Beginning Capoeira

How Did Capoeira Begin

Capoeira History


It is believed that Capoeira started over 500 years ago. When you watch it, you would think you are watching a highly skilled dance but it is actually a form of Martial art although its played as a game. It is believed that it started in the 16th century by African slaves who had been trafficked to Brazil by the Portuguese.  The slaves had strict rules about not practicing any form of self defence as the Portugese wanted to continue holding there power over them. Breaking these rules could result in serious action being took. As a way to get round the rules, the slaves started practicing something that they could pass off to there captors as a form of dance. Capoeira was born and although it did not have many striking moves , the slaves were at least able to get away with learning some sort of Martial Art. Music was also used to reinforce its look of a dance and is still largely associated with Capoeira to this very day.



A time passed, many slaves were able to escape from there Portuguese captors and started to lay there own roots in Brazil, Coupled with the fact that more slaves arrived over the years, they were able to build a large community in a part of Brazil called Palmares that was said to have over 10 thousand fugitives living together. Capoeira started to grow massively here although it was never used in a competition matter, the slaves used it for more leisure and Entertainment purposes. When slavery was finally abolished in Brazil, many of the slaves were left to fend for themselves and became homeless. This started a dark period for Capoeira as it was regularly used by criminal gangs. Sadly Capoeira was made illegal in Brazil at this point in time and anyone caught practicing it had there Achilles heel cut to prevent them from practicing it again. It would be many years later before a man called Mestre Bimba would have the ban lifted.

I have wrote a separate page about Mestre Bimba you can find on the blog that details how he made Capoeira Legal again. From this point on, Capoeira has grew into something that is now trained world wide and is a massive part of Brazil’s culture. For part of my main site, i am listing every single place that teaches Capoeira in every country. It was not until i started that project that i truly realised how popular Capoeira is today. In the UK alone, i was able to find 45 places of training. Remember, we are only a small island over here. Not bad for a bunch of slaves learning to protect themselves eh?



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