Many people see it as a martial art, others
as a dance, and there those who believe that it is their religion
and cultural identity.
description of Capoeira varies according to people's personalities.
It is a native Brazilian Indian word given to a small partridge
whose male is very jealous and engages in fierce fights with its
rivals. Capoeira blends elements of dance, music, rituals, acrobatics,
can find some form of identity in Capoeira. Let's take for instance
somebody who lives in a big city like New York. He will probably
see Capoeira as a martial art or as a form of self-defense. Because
of the intensity of the city, and the challenges that he faces
everyday, it makes him a natural "warrior" and he brings
this instinct in to Capoeira's circle.
call Capoeira a game. Capoeira is "played", not fought.
circle is made, called a roda. Music is played, and everyone sings
and claps while two players interact in the center. The leading
instrument is a berimbau. Also played is a drum called an atabaque
and a pandeiro (tambourine). A berimbau is a one stringed, bow
shaped instrument with a gourd attached to one end to give resonance.
circle is the most exciting part of Capoeira", Instructor
Itabora, Santa Cruz.
game of Capoeira requires the use of intuition and foresight and
does not rely solely on the use of physical strength. During the
game the capoeiristas skillfully expose the limitations of their
opponents and engage in playful attacks and counterattacks thus
better enabling themselves to discover their personal power",
Professora Marcia Cigarra
subtle blending of gymnastics and dance moves make the capoeira
game unique in the world of martial arts. The challenge for the
player is to harmoniously meld together in a powerful flow the
balance and flexibility of acrobatics, the grace and strength
of dance, the speed and cunning of the fight, and the rhythms
of the music. If these components are isolated, the essence of
capoeira is lost", McGuire - East/West Journal
Brazilian Martial Art, Capoeira was born in the "senzalas",
the places where the slaves were kept. It consists of a stylized
dance, practiced in a circle called the "roda", with
sound background provided by percussion instruments, like the
"agogo", the "atabaqui", etc. It incorporates
"maculele", done with blades, and "maracatu",
done with sticks. Highly acrobatic, energetic and difficult to