T Nation

Capoeira training

Coach or anyone else, I am sturying a brasilian MA called capoeira (similar stuff to the floor routine in gymnastics). I’m curious about the amount and types of outside training I should do while I am in the skill learning phase. I read an interesting article at usa gymnastics advocating a decrease in the strength deficit(maximal motor unit recruitment). It seems like some kind of conjugate method with handstand pushups, pistols, KB’s, OL’s, and plyos would be good but I am unsure how to blend these things together. Thanks in advance for any advice.
Robb

Ever see “Only The Strong”? (such a great cult film). Anyhow, I would definitely lean towards Coach Davies’ Brand of fumctional training. Your style of martial art relies a great deal upon supporting your own bodyweight adequately enough to balance and flow in various positions. I suggest some core strength exercises and also resolving any weak links that you may notice when training in martial arts class. Lata.

"MB Eric: sick sick sick sick sick...but kinda cool. Since 1465."

-Eric

Wow…great to see someone else on this board who is into capoeira. After trying some different approaches to integrating lifting and capoeira, I decided the best thing to do…for me, was keep them separate. You’ll develop the strength you need for capoeira while you are in class…we did all kinds of strenghtening exercises…hand walking, hand stands, crawling low to the ground, kicks, etc…and adding extra handstand pushups is just too much. The best capoeiristas I’ve ever seen were wiry and not very strong…they’re just great at manipulating momentum, balancing, and being flexible. I wanted to be good at capoeira, but also have a bigger physique, so I just kept on doing my normal weight training to stay big and strong, and limited capoeira training to the days I went to class. One more piece of advice: take care of your wrists…constantly stretch them and ice them after practice if necessary. Capoeira puts your wrists in some pretty awkward and unnatural positions, and if you don’t start young and especially if you are a bigger person to begin with, you’ll be putting a ton of stress on your wrists.

The functional portion of your strength must augment your skill work but not to the point of fatigue. I question whether the article consider strength training to failure. It sounds like you have just started or about to start - please fill me in and maybe we can comeup with something to assist your development. As always, it is a pleasure to assist. In faith, Coach Davies