Pêndulo is a great technique common to many martial arts. Here are some tips and and tricks to think about when training pêndulo for your capoeira game.
Just like the name, your body will sway like a pendulum. Work on this movement to add an effective dodge and an easy transition between guarda alta and cadeira.
In striking arts like boxing, similar bob and weave movements allow the user to evade a punch without wasting too much energy. In capoeira this movement can be used in a variety of ways including but not limited to a dodge or to add quebradas and directional changes that build variety in your ginga. Because of this versatility, this movement can be done in a few different ways. For the purpose of this blog, I will focus on pêndulo with a step forward. I also really like the version with a lateral step.
Once you've mastered this simple technique, try variations like stepping into pêndulo from the back foot or moving laterally from base.
1. Take a small step forward into guarda alta.
2. Deepen the stance lowering your hips and turn into cadeira.
3. Keep your arms up in cadeira to protect your head and body.
4. Lift your arms and raise your hips to start to swing your upper body back around.
5. Use the swinging motion to build the momentum to return to ginga position as seen in picture 6.
Coach's Tip: When working on pêndulo, use the movement to your advantage. Dodge only as far as you have to in order to avoid the other player's movements.