If you have ever watched movies, which have a Brazilian influence and fighting part of the movie, you might have seen some capoeiristas perform. These movies often depict the incredible moves these practitioners can do, including the rhythm. However, is Capoeira hard to learn is something many people wonder about.
Is Capoeira hard to learn? Generally, Capoeira is not hard to learn, depending on your physical abilities. Capoeira is one of the fastest forms of martial arts and requires plenty of mobility and acrobatics, especially if you want to be a high-level member. However, it is not that hard for beginners to learn the basics, and the difficulty would scale as you grow more competent in the sport.
Many websites and guides would tell you that Capoeira is not as hard as it seems, but coming from someone who tried a bit of Capoeira, it is damn hard, especially if you are a bigger fellow like myself.
To help you understand the difficulty scale of Capoeira, I will share some of the experiences that make me disagree with many other websites that claim it to be too easy or too hard.
If you are interested in starting martial art as an adult, I wrote a whole article that I encourage you to read.
Which People Consider Capoeira Easy, And Who Considers It Hard?
Before we dive into some of the elements of Capoeira and break down the fundamentals, you will find two types of people.
The first would say Capoeira is hard, and they struggle to keep up, whilst the others would say that it is easy and they can do it without any issues.
People Considering It To Be Hard?
The people who consider Capoeira to be hard are often people looking for a quick martial art to train and learn the self-defense aspects of the sport. While Capoeira is one of the leading options for self-defense, there are much easier options that you could choose, like Taekwondo, for instance.
If you are not in good shape, it would be hard to simply tune into one of the schools and make progress. The first thing you need to understand is that you need to have some form of mobility and flexibility. These are not mandatory requirements, but they would make the journey slightly easier when starting.
A 300-pound person might need to lose some weight and understand the fundamentals of building rhythm through music to become better at martial arts. This means that you could spend a few months going through a body transformation before beginning your journey.
People Considering It To Be Easy?
On the other end of the spectrum, I have spoken to a few athletes who simply walk into a dojo, and they find the movements easy. In general, these people are already in some kind of shape, or they are constantly working out.
Transferring the training elements from one method of training to the other is much easier than starting from scratch on your journey, which means that it would be much easier for these people to simply fall in line and get going.
Building on the previous example, a 200-pound person working out three times a week in the gym or competing in a marathon might find it much easier to adapt. They can simply start progressing and don’t need to lose weight.
Yes, you need to have some form of shape and be in a decent physical condition to make Capoeira work for you and to enjoy the flowing movements with more ease.
You might also enjoy reading: Is Capoeira Effective In MMA? (Yes, and here’s why!)
What Is The 4 Elements Of Capoeira That People Struggle With?
Now that you have an idea of which type of person would find it easy and who would find it hard, we should look at a few other elements of martial art.
By breaking down some of these important elements, we can decide whether our bodies can go through the punishment required to become great.
1- Proprioception And Coordination
One of the first things people struggle with is understanding where their bodies tend to be in space. This means that when you close your eyes, you have a basic understanding of the environment around you and how your body fits into this environment. You can move around and have the cognition to understand what and who is around you.
In terms of coordination, you can perform numerous things at the same time. Anticipation is also a big part of becoming great at fighting styles, and if you can close your eyes and move your hands precisely as you would envision, you have some form of coordination.
Hand-eye coordination is one of the things that people lack in the world around us, and this is something you will need to develop to become better at Capoeira (Source: Handbook of Clinical Neurology). Fortunately, a good teacher would enable you to become better and slowly build this skill.
2- Flexibility And Fluidity
The combination of these two can be referred to as your overall mobility. Since Capoeira relies heavily on fluid movements to make the dance successful, you need some form of flexibility when performing martial arts.
In Capoeira, you will be combining fluid movements and flexibility with strength movements, which puts plenty of strain on your joints. Many people focus on performing exercises like squats and improving the overall flexibility of the muscles through stretching.
If you struggle with these two concepts, you will need first to spend some time improving your mobility before you can do some of the complex movements of Capoeira and might only be able to do some of the basics.
3- Rhythm To Music
Studies presented in medical journals have revealed that a large chunk of the population simply lacks basic rhythm, which means they cannot keep up with the beat when it comes to dancing. The issue is mostly identified among males, with females leading the world for their rhythm and impressive dancing skills.
When it comes to Capoeira, you need to have some basic form of rhythm, as most of the movements are based on music. You will need to feel and flow to the beat of the music, which also gives you clues as to how the performance would go.
Many people like myself had first to learn things like musical instruments, which helps a lot when it comes to keeping up with the beat. These skills would transfer over to Capoeira and make the movements more synchronized.
Unlike other martial arts, which focus on giving you a strategy to use your opponent’s weakness against them, Capoeira is highly focused on improvisation. In one of the previous articles, we mentioned how it helps people create strategies for fighting on the fly.
You will need to scout your opponent, which is often done in the initial phase of movements. Once you understand the flow and movements of your opponents, you would need to adapt yourself to outwit your opponents and change the movements.
If you are looking for a structured and linear fighting style and you don’t want to entertain one of the more dangerous versions, you should consider Taekwondo. It is also a defensive style, with some elements of attack, but improvisation is not as high on the list of important traits as it would be for Capoeira.
Check out the video below to get started with Capoeira.
How To Get Better At Capoeira: Top 3 Tips
If you still feel that Capoeira is the sport for you, we have a few good tips that could help you get better.
These are often small changes to make in your overall life that would transfer over to Capoeira and improve performance:
1- Get In Shape
The first thing you can do is focus on getting in shape. If you are overweight, this would hold you back significantly when compared to other capoeiristas.
You should consider losing some of the excess body fat, which would automatically improve your overall mobility and allow you to move with the other athletes.
2- Improve Fitness
Capoeira takes plenty of energy, and some classes can drain you completely. If you are not at a good fitness level, Capoeira would help you improve this. However, you might lose some training if you constantly need to take breaks to regain some stamina.
If you are at home, you might want to go for a walk or even a light jog. Some of these things would add up and help you improve your fitness much faster.
3- Stay Consistent
If you don’t want to do some additional work at home, you should focus on staying consistent. If you pitch up to class each time, you will constantly find yourself improving.
Keep in mind that these small improvements would stack up, and this could lead to significant improvements in the long run.
You might also enjoy reading this article: Is Capoeira Better Than Taekwondo? (It is not what you think!)
Capoeira might be hard for some, while others would quickly get into the groove of the martial art. It would all come down to your willingness to put in the work and your shape.
Getting started was hard for me, but it does ease up after a few months. I would like to know what your experiences are when starting Capoeira.