View Full Version : What is Capoeira?
01-12-2001, 05:23 AM
I heard a little about Capoeira while at lunch today. What exactly is it? I know its a Brazilian martial art, but not much else.
Is it mostly a performing art? No offense to any of you capoeira practitioners. I am just curious. Thanks. :confused:
Underaged Drunken Monkey
01-12-2001, 05:29 AM
It's a MA developed by Brazilian slaves. It hides its self-defense moves within ritualized dance movements and forms. This isn't anything new, traditional Okinawan folk dances also have kata movements integrated into the choreographed forms.
I suppose someone of high skill level might be formidable, but for myself I'd let the Capoeira player wear himself out with all that flipping around...then I'd attack like a tiger coming down the mountainside.
K. Mark Hoover
01-12-2001, 06:31 AM
The dance aspect of Capoeira was to allow the slaves to practice the fighting aspects of the their art without having the slave owners realize they were doing "kata." The video I have seen shows a very tricky art with a lot of circular kicks that use the heel to strike.
One must toughen up without losing one's tenderness.
01-12-2001, 06:03 PM
You may have seen Copeira but not aware what it was called. There was a movie about it some years back called "Only The Strong". I'm sure you can rent the video at your local Blockbuster Video or other video store. It is typically performed with music and a lot of spin kicks and jumps. Again, since music is usually associated with it and it looks more like a dance during exhibitions, to the casual observer it doesn't look like a martial art.
01-12-2001, 08:34 PM
Well, I wanted to take Kung Fu, but I must say this has been a nice substitute in helping me remember and refine some moves I learned back a couple of years ago. Capoeria was a brought along by the African slaves to Brazil, from Angola, and developed in the slave areas of Bahia. To hide it they would diguise they're movements dance or showmanship, but in the bigger cities, were crime was rampant, the art was used against the law. Thusly it was outlawed. However, it still went on in secret. For example, if some people were going at it in a game in the street, and the police would come, the beats of the berimbauwould change to those of the taps of the horse. Signaled everyone would go back to whatever they were doing.
It wasn't until the 1900's that Capoeria was brought into mainstream Brazilian society with the openning of the fist public hall By Mestre Bimba, THE legend in capoeria history.
There are misconceptions about what types of movements and attacks you'll see in capoeria. Budokan said that he'd beat one of the capoeristras after they tire themselves out with all that flipping. There are acrobatic moves, some that even went into break dancing, however that's more for the show and demonstration. I remember one poster on these boards called capoeira a mix between "snake and monkey" styles. Capoeristras may dodge an attack, or make someone think that their defensless in a turn or flip, but come in with a kick out of nowhere. Evasion is a key factor in capoeira. FInally, there isn't one set style of capoeria. There is [i]capoeria regional[i/] which is the more acrobatic, fast-paced, spectacular kicks and flips art you see most often, and [i]capoeria angola[i/] the original style brought over by the African slaves. Its more reliant on the evasions, definitely slower, and sticks mostly to the ground. WHEW! that was exhaustive. :)
"Watch the skies, the DRAGON flies!"
01-12-2001, 09:44 PM
According to mestre bimba capoeira is treachery, i can relate to that from my experiences.
According to mestre Pastinha capoeira is everything the mouth eats, meaning that capoeira is in everything...
Capoeira is so much and so great that decribing it all would be impossible.
When you enter the roda(Cirkel), it is like entering a small world within the world.
Within the roda so many things can happen, you can play and have fun, show off, fight, communicate and much more...
Often the most dangerous things are those that seems the least dangerous, if you enter the roda not knowing what is going on you can easely be hurt.
Once a year i go to a MA gathering in norway and assist my teacher teaching people of all styles capoeira.
Its really popular, not only with the beginners but many off the masters take a great interest in it.
Ëspecially the escrima and aikidopeople seem to like it.
Capoeira is a beautiful art in many ways and it can make the lives of those who practise it very rich.
01-12-2001, 09:57 PM
Tieng Long: who is your teacher? and do you practise regional only?
I looked at some off your posts, and i feel that you should know that Escrima also uses the Ginga.
Actually i know one Escrima master who likes to train to Sao bento Grande and Maculele...
01-12-2001, 11:02 PM
My teacher isn't a Mestre yet, only a guy we can Professor Bayano, who was trained under the auspices of Mestre Caesar Carnerio, the bad guy from "Only the Strong." Prof tries to teach us both regional and angola stlyes, though those who have been training a bit more go Angola.
"Watch the skies, the DRAGON flies!"
01-12-2001, 11:09 PM
Ummm...if you watch the movie 'The Quest' with Jean Claude Van Damme, there's a guy from brazil which I'm almost certain is performing Capoeira. Also if you play the game tekken tag or tekken 3 (playstation and playstation 2) Eddy Gordo is suppose to be a take off on Capoeira. Just some useless trivia, other than that, the only other thing I know, is I believe break dancing originated from Capoeira. As far as I'm concerned it's quite noticeable that break dancing originated from it, I could very easily be wrong though.
01-13-2001, 11:46 AM
Tien long: ok, i think i will go and watch the movie again and look at your Mestre...
We do a lot of traditional Regional in my group right now, bimbas eight sequenses, cintura desprezada and really kickass in the roda, its great.
Do you practice the sequenses? a lot of schools dont, but they are really good.
how often do you guys have roda? we used to have one after each traning, but we share the place we train in with some karatepeople so we had to cut away the roda on monday...
"Capoeira is for men, women and children, those who dont learn it are those who dont want to."
01-13-2001, 03:32 PM
WE have roda every class, and usually takes up to 20-35 mins. I don't know what types of sequences you're talking about. There are several different combos that my Prof teaches, like benson, fake, amada, menalua, into a negativa ho-le, with maybe a menalua from as were ho-leing out. (Sorry, I don't exactly know how to spell these words.) Then there's the regular handstand push-ups, tons of ab work, plus stretching against the wall. Soon, we do partner work with each other, practicing skivas, evasion techniques, rasterias etc.
My mestre is not the guy in "Only The Strong." He is my mestre's mestre, who is also the Brazilian, Capoeria fighter in "The Quest." Really great match up between him and a monkey kung fu fighter in there.
"Watch the skies, the DRAGON flies!"
01-13-2001, 09:00 PM
The cornerstone of bimbas regional is eight sequenses, if you ask your proffesor i am sure he knows them.
Otherwise you can buy Mestre Nestors "little Capoeria book" and find them in that.
01-14-2001, 02:17 AM
i remember reading that wesley snipes studied Capoeira. If you watch the movie blade theres a scene where you see him doing the ginga.
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