A Brief History of Capoeira

Martial Art – Movement – Music – Acrobatics


Capoeira originated in Brazil with African slaves who developed this martial art as a form of resistance and training to defend themselves against their oppressors and to escape. Therefore, they camouflaged the fighting and training techniques with music and dance.

Capoeira was officially forbidden until well into the 19th century and could only be practiced and celebrated in secret. But with the integration of the elite classes into the “capoeiragem”, capoeira was no longer forbidden and became more and more accepted by the authorities. In the past, there was no didactic method to learn capoeira, it was taught in public markets, parks and weekend events.

Mestre Bimba (Capoeira Regional) and Mestre Pastinha (Capoeira Angola) brought capoeira out of the dark alleys to the public, developed training methods, rules and exams and founded the first capoeira academies.

In reality, there is only one capoeira. The different styles of movement and music, which complement each other, form the symbolic cultural universe that is infinite in its diversity. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that is about technique, rhythm, strength, lightness and play. We train, play together in the traditional circle, the roda. This game includes fighting, dancing, acrobatics and musicality. Today, capoeira is present in all areas of life and its practice is recognised for its historical and cultural value.

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