Capoeira ¬¬– martial arts, dance and music!
Today, capoeira is fast becoming a popular way to keep fit, improve strength and co-ordination. But what is capoeira exactly?
Capoeira is an art form, which combines martial arts, dance and music. It was first developed in Brazil by slaves brought from Africa some time after the 16th century, as a way for the captives to fight back against their exploiters. Characterised by powerful kicks, sweeps and acrobatics, but accompanied with instruments and songs, it disguised a deadly fighting style as something that looked like a dance.
A capoeira ‘game’ is played in a circle (called a ‘roda’) by two people in the centre, with people around the circle clapping, singing to music, and creating a positive atmosphere where the two players can express their abilities.
Capoeira practicioners develop a great sense of strength, flexibility, balance, self-esteem, discipline, resilience and respect for yourself and others. These characteristics make it suitable and recommended for both adults and children
Do I need to have trained in martial arts before?
No - Capoeira is suitable for all levels of fitness, regardless of whether you are a complete beginner, or whether you have trained or currently train in another martial art.
Do I have to be a gymnast or super flexible in order to train capoeira?
No – this is a common misconception with capoeira. If you have seen a ‘game’ or watched videos on YouTube, you may have witnessed people doing impressive acrobatic flips and tricks. Don’t let this put you off! Although acrobatics can be an element of a game, Capoeira is primarily about being astute, incisive and perceptive of your opponent’s next move.
How can capoeira benefit my health and fitness?
Capoeira is a great form of cardio exercise to improve your strength and stamina. The workout involves the whole body, with special focus on core stabilising muscles. By practising at least once a week, over time you will notice your flexibility, agility, balance, stamina and overall fitness levels will have improved. Capoeira exercises also your mind, as you learn to play percussion instruments and songs, as well as the Afro-Brazilian culture and history associated with capoeira.
Lastly, you will have the chance to meet fellow practicioners located worldwide, by participating to national and international trips. Thus, you will get to discover new places and people who share the same passion for Capoeira as you
So if you're looking for something fun and different in order to keep fit and active, seek out a class near you and try out this beautiful, cultural and fun art form of capoeira!