Cairo Rocha Scores Beautiful Knockout With Capoeira Kick

Cairo Rocha (6-2) taking on Francisco Neves (2-4) at BRFC - Desafio dos Imortais wasn't exactly on anyone's radar heading into the weekend. After Rocha unleashed a kick that resulted in one of the best knockouts of 2011, it's now getting some attention.

Here's the video and then we'll talk about the kick:


The kick appears to be a capoeira technique called a Meia-Lua de compasso. Here's a description from Wikipedia:

A Meia-Lua de compasso (lit: half moon compass) is an attack that embodies the true element of Capoeira since it combines an evasive maneuver with a spinning kick. The player while in a semi-crouched stance, swings his forward arm in a downward slanting motion towards the ground. While stepping around, he also bends his non-kicking leg while keeping the kicking one straight. After gathering enough torque from the sudden pivot in his core, he unleashes the kick all the way around until his kicking leg is behind him in the ginga movement.

The power of the kick derives its energy from the same motion as the swing of a golf club or base ball bat. The transfer of power begins with the spin of the hand slamming into the ground and ending with the spin of the kicking heel. It has earned its place in capoeira as being called the "king of kicks". There is even a saying among mestres and other teachers about how a capoeirista's skill can be determined on how well and fast he delivers a Meia lua de compasso. It is still called a rabo do arria by some groups today.

There is even folklore from around the 1910s of a capoeirista named Ciriaco, defeating a jiu-jitsu champion named Sada Mako with this kick. While this has been debated, there is one true account of this occurring. The win was awarded to Valdemar Santana after his defeat of Helio Gracie. Most would attribute this win to the fact that Santana was also student of Helio for over twelve years.

You can see Rocha's hand hit the mat as the body turns and gets the torque for the power.

But the real gem is watching the replay at around 16 seconds on the video. Neves is confused by the movement and drops his left arm to try to block what he seems to think is a body kick only to get caught square on the chin and go out.

Great stuff.

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