As can be seen in the video at 2:20, martelo de negtiva (capoeira kick) is considered a very lethal and fast kick. Is there a way to counter and defend against such a kick (not necessarily in capoeira) where you are in a standing position? I would appreciate it if you can add videos to your explanations.

2 Answers 2


Step back away from the kick, or step closer to the attacker's body. If that kick always starts from a crouching position, it would be fairly obvious that your opponent is moving to that position, giving you time to move in or away.

If you do step closer, the only thing supporting him appears to be one hand; take out his support and you're in a winning position.

Having said that, I know from my own experience how hard it is to step closer to someone you know is going to throw a kick at you! Remember, though, the most power in the kick is at the end of the limb (that's the bit that's moving fastest); by stepping closer to the body, you will reduce the effectiveness of the attack.

  • If you can read the body language and tension, it basically is just a step forward and a nasty kind of stomp kick into his crouched position while covering the side the kick is expected. This does not take much time and kills his tension and balance. Dec 15, 2016 at 14:18

In general, there are four primary ways to counter a kick.

  1. Dodge - This can be tricky, since a kick can strike on different levels, but the nature of Capoeira is such that this sort of kick generally defaults to landing somewhere between the waist and head. Leaning the torso back and away from the kick is likely to take the target zone out of consideration, or at least reduce the impact. A traditional Capoeira esquiva combines this with counter-balancing using the leg opposite to the direction you're turning with the benefit that if you successfully dodge, you can do a sweep with a rasteira on the supporting arm.
  2. Block - This is probably not as good of an idea with a power technique like this, but if you take steps to reduce the force such as stepping into the kick so that the part that strikes you is traveling a shorter distance, and taking the strike across a broader surface such as your back, you can take away a fair amount of the power.
  3. Interrupt - While a martelo de negativa is a fairly fast kick, it's not the fastest one. A shuffle chapa baixa (low side kick) or ponteira (snap kick) has a decent chance of getting there faster. At the least, having a foot coming at the head will often break the concentration of an attacker. If you're really feeling froggy (and have the control to stop if you're doing this in a sparring situation), jumping in with both feet for a stomp closes the distance, blunts the force if they do get the kick off, and possibly hits the largely prone martial artist.
  4. Avoid - A martelo de negativa can travel a few feet, but is otherwise limited in range, and the position from which it's launched is not the most mobile, so another option is to step back out of range. In a self-defense situation, this is a good time to run or throw things at your opponent from a distance. Within the roda, you will probably instead go for acrobatics, floreios, to taunt your opponent who's sitting there waiting for you.

Frankly, I would disagree with you that it's "considered a very lethal and fast kick". The National Geographic "Fight Science" show flirts with sensationalism. Lateef Crowder indeed registered with the strongest kick, but he's also bigger than most of the other martial artists on display.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.