogue and the flow would be destroyed. This is why hand techniques tend to get little use as well. Now this doesn't mean that things don't get rough in the roda. People get swept and taken down, and sometimes kicked, and sometimes egos get in the way and it can turn into a downright brawl, but then the flow and the dialogue has been thrown out the window. It's ugly capoeira and is considered showing your lack of skill if you do this. If you have a problem with someone, then you should display your superiority against that person in the roda. You outplay him, make him look foolish, control him, and even take him down, but without turning it into a brawl. If you show that you can do that, then you have "won" the match and capoeiristas will respect you a lot more for it.

    But capoeira is a fight, and has always been so. In the early days, I would say it was much more the focus, and perhaps the game aspect developed more later. But to use it, you need to train differently. Much of what makes capoeira so spectacular would get you killed in a real fight on the street. But there is a lot that is useful. But to be able to use it in a fight, you need to train for that. Much more contact based training, and looking for decisive strikes to destroy the opponent more quickly. It is a different mindset, and I believe most capoeira schools don't really focus on this much, even if they like to play rough in the roda. They are simply not the same thing. Capoeira in a fight would be ugly and brutal, and it would probably be over fairly quickly, like any other fighting art.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Kenpo vs. Capoeira

    Blitz them -

    Dave

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