Capitães de Areia

Grupo folclórico de Capoeira

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What is Capoeira ?

ig_dummy1.jpgCapoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that evolved in the 16th Century as a result of the African slaves‘ attempts to achieve freedom. Capoeira especially embraces philosophy and lifestyle issues, and encompasses historical, socio-political and spiritual factors. Rhythm, song, instrumentation and improvisation, along with elegance, respect and humour are all fundamental elements of this martial arts dance. Its core movements are aimed at developing vitality, reflexes and mobility which are all dependent on a consciousness of each individuals‘ strengths and weaknesses, flexibility and stamina.

These veteran Brazilian Capoeira mestres (masters) describe what Capoeira means to them:

Mestre Brasilia, São Paulo/SP

Capoeira is my life, first and foremost. It is also sport, culture, evolution, martial art, dance and art; in short, Capoeira can be anything you want it to be. It expresses the freedom and harmony of an entire culture. It is also the consciousness of respecting others when you cry out: „hey, comrade!“ Moreover, for Capoeira you need the appropriate awareness, that is, when it’s time to play and when it’s time to fight in earnest. Above all, however, Capoeira is Brazilian.

Mestre Moraes, Salvador/BA

For me, Capoeira is the merging of body and mind. You can shape the body with Capoeira and clarify the mind to help understand the society in which you live.

Mestre Baiano Anzol, Rio de Janeiro/RJ

Capoeira is a game of continuous movement, speed without rigidity. It is distinguished from most other martial arts through its musicality, which is conditioned by rhythm and Axé. Capoeira is not just a simple sequence of grips and jumps merged together. It also requires a harmonious mutual exchange of energies associated with bodily movements and the lightness of the mind.

Mestre Artur Emidio, Rio de Janeiro/RJ

Capoeira is harmony, unity, philosophy, sport, and a discipline that many mistake for a martial art. Yet, on the contrary, it is peace, love and a pleasant form of gymnastics.

Mestre Suassuna, São Paulo/SP

In my life Capoeira consisted of several phases: during my youth, it was a martial art, self-defence, confrontation in the streets, and a sport that boosted my self-affirmation and identity. In each phase, Capoeira embodies its own time and story. Because it is so complete and multi-faceted, it can connect with any age group. It is a robust art and a very important culture for us. Capoeira is a communal sport, and with its music and dance it unites all those who take part. Every day Capoeira brings surprises: in the teaching process, how people move and more. It is my life, the air I breathe.

Mestre Decanio, Salvador/BA

Capoeira is a martial art that is taught and practised as dance. It can be simultaneously used both as self-defence or offence! Capoeira is a mysterious word, written with a weak „r“ and can only be practised with the three „R“… The first stands for Rhythm, the second for Ritual, and the third for Respect .

Mestre Acordeon, California/USA

I think Capoeira is a sport, but not exclusively a sport. My philosophy is “the fact that just because there’s sporting competition in Capoeira, in my opinion this doesn’t make it inferior. If, however too much emphasis is placed on the sporting aspect, a few basic characteristics of Capoeira, which is a many faceted art form, become misrepresented. Capoeira also incorperates philosophy, history and tradition, dance, art and storytelling. For me, Capoeira is an art with African roots that contains all of these elements, as well as a perspective of the universe where everything is connected.“

Mestre Camisa, Rio de Janeiro/RJ

Capoeira is an art that unites various arts in one: work, combat, art, dance and poetry. These all have their meaning, or shall we say, Capoeira is what gives them all meaning. It’s the Brazilian national martial art and philosophy. Consequently, the Capoeira practitioner has a diverse view of life: he lives more instinctively. This enables him to bear difficulties more easily and experience feelings with greater objectivity.

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