Capoeira (Capoeira) is a trendy Afro-Brazilian martial art created by runaway slaves during colonization, in the conditions of prosperity of slavery and racism. The traditions of Africans and Indians mixed in capoeira. Initially, martial art eventually transformed into art.

Capoeira immediately attracts attention with the variety of its movements, a set of punches and withdrawals. However, it’s not just about physical movements. Capoeira embodies spirituality, tradition and wisdom.

And the real masters learn not only to wave their arms and legs correctly, but also to immerse themselves in the world of music and rituals, to respect all the accumulated knowledge by generations of masters. This is much more than just a dance or martial art. Capoeira managed to become a way of life for many in general. But the more complex the phenomenon, the more myths it surrounds. The most basic of them we will try to consider.


Capoeira is a modern and fashionable activity.

The history of this martial art dates back more than two hundred years. In fact, it was born even before the XVIII century. It is believed that capoeira appeared in South America, thanks to black slaves brought from Africa. African national and ritual dances were transformed into martial arts.

Capoeira is a single style.

In 1930, in Brazil, Capoeira became legitimate. The first official school opened in 1932. It was founded by Mestre Bimba. The style that he preached was called the Regional. Bimba markedly changed that capoeira that was before him, bringing elements of other martial arts. And in 1941 appeared the “Academy of Capoeira Angola”, named after the country from where the slaves were brought to Brazil. Its creator, Mestre Pastigna, in contrast to Bimba paid attention not to combat aspects, but to game and ritual. Angola is considered a more traditional form of capoeira, although it was formed only in the 1940s. The mixture of styles also gave rise to Capoeira Contemporanea, it successfully combines Angola and Regions.

Capoeira is known only in Brazil.

Back in 1951 capoeira came to Europe. Then their skill was shown by an artistic troupe on a tour of the continent. After the public took interest in the new teaching, some specialists stayed in Europe, performing solo and teaching followers. In 1975, regular teaching of capoeira began in the United States, in New York. Since 1980, capoeira began to develop continuously in Europe, Germany pioneered here. Since 1987 in the Old World regularly organized summer camps, where the masters from Brazil share their experience. Today even festivals of capoeira are held in Europe. In the CIS, this martial art came in 1996, when the first seminar was held. Now the capoeira is practiced on several continents by several million people.

Capoeira developed independently.

In the special literature, one can come across the statement that capoeira has developed independently for centuries, without any interaction with other martial arts. This is what determines the uniqueness of the teaching. It was believed that black slaves simply could not study the combat of white people, especially without access to the eastern martial arts. Most likely it was until the end of the XIX century. May 13, 1888 came the “Golden Law”, which releases all slaves. Then capoeira gradually began to adopt the self-defense system accepted in Europe – boxing, wrestling. And among practitioners this martial art appeared not only black fighters, but also white people, Europeans. Half a century after the abolition of slavery in Brazil, the style of “Regional” has developed, which in fact we see today. The style of “Angola”, which positions itself as a traditional capoeira, also folded at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries.

Capoeira appeared under the influence of the Indians.

Comparing the dates, one can understand that the Indian traditions practically had no effect on the martial art of the Brazilian slaves.The fact is that in 1755-1758 the slavery of the Indians was officially abolished by the law of Brazil. And the history of black slavery began in 1538 and ended only in 1888. So for a long time the Indians had few points of contact with the environment in which capoeira was cultivated.

Capoeira was always the same.

Speaking about the creation of Mestre Bimba “Regional”, it should be noted that until that time in capoeira did not practice high kicks, nor were there any jumps and dizzying acrobatic movements. Work by hands was poorly developed, as well as wrestling technique. When the legendary teacher taught Brazilian martial art, he was simultaneously trained and himself. Mestre Bimba took lessons of Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, jujitsu. The most useful technical elements migrated to capoeira. A little later the game received its “chips”, which today is associated with capoeira. If all these innovations are removed, it will turn out the very raw with which Bimba was forced to work. Teaching methodology was not, and the technique was meager. So one great teacher has significantly changed capoeira, one can not speak of independent development. In the last century, martial art began to closely contact other similar teachings, greatly changing under their influence. Characteristic for modern capoeira features did not appear by themselves long ago. Even the traditional “Angola” is not at all what the blacks showed in the days of their slavery.


Capoeira is a disguise for dancing.

You can often find an interesting story about the origin of capoeira. Allegedly the slaves decided to disguise their martial art under permitted dance, so as not to anger the hosts. The version is beautiful, but unlikely. In the XIX century capoeira little resembled modern. The tactic, combat technique and strategy that existed then had nothing to do with the arsenal that eventually became propagated to Mestre Bimba and Mestre Pashtinya. In the memoirs of travelers to Brazil at the beginning of the XIX century, there is a description of the “dance of war”, called the dance “capuera.” It was a very cruel and bloody sight. Two black fighters pounced on each other, trying hard blows on the body to overturn the opponent on the ground. The spectacle was all the more unpleasant, that the soldiers jumped from side to side, then they would butt like sheep. Were the supervisors so naive to perceive such a slaughter as choreography? It is worth noting that the word “dance” was used, and even such a duel took place quite openly, with witnesses. For white masters, these slave classes could not be acceptable – there was a banal spoilage of property. So it’s not necessary to talk about a mass phenomenon, it was a rare sight, like the battles of gladiators.

Capoeira was always carried out to music.

There is no evidence that the musical instrument of the berimbau was accompanied by fights of fighters during slavery. Traditional African drums were used atataback, high, to the waist. It was their strikes that set the ritual rhythms for local religious rites. But they were always negatively perceived by the Catholic faith, being a form of manifestation of paganism. So a dubious dance to the drums was forbidden, as an act contrary to the true faith. And since 1814, after the approval of the Portuguese king in Brazil, virtually all manifestations of African culture were banned and persecuted. In this respect, there was simply no sense in masking one prohibited action under another.

Capoeira is quite effective in combat conditions.

They say that the technique of capoeira is not only externally spectacular, but it is still effective, including in a real, not a game battle. If it is a question of such blows as Marcho (in the low kicks variant), the baixa (on the knee of the opponent’s front leg), the pontheira (in the groin or the knee) or joelhada, then one can believe it.But the combat use of high swing strokes, especially with a full turn is simply unthinkable. True, in some books they write that a blow, standing on one hand at the stitch, can be used in combination with a withdrawal maneuver. So you can not just walk away from the enemy’s attack, but also counterattack it, use it against the turntable or other low-level movements aimed at the head. “Au Batido” can also be used for care and protection from various impacts by hands and feet, often this element is performed standing on one hand. People usually see the acrobatic elements of capoeira, considering them simply beautiful movements. In fact, it is quite realistic to adapt them for a street fight. So, a kick from the wheel can be very powerful and bring the attacker out of action.

Capoeira is not suitable for people with poor stretching and poor physical preparation.

Just because the shape and stretching does not appear. All this must be developed in yourself. If weak hands – then you need to pump them up and strengthen them. For the appearance of stretching, you must regularly carry out a set of exercises. If a person has a stomach, then we must chase this hanging bag. We admire the tightened bodies of the gymnasts, but they were not born like that, but they created their bodies by diligent training. It’s worth starting to practice capoeira, and eventually the body will really change for the better. But lying on the couch is certainly not achieve anything.

Not all physiques are suitable for capoeira.

You can see your advantages in any shortcomings. If a person is tall, it means that he has long legs, and he can get them further. A low person will be faster and more likely to outpace his rivals. Any deficiency can do a good job, giving the possessor some unique feature. It remains only to identify it and learn how to use it. In the world of football a lot of middle-class goalies who compensate for the growth of jumping. The legendary Russian gymnast Alexei Nemov is considered too high for a gymnast, but this does not prevent him from spinning so that not every low athlete can. And Sylvester Stallone is a world movie star, and in fact at one time he was criticized for his crooked mouth, for his hideous facial expressions and indistinct speech. So you can achieve everything, if you really go to it.

The movements of capoeira are so complex that their newcomer will not be able to repeat.

Training is conducted from simple to complex. In any case, the most dizzying elements will not work at once. In his life a person learns to crawl first, then walk, run. Similarly, in capoeira – at first the student will be asked to repeat simple movements, and then the basics will be supplemented and developed.


Movement in capoeira – terrible and dangerous for health.

Those who are not afraid of anything simply do not. So this is quite a natural reaction, a fear for your health after dizzying jumps. But from the beginner, no one will be required to jump high up and rotate at the same time in different axes or wildly wave in the game with their feet. Currently, capoeira is a peaceful art. Walking from simple to complex, it will be possible to understand that there is nothing terrible here, and it’s fun and tempting to engage in this.

Capoeira will take a lot of time or money.

Those people who act as instructors are just ordinary citizens like everyone else. They live the same life, also experiencing problems with time and money. But they get to do their favorite thing. If an individual approach is required, then it is worth discussing this. Just silently, this way does not go away.

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