CAPOEIRA: THE ROOTS AND HISTORY

Posted on November 18 2017

CAPOEIRA: THE ROOTS AND HISTORY

Capoeira: The Roots and History

The martial art of Capoeira was originally created over 400 years ago in Brazil by the African slaves.  This martial art is unlike any of the other martial arts in the world, and possesses a blend of power, beauty, mental balance, physical power, music, and an overwhelming sense of art and finesse.

Capoeira can be practiced by anyone, regardless of size, weight, or age.  The style is more than a martial art, but also a social event that is rich in tradition and history.  Capoeira is a martial art resembling a collaboration of music, dance, and movements - and even a game.

Those who witness Capoeira games will note the music.  Both the music and the lyrics play a big part in the way that the game (known as jogo) is conducted.  For the martial artist, there are several different rhythms that call for different speeds.  When watching the game played, spectators are normally in awe from the movements.  The jogo consists of a circle, with the players in the middle and the musicians at the foot of the circle.

Players that enter the game will enter into the circle, with a spring, cartwheel, or other type of visually stunning movement.  Upon entering the circle, players will compete back and forth with various combinations of poetic movements and aerial displays.  It takes years of practice and hard work to become great at the jogo, as it requires precision, fast movement, and flawless application of the Capoeira techniques.

From a defensive standpoint, Capoeira is flashy, very creative, and also very useful, as the techniques seem to come out of nowhere and can be very hard to defend against.  The opponent or attacker has no clue what to expect from the student.  The Capoeira student defends himself through the use of dancing movements and acrobatic techniques, executing perfect movements.

Capoeira and the jogo game are really big in Brazil.  It isn’t one of the most popular in the United States, although it is offered.  In South America it is more of a lifestyle, with jogo games being played on a daily basis. Over the last couple of decades, the art has grown a lot.  In 1974, the art of Capoeira became the national sport of Brazil.

 

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