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Capoeira Moves: Queixada, One of Our Four Basic Kicks

You may be new to Capoeira or a seasoned veteran looking to improve your Capoeira performance. Over the years I have refined my curriculum to brackets, represented by the different brackets of cords: Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and High Levels. As you start training you will see repetition of the same moves and scaffolding of principles when I teach them. I never try to overwhelm students, but instead focus on just a few simple aspects each time I teach a move. Here, I'll discuss some of the basic principles to help you learn and improve your Queixada.

Queixada, one of our four basic kicks, is a foundational move will help you master some skills essential for playing Capoeira. In this art there are a lot of twists and turns. When you figure out how to use the torque built up from twisting your body to power through a kick, you will have unlocked a major achievement. Watch the video and keep track of the steps listed to transform your Queixada to the next level.

Ginga position

1. Start in Ginga position. Step across with the front leg (weight on the ball of your foot), this will be the kicking leg, so step accordingly. A bigger step will have more rotation and power- but will typically be more telegraphed, whereas a smaller step usually sets up a kick that is quicker but weaker.

Capoeira student starting Queixada

2a. Lower body rotation: step forward with the back foot, crossing it behind the kicking foot. As you do this, rotate your feet so they are facing the target. Your hips will also rotate until they are square with the target. About halfway through the hip rotation, your kicking foot will leave the ground.

Capoeira student in the middle of Queixada kick

2b. Upper body rotation: This is driven by your rear shoulder, ie left kick-right shoulder. You will want heavy torque here, trying to rotate it all the way to the front side of your body. Your forearms should be vertical on either side of your head for momentum and protective purposes.

Capoeira student doing the Queixada kick.

3. The Queixada will resemble an upside down V. Try to flex the kicking foot as firmly as you can throughout the kick, the impact should be on the outside “knife edge” of your foot. Think vertically both on the way up and down. While your foot is traveling upwards, your forearms should be pointing up. As soon as you begin to snap your leg down, your arms should be whipped back across your body into Ginga position. This is again achieved by utilizing heavy torque in the shoulder opposite of the direction you are rotating your upper body (to twist your body to the right, throw your left shoulder to the right). For beginners this will feel like an abdominal stretch in the oblique area, so make sure you are all warmed up prior to trying this portion.

Capoeira student landing Queixada kick back in Ginga position

4. Queixada, one of our four basic kicks, is mostly used as a head kick, as impact against heavier resistance at this angle can adversely affect your knee. However, because this kick is so dynamic with its setup, it can also be used in many other ways, ie, fake Queixada into Meia Lua de Compasso, Passagem, Vingativa, and any other number of combinations.

Check out more articles like this one and refine your Capoeira skill set or learn something new.


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