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This page is based on the J. Lowell Lewis book Ring of Liberation.
Courtesy of Anthony 'Formiga' Moendir  from Batoque Capoeira Groep.
If you know any other words, please use this form to send it.

Academia capoeira school
Aluno student of a capoeira master; same as discipulo
Angola a traditional style of capoeira
Angoleiro a practitioner of the Angola style
arame metal string on the berimbau
arrastao capoeira takedown, pulling both legs from under an opponent
ataque attacking move or movement initiative
aviso a berimbau rythmn, formerly used to warn players of a police raid
Axe the life force, fascilitated with the power of the Orishas. Also can be defined as grace. The word is of Yoruban origin
balanço part of the basic capoeira move (ginga);torso rocks forward and back as the weight shifts
bamba someone adept at verbal or physical sparring;capoeira expert
banda movement to trip or flank an opponent
barravent a berimbau rythmn; refers to a prepossesion trance state
base base, the ginga, the fundamental movement
batizado the capoeira initiation ceremony; baptism
bênção blessing; a front kick
berimbau lead instrument in capoeira, a musical bow
bôca de siri 'crab's mouth' movement
brincar to play like a child
cabaça gourd used as the resonator on the berimbau
cabeçada head butt
camará comrade; capoeira college
capoeirista a capoeira player
cavalaria 'cavalry,' a berimbau rhythm formerly used to warn of a police raid
caxixí woven rattle played with the berimbau
chamada 'call,' a named subroutine of capoeira play,the basic kind of inner game
chula special introductory song, always follows ladainha
chute na lua 'kick to the moon', A salto, started with a kick (meia-lua de frente, martelo). Sweep the kicking leg up backwards and make a salto
cocorinha squatting movement
comprar de jôgo to buy a game, entering the circle by cutting in on another player
contragolpe counterattack to respond to an initiative
contramestre an instructor working under a master's guidance in an academy
cordão colored belt awarded to mark grades of advancement in some academies
corridos call and response songs accompanying action in the circle
dá volta ao mundo 'take a turn around the world', a named subroutine of play that involves circling the ring
defesa defensive move or movement response
desequilibrante movement that unbalances the opponent
discípulo disciple, student of a capoeira master
dobrão coin used to play the berimbau
esquiva escape movement
fechar o corpo to close the body
floreios acrobatic movements
formatura graduation ceremony for a new capoeira master
fuga flight, a catagory of defensive movements
ginga the fundamental capoeira movement
golpe strike or blow; attacking movement
iaiá, ioiô terms used by slaves for daughters and sons of the master
jogador player
jogar to play games
jôgo game
ladainha litany, and introductory solo, usually sung by a master
ligeiro swift, quick; nimble, agile; slippery, dishonest
maculêlê another martial arts dance to music, involving rhythmic stick play
malandragem hooliganism, shady activities; synonym for capoeira play
malandro street tough, hoodlum, scoundrel, con man,bad guy
malícia deception, trickery, cunning, double-dealing, indirection
mandigueiro sorceror; healer; synonym for capoeira player
mangangá medicine man
martelo 'hammer' kick; a rhymed song form
meia-lua de compasso 'half moon in a compass,' a spinning kick
mestre master, senior capoeira teacher
mocambo fugitive slave community
moeda coin used to play the berimbau
moleque street urchin
nome de guerra nickname given to a player in the course of his training, sometimes as part of a batizado initiation
pandeiro tambourine
passada footwork, especially in the ginga
patuá protective amulet
'foot', position in front of the berimbau
pião 'spinning top,' headspin (no hands)
queda fall, basic way to lose advantage in the game
queda de etc. 'fall to etc.', Add more specific movements; queda de rins, queda de quatro, queda de tres.
quilombo fugitive slave community
rabo de arraia 'stingray's tail' kick
rasteira sweep; the basic takedown
reco-reco ribbed bamboo scraper in capoeira musical ensemble
recuo retreat move, usually with one hand on the ground
Regional innovative, modern style of capoeira, associated with Mestre Bimba
roda circle; space for playing capoeira
saída exit, most formal way to enter ring; one 'exits' from the foot of the berimbau
salto mortal mortal jump
samba duro hard samba, involves tripping people while dancing
seqüência sequence of moves learned by players in Regional style
rocar to play music
vadiação loafing, hanging around; synonym for capoeira
vaqueta stick used to strike the string of the berimbau
vara wooden pole that is the body of the berimbau
vêrga wooden pole that is the body of the berimbau
voo doo morcego bet fly


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