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General exercises

General Exercises
- To develop your ground game, just practice moving around solely on the ground. Use negativa, role, small aus... switch directions, throw some rasteiras or tesouras or low kicks in there, change speeds. Get on your hands: use queda de rins, escorpiao, small handstands and headstands. Experiment with various combinations, but stay low. If you do a move that brings you upright, get back down again in the next ginga. This builds a lot of strength and hopefully will open your eyes to the infinite ways of moving around on the ground.
- Do all the basic kicks over a chair. This helps you place your kicks accurately and control them. Also, the chair gives you something to look at while doing kicks like armada or meia lua de compasso, so you can practice focusing on the other player.
- Practicing capoeira with your hands tied together about shoulder-width apart - challenging, but fun, and it improves your technique.
- Two person exercise: one person just does kicks over and over, the other just dodges. The person kicking can try different combinations of kicks and try to change directions or change it up between circular and straight kicks to try and trick the person dodging, who should just use any dodge they know to get out of the way. The dodging person can practice their ground game, try to time a rasteira on the kicking person, or try to circle them on the ground, and, of course, not get caught by the kicks!
- Practice in front of a full-length mirror, or videotape yourself. This is incredibly helpful because you can check your technique. Plus watching yourself in the mirror helps you to look forward and not at the ground.
- Multi-person training exercise: one person does a move (let's say armada); everyone else does armada a couple times to both sides. Then someone adds a move to it (let's say au) and everyone does armada-au. The next person adds a negativa, so all practice armada-au-negativa, and so on, until everyone's added a move or the combination gets too long to remember. This gets you to see which moves flow well into each other - there shouldn't be gingas in between any of the moves. It's fun to make up sequences like this.
- Another two-person exercise: play capoeira, but have one person "chase" and the other "escape." In other words, the chaser tries to move into the escaper's space, block their movements, etc. The escaper tries to move around the chaser and not get caught. This is good for people like me who play too linearly or tend to stay in one place; it helps you more fully utilize all the space of the roda and learn how to evade and move around the other player.
- Play a game with someone, but neither of you are allowed to use kicks. Move around each other, use aus, entradas, fake kicks but don't release them, esquiva, do floreios, be expressive. Use all the space in the roda and avoid collisions with the other player and the members of the roda.