Let’s explain what Capoeira is!
Capoeira is a martial art that combines elements of fight, acrobatics, music, dance and rituals in a very elegant and magnetic way. Performed by two people, it is often called “Capoeira game” that is played, not a fight. Capoeira is always played with a smile on face symbolizing that the capoeiristas are not afraid from the danger that is coming.
The uniqueness of Capoeira will give your body physical strength, power and flexibility and your mind self-confidence, concentration, courage and creativity. I’ve heard many people say that Capoeira is one of the best things that happened in their life. However, the only way to truly understand the magnetism of Capoeira is to see it and try it yourself.
Although there are few official history records, it is known that Capoeira was created nearly 500 years ago in Brazil by African slaves (mainly from Angola). Taken from their homes against their will and kept in slavery, they started inventing fighting techniques for self-defense. To cover their inside combats from their prisoners, the African slaves used their traditional music, singing and dancing. Thus, the Capoeira continued its development and soon became not only for self-defense but for rebellion.
Capoeira Through the Years
At first, Capoeira was considered illegal in Brazil and everyone playing was arrested. However, a man known as Mestre Bimba did not let Capoeira down. He placed great efforts in convincing the Brazilian authorities that Capoeira has a great cultural value and shall become an official fighting style. He succeeded in his endeavor and created the Capoeira Regional style. In 1932 he created the first Capoeira School – Academia-escola de Capoeira Regional at the Engenho de Brotas in Salvador-Bahia. Thus, Mestre Bimba made what was once considered illegal an official martial art.
In 1942 was created the first Capoeira Angola school – Centro Esportivo de Capoeira by Mestre Pastinha. At this time, Capoeira was still practiced by poor black Brazilians. Few years later, however few Capoeira Mestres began to teach Capoeira in the United States and Europe.
Nowadays, Capoeira is a well known and very popular martial art all over the world. It is often included in schools and universities programs. You will see it in movies, music clips, etc. It is also known that Capoeira has influenced several dancing styles like brake and hip-hop.
Although, Capoeira has changed during the years, the two main Capoeira styles – Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional continue to be practiced in the today’s Capoeira Schools.