Brazilian Martial Art that combines music, acrobatics and Self-Defense.
The Capoeira is an exotic blend of rhythmic music, song, dance, acrobatics and martial arts. It is a folk dance & Martial Art that Brazilians have been commissioned to expand worldwide, because besides its music and movement heritage, the Capoeira is a testament of freedom
Slaves named this new art as "Brincadeira of Angola" but was later renamed "Capoeiragem" and finally only "Capoeira". The Capoeira spread rapidly through Bahia, Recife and Rio de Janeiro. Several African ethnic groups (mainly Western Africans) imitated their countrymen of Angola.
Slaves began to rebel against their masters for the unfair treatment they received. They killed Whites, burned plantations and fleed to the mountains in Palmares. In Palmares, Indians and slaves who had been enemies in their native land were rallied. A common destiny forced them to join. They shared their cultures through dances, rituals, religion and later on, football soccer matches.
In this situation, the war was born of the jungle. From the mountains, the slaves brought unexpected attacks against the Portuguese. With quick movements and knives strapped to their feet, the slaves were able to win battles to the Whites and their firearms. The capoeira was their only weapon, a symbol of freedom. The Portuguese colonies suffered 11 major rebellions in 25 years that ultimately ended slavery on May 13, 1889.
Today, the Capoeira is taught in several parts of the globe as a martial art. In Brazil, capoeira is practiced at the neighborhood, at school, at clubs, at the army and even at nursing homes. The musicians give the capoeira the rhythm and style by using various instruments like Berimbaus. Capoeira singers talk about the cultural origins of capoeira and news occurring in the bay.
Capoeira Class Methodology
|Posición Básica: Ginga|
How is a Capoeira class like? Going to a Capoeira class is usually a fun experience but an experience with high physical demand. So dressing for a capoeira class must be in a sporty way with comfortable clothes. The Capoeira class is usually done barefoot. If you have a minor injury, you can use bandages. More advanced students often use the official uniform, that in the case of Axe Capoeira is white.
In general the structure of a Capoeira class includes:
Warm Up: Moves to warm muscles and joints and prevent injuries.
Combat Techniques: Exercises to learn fighting techniques. There are three basic components:
Ginga: Fundamental movement of combat that allows the Capoeirista to be in constant motion and to avoid being an easy victim of an attack while being able to make feints before attacking the opponent.
Attack: Most attack movements are done with the legs, either with straight kicks, round, rasteiras (Leg Sweeps) o tesouras (Leg Scissors). These attacks are complementary to a lesser degree with knees, elbows, hands and head.
Defense: The defense in Capoeira is based on the principle of nonresistance. This is before blocking, it is preferable to make a esquiva (to dodge).
Muscular Strenghten: Fitness through floor exercises like squats, lunges, jumps and stunts.
Elasticity: Stretching based on floor exercises and martial art techniques.
Music: Determines the speed and style of capoeira. Students learn to use musical instruments of capoeira, which traditionally are the berimbau (that marks the beat), the pandeiros, atabaque, agogo and revenge. Students also learn different songs in Portuguese based on questions and answers that can be classified into ladainha (Intro Narrative), Chula (more questions than answers), Corrido (Same questions than answers) & Quadra (Repeat of responses).
Roda:Is the main event where all the elements of the culture of Capoeira are present. Several capeoiristas make half circle to implement the various instruments and perform the songs while two capoeiristas move to the center and fight with the rhythm and style determined by the music..
Batizado: A ceremonial welcoming roda and recognition event for new students or to gain Capoeira Ranking (in some schools). Tradition requires new students to receive a apelido (nickname) that identifies you. This dates from the time when Capoeira was forbidden and thus it was done to prevent a captured Capoeirista to know the real name of his peers and thus being unable to betray them.
Air: "Capoeira Roda", Shanti Studio's IV Anniversary at Teatro Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
|Axe Capoeira, Shanti Studio V Anniversary at Plaza Península, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.|
Fire: "Makulele", Shanti Studio's IV Anniversary at Teatro Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
|Axe Capoeira, Shanti Studio III Anniversary at Plaza Galerias, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.|
Muscular Tone Up
|Instructors||Jorge "Sabugo" Meza|
Text: Israel Andalón
Photography: Cristina Romero
Video: Hugo López
Le Moal, Philippe, “Capoeira”, Dictionnaire de la Danse; Larousse; France 2001.