Aú - Capoeira cartwheel
Video of Aú
Background of Aú
Aú is the capoeira cartwheel. It differs a bit from acrobatic cartwheel. Capoeira players can incorporate attacks from the cartwheel, including a kick known as an Aú Malandro or Aú Batido. They sometimes freeze halfway through the cartwheel to get into the handstand position, from which they can execute a wide variety of moves. The aú variants are:
From esquiva, the free arm reaches in an arc over the head in the direction of motion. The leg extended furthest from the body leaves the ground first, kicking off and providing momentum. Then the reaching hand is placed on the far side of the body. Bending the arms at the elbows supports weight as both legs pass over the body fully extended. While inverted, the body should be opened and entirely extended. One foot touches the ground then the other. The arms must be lifted for protection as soon as they are no longer supporting weight.
Aú Batido, Aú Amazonas, or Amazonica
This is an aú variation where a practitioner does a handstand, followed by a twist with the hips and a split. Aú batido literally means "broken cartwheel". This movement is a defensive move, used when attempting to perform a cartwheel and the opponent attacks, generally with a cabeçada, a headbutt, the aú batido takes place, attacking the opponent by surprise before the attack is executed. The aú batido is sometimes also used in doubt or simply as a trick move.
From esquiva or negativa, the free arm reaches in an arc over the head in the direction of motion. The leg extended furthest from the body leaves the ground first, kicking off and providing momentum. Then the reaching hand is placed on the far side of the body. Bending the arms at the elbows supports weight as both legs pass bent in front of and slightly over the body. While inverted, the body should be closed and maximally protected. One foot touches the ground and then the other. The last step is return to esquiva.
Aú sem Mãos
An aú performed without hands.
Description of Aú
An aú, in its base form, is performed, sometimes very slowly, with arms and legs bent in order to keep a low target profile. Also the back can be curved in order to perform a kicking maneuver. Since a capoeira player always risks being kicked while upside down, capoeira players also make sure to watch their opponent rather than look at the ground.