Brazilian Capoeira is a martial art that combines elements of acrobatic, fight, dance, and ritual in a magnetic and elegant way. It is performed by two people and the match is often called “a game” instead of a fight. Capoeiristas play it with a smile — it symbolizes that they are not afraid of danger or death itself.
Capoeira is a unique sport which will strengthen your body and mind. People who play it grow in physical strength, flexibility, self-confidence, courage and creativity. However, to truly understand the energy of Capoeira, you must experience it yourself.
The History of Brazilian Capoeira
There are very few historical documents that may confirm the origins of the Brazilian Capoeira. It is suspected that it dates 500 years ago and that it was invented by African slaves in Brazil. These slaves had no rights whatsoever and were constantly molested by their masters. In order to survive slavery, they started practicing self-defense fighting techniques in secret. In order to cover it up and hide it from suspicious eyes of their masters, they used their traditional music, rituals and singing. Later on, Capoeira was not only used for self-defense but also as a main combat technique during the rebellion.
Today, Capoeira is a well known martial art and it is practiced all around the world. Some schools ad many universities include it in their programs. It can be seen in movies and music videos. It is also a well known fact that Capoeira had a strong influence on several dancing styles such as break-dance and hip-hop. There are two core styles:
• Capoeira Angola
• Capoeira Regional
These are practice in almost all Capoeira schools all around the world. The fights are performed in a ring of people called “Roda”. Usually, this circle is made by other capoeiristas or people who came to watch the fights. The audience sings traditional songs and claps their hands in rhythm to boost the performance of the players.
Capoeira Angola is the traditional style of Capoeira. The style has been nurtured by Mestre Pastinha who was known as the father of this style. It is characterized with low kicks and dodges. It is less aggressive than Capoeira Regional and displays more demonstrative movements which bring out the philosophy and rituals of the African culture. It is played in slow motion with liquid and elegant movements while the players are close to the ground. The first Capoeira Angola was founded back in 1942 in Bahia.
Capoeira Regional is the youngest style of Capoeira dating from the start of 20th century. The father of this new style, Mestre Bimba combined Capoeira with Batuque (another well known Brazilian martial art) in order to create new, faster and more powerful fighting style. The players use faster moves, jumps and spins with high kicks and more aggressive play style. Looking at the fight between two skilled capoeiristas is breathtaking. Unlike Angola, Capoeira Regional has ranks. During their training, Capoeiristas advance in style and performance and are awarded with a rank. In the early days, these ranks were awarded with color scarves, but now, they are awarded with colored cords.
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