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About Capoeira

 

 

:: What is Capoeira?

 

Capoeira is an art form which can be described in many ways. It encompasses Afro-Brazilian culture, art, music, language, and movement into one cohesive whole. The result is beautiful yet dangerous, smooth yet powerful. It was created in Brazil by slaves brought from Africa, especially from Angola some time after the 16th century.

 

Most people believe it began as a way for the slaves to fight back against their owners, disguising a deadly fighting style as something that looked like a dance. In order to keep its roots, we still play instruments, sing, clap meanwhile two “players” are inside of a roda (circle) developing their movements in the form of the game (jogo), that is what we call it , not a fight, a game. Through Capoeira people develop a great sense of coordination, self-esteem, flexibility, balance, discipline and respect for themselves and others.

 

 

Capoeira

 

 

:: Styles of Capoeira

 

Nowadays there are three predominant styles of Capoeira.

The most traditional style, Capoeira Angola remains closer to the roots of the original Capoeira; using a slower speed of music it is a slower game with more dance like movements and an emphasis on technique and strategy in a tricky, sneaky way, rather than blinding speed and acrobatics.

Capoeira Regional originated in the 1930's, developed my Manuel dos Reis Machado AKA Mestre Bimba from Salvador, Bahia; focusing on the fighting aspects of Capoeira.

 

The music utilizes a faster beat and the game features higher, more visually impressive kicks at this faster pace. Mestre Bimba also developed a series of traditional sequences that are still practiced today. Such as Cintura Desprezada, Baloes and of course the sequences of Mestre Bimba.

 

Capoeira Regional Contemporanea, the newest/most modern, is an evolution of both Regional and Angola styles. However it explores more “floreios”; some low acrobatics moves on the ground, whilst focusing in style of ginga for instance and most of the time the rhythm used in it is Banguela (not fast and not slow), an intermediate speed game.

 

 

Capoeira

 

 

:: What to expect from Capoeira

 

All the styles above, shortly described, are a fantastic form of fitness and platform for cultural understanding. Capoeira players each contribute to a game by singing, playing instruments, clapping a rhythm or sparring with feints, kicks and illusory brushing of the limbs in the centre of a circle (roda) formed by the group. With sweeping acrobatics, disorientating upturned bodies and effortlessly controlled landings, the range of movements “vocabulary” appears both fluid and powerful. (As Capoeira, for us, is a conversation between bodies).

 

Capoeira is an incredible way to improve strength, especially core strength and the upper body but it is not about being athletic and tough but about being astute, incisive and perceptive of the opposition’s next move. The exchange of energy between each player as they coordinate their Ginga and evasions is something both spiritual and psychologically demanding that you would be hard pushed to find in any other art form.

 

Let us plant a seed of passion in you as a player and let it grow with the improvement of coordination, fitness and devotion for the art form.
Allow Capoeira to be the beginning of something new if you are in need of something more interesting to keep your body occupied, or, if already a martial arts or dance enthusiast, allow it to be the widening of your cultural horizons.