What Is Capoeira?


About Capoeira : It is a mixture of body and soul, of dance and fight, of instruments and voices. According to history, Capoeira was created by imported Africans on Brazilian soil. It evolved as a means of expression of the yearning for freedom and simultaneously as a form of entertainment.

Condemned and persecuted, capoeira managed to overcome the preconceptions of the beginning of the century and reach new horizons. It is considered one of the most comprehensive forms of physical conditioning and is an integrated balance of mind, strength, rhythm, poetry, agility, and harmony. It is the maximum expression of liberty and keeps the art of the ancestors alive, being part of Brazilian and now, world history.

A Brief History of Capoeira : The word Capoeira (cáapuêra: of Tupi-Guarani Indian origin) stands for “wild grass”, or “grass that has been cut”.

Capoeira as it is known today began when enslaved Africans created quilombos, hidden free states where runaways, outcasts and fugitives of mixed origin lived communally. Amongst these the most famous was Palmares led by Zumbi, an invincible warrior and strategist, whom according to legend was a capoerista.

Historically the personal guard of the Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro I was formed by capoeiristas, or capoeiras. However, the MARECHAL Deodoro da Fonseca, in 1890, according to the decree by law 487, declared that any capoeira caught practicing the art on the streets would be expelled to the island of Fernando de Noronha (an island in the northeast of Brazil) for a period of six months. In this way, the said decree having temporarily ended the practice of capoeira, it was to rise again nearly 50 years later in 1957 when Manoel dos Reis Machado, or better-known as Mestre Bimba, mounted a presentation for the then President of the Republic, Getúlio Vargas. Enchanted by the game, Dr. Vargas liberated the practice of capoeira that since then went from marginality to being taught in academies in Brazil.

Mestre Bimba Mestre Pastinha Mestre Bimba created the Regional style, that is identified as the faster, more purposeful and efficient version: capoeira as a fight. The style known as Angola is capoeira in slower form with smooth movements that demand more contact with the ground, and was created by Vicente Ferreira Pastinha or Mestre Pastinha, in Bahia. Nowadays Capoeira is no longer a privilege of Rio de Janeiro or Bahia, practiced in many Brazilian states and, more importantly, the world over.



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One Response to “What Is Capoeira?”

  1. Kamen Rider Monarki Says:

    According to another history, the word is “slave” and it is actually a fighting method that had been covered up as dances to hide it from the white men. Lol. tak tau la mana yg betul, aq bukan ahli capoeira pon. hahha

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