An aú is the capoeira term for what is more generally called a cartwheel. It differs a bit from the traditional cartwheel. An aú, in its base form, is performed 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 always watch their opponent instead of the ground. Capoeira players can incorporate attacks from the au. These include an upside down kick known as an Aú Malandro or Aú Batido. Players sometime pause midway during an au holding it for a handstand position, from which they can execute a wide variety of moves. A common aú variant that is not a kick is:
Aú Aberto—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.