Capoeira, a martial art from Brazil

Capoeira is a martial art developed by African slaves in Brazil in the 1500’s. This martial arts movement is very interesting and unique, which is a blend of dance, acrobatics and heavy dotted in kick. Capoeira martial arts is usually accompanied by music, called Jogo. Capoeira is great for sports, because of the continuous body movement and sustained can burn up energy in the body, so good for health.

Capoeira, martial arts of Brazil
Capoeira, martial arts of Brazil

The origins of Capoeira are very close with the story of history in Brazil. On the 15th and 16th centuries, Brazil was one of the country controlled by the Portuguese, where they developed plantations in Brazil that has fertile soil. To work on the plantations they brought slaves from west Africa as a component of production. At that time the slaves are not treated humanely, there are even marked with a hot iron stamp.

Capoeira, music and dance
Capoeira, music and dance

With the lives of the colonized and shackled, eventually resulting desire of the slaves to escape. However, it is not easy because if escape slaves will being chased by an armed professional hunter, who called Capitaes do Mato, or in English is called the captain of the forest.

The desire to break free is one of the basic causes them to develop a unique self-defense techniques, which is called Capoeira. Exercises that done by slaves conducted by stealth or by camouflage. One of the best tools for this masquerade is to dance and music. Dance and music is one of the most popular form of expression in Africa. They practice a form of martial arts techniques attack, dodgery and kicks, which are accompanied with music, song and dance.

If observed carefully, Capoeira martial arts techniques very little by hand. According to estimates by experts, this is probably caused by the hands of slaves in shackles chain. Therefore Capoeira many developed techniques using the feet. In subsequent developments, Capoeira is divided into two major streams of Capoeira de Angola and Capoeira Regional. Each sect has its own characteristics.

However, the development of Capoeira are also having a difficult time, when the slaves were freed in a mass in 1888. Many slaves are poor and unemployed, then form the evil gang that relies on Capoeira, who then commit crimes. This makes the Brazilian government became angry and ban this sport conducted in 1892. If there are people who teach this self-defense techniques, it will be severely punished, starting with cutting the muscle up to the death penalty.

Capoeira kick
Capoeira kick

With these difficult conditions, many Capoeira fighters still loyal and practicing secretly, so that this self-defense technique is not extinct. Finally, in 1937, Getulio Vargas, President of Brazil at the time, agreed to lift the ban on Capoeira. But the decision also followed up with an introduction of Capoeira as a unique Brazilian martial arts to the whole world. The result is Capoeira nowadays known as a unique martial arts from Brazil. The uniqueness can be seen from Ginga techniques, or move constantly and continuously at the time of preparing and starting, unlike other martial arts. So is the high jump and spin kick technique has, with accompaniment of music, this martial art sports is like a dance that has high artistic value.

2 thoughts on “Capoeira, a martial art from Brazil

  • at

    Nice martial art! But I’m afraid it’s not useful if fight against wrestling.


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