Capoeira is a Brazilian Martial Art that combines self-defence, acrobatics, music, singing and culture into one unique art form.
It originates from the Brazilian-African slave trade, where slaves were banned from practising self-defence and therefore hid it with fluid, graceful dance-like moves.
Capoeira is a fast and versitile martial art. The Ginga (literally, rocking back and forth to swing) is the fundamental movement in Capoeira. It serves two purposes; to ensure the capoerista is constantly moving, and therefore not a still and easy target, the other by pretending or faking a movement, tricking the opponent leaving them open for attack or a counter-attack.
Playing Capoeira is a game and method of practising the application of Capoeira movements in simulated combat.
It can be played anywhere, but it's usually done in a roda.
The game usually does not focus on knocking down or destroying the opponent, rather it emphasizes skill. Capoeiristas often prefer to rely on a takedown like a rasteira, then allowing the opponent to recover and get back into the game. It is also very common to slow down a kick inches before hitting the target, so a capoeirista can enforce superiority without the need of injuring the opponent. If an opponent clearly cannot dodge an attack, there is no reason to complete it. However, between two high-skilled capoeiristas, the game can get much more aggressive.
What Can I Expect?
Classes take the form of a warm-up followed by training individual moves or sequences before trying them out against an opponent in what is termed a "jogo" or a game.
The game is played to music, which is an integral part of the game, and tells the Capoeiristas how fast to play and what type of movements to use.
The instruments used are traditional instruments that are played by students and include;
A "berimbau" a leading instrument which is bow-like
A "pandeiro" or tambourine
An "atabaque" or drum
Songs are sung that describe aspects of slavery and Brazilian culture.
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