In this post I want to go over the basics and variations of the Capoeira movement Queda De Rins (QDR), pronounced keda ji hins, which literally translates to “fall on to kidneys”.
In Capoeira we use the QDR in several ways, to save ourselves from falling on to the ground, (it can be taboo to touch the floor with other parts of the body that’s not our hands, feet or head); it can be used as a strength tool to develop our upper body strength, balance and flexibility; but mainly we use it as an artistic way of getting from A to B when we play Capoeira.
Capoeira is a very expressive martial art, you see the beauty in the movement and motion of a nice floreio, as well as the dance and acrobatic aspects. But at the same time you also see the martial arts side with the fast kicks, malandragem (trickery) and sometimes the fight.
As I’ve mentioned before in a previous blog, the way I teach the QDR was inspired by Ido Portal. I have been teaching it this way for a number of years and I’ve always had a pretty good success rate with it. The key with mastering the technique though is practice, so the more students can dedicate some of their own time to drilling it the better!
Having adequate wrist mobility will give you a bit of a head start compared to someone with limited range of motion in their wrist and forearm.
First things first, if you have never done anything like this before, you need to know where to place your elbow (to the hip) and how to side bend to make it possible.
We start by using the wall to get the positioning right before moving to the ground.
Next to the ground, with finger pointed outwards, use QDR push ups to warm up ;)
From there we move onto a static hold, you’ll notice that I keep my feet on the ground and to the front, and then eventually to the side.
Next step is to extend the top leg out to the side (opposite foot to arm) and I try to keep it in line with my body. It helps to flex everything (note that my head is still touching the ground, but I am not dropping too much weight through it).
Once you feel comfortable with that, try to extend the bottom leg as well.
Next step, take the bottom foot and leg off the ground.
Feeling good there? Now try to take your head off the ground. This position is ideal, try to spend time here, 15-30sec each side (you should always train both sides) with good structure and balance, aiming to get parallel to the floor.
Now you can get fancy with it, so try to move you palm and then fingers away from the ground, leading you to a one arm balance. Remember that this is now all of your weight through one arm, so make sure you have put time into developing adequate strength before trying it.
The QDR is ideally used while in motion, during the jogo de Capoeira (game of Capoeira) as the players move in and out of it seamlessly.
Or, like in this video, where it saves one of the players from splatting (around the 24 sec mark).
There are also some variants using the same elbow-to-hip action...
From the world of B-boy, you have freezes:
And in the acrobatics/calisthenics world, there are elbow levers:
Practicing all the different versions will help you improve your QDR overall, so have fun with it!