As noted in one of my earlier questions, I'm trying to get back into Capoeira. I'm trying to practice for 20 minutes or so each day, just going through the movements on my own in an empty room (the classes in town, unfortunately, still have not worked with my current schedule), but I'm running into an unexpected area of difficulty, the most basic move of the ginga.

I asked about balance here, but the other problem, admittedly one that I had when I was actually taking classes, is how to move in rhythm to the music. I have decent rhythm overall, despite my wife's ribbing, but I can't quite get which movement happens on which beat. When I was taking classes, the general explanation I got was to "just go with the music" and to try to mirror the person opposite me. Still, it just never quite made sense to me. I'm an engineer and I have an easier time thinking in terms of discreet beats of timing.

I've tried looking up a few videos on YouTube, but they all seem to be of the "these are the gross movements you're doing... do them with a partner to the music" persuasion. Is there anywhere with better tips for getting it right than "just keep doing it and you'll figure it out"?

I'm currently at work, but I'll try to post some video tonight so that you can see what my current movement is like and hopefully coach me towards what I can do better.

  • I recommend taking actual dance classes to learn how to move with a beat. The skill should be transferable (in theory) to Capoeira. Also, a dance instructor ought to be able to teach moving with music much better than a martial artist. Feb 4 '16 at 18:57
  • Just to clarify, if I know what beat I'm moving on, I can generally do that. I've got several years of theatrical and ballroom dance under my belt. I just haven't found anyone who'll tell me when these beats are. :) Feb 4 '16 at 18:58

I learned from my Capoeira's Master when you try apply technique to Capoeira you will lose your ability to improvise and creation.

Capoeira is little different from other Martial arts. In this case Capoeira look likes much more with a dance. Your Ginga should flow the songs from the Berimbau. If you are playing Capoeira de Angola you should be fluid like the water. In other hand if you are a Regional player you should be strong and fast like the waives in the ocean. (yep, the ocean is water as well, but in a different form (this is possible too complicated for who isn't involved with Capoeria))

I really recommend to you disregard any type of training to have a technical Ginga. Leave the musicality of the Berimbau control your body flow with them.

Probably you will learn more about ginga reading books from the Older Master.

I used to teach Capoeira for 10 years.


Even if the answer is late:
You don't have a beat to coordinate your steps to in capoeira. The rhythm gives you an indication on how fast or how slow to go. BUT: With all the breaks, feints and kicks your timing will never match up to the beat. It's actually a big part of the game to disturb the rhythm of your partner.

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