Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art in fashion today, created by runaway slaves during colonization, in the midst of slavery and racism. Initially, the martial art has transformed into an art over time.
Capoeira immediately attracts attention with its variety of movements, a set of punches and exits. Capoeira embodies spirituality, tradition and wisdom.
And real masters teach not only how to wave their arms and legs correctly, but also to immerse themselves in the world of music and rituals, to respect all the knowledge accumulated by generations of masters. We will try to consider the most basic of them.
Capoeira is a modern and trendy activity. The history of this martial art is more than two hundred years old. In fact, it even started before the 18th century. It is believed that capoeira originated in South America, thanks to black slaves brought from Africa. African national and ritual dances were transformed into martial arts.
Capoeira is a unified style. Capoeira became legitimate in Brazil in 1930. The first official school opened in 1932. It was founded by Mestre Bimba. The style that he preached was called Regional. Bimba significantly changed the capoeira that came before him, bringing in elements of other martial arts. And in 1941, the "Academy of Capoeira Angola" appeared, named after the country from which slaves were brought to Brazil. Its creator, Mestre Pastinha, unlike Bimba, paid attention not to the combat aspects, but to the game and ritual. Angola is considered to be a more traditional form of capoeira, although it was not formed until the 1940s. The mixture of styles also gave rise to contemporary capoeira, it successfully combines both Angola and Regional.
Capoeira is known only in Brazil. Back in 1951, capoeira came to Europe. Then the artistic troupe showed its skills on a tour of the continent. After the audience took the new teaching with interest, some specialists stayed in Europe, performing solo and teaching followers. In 1975, the regular teaching of capoeira began in the USA, in New York. Since 1980, capoeira has begun to develop continuously in Europe, Germany was the pioneer here. Since 1987, summer camps have been regularly organized in the Old World, where masters from Brazil share their experience. Today there are even capoeira festivals in Europe. This martial art came to the CIS in 1996, when the first seminar was held. Today, capoeira is practiced on all continents by several million people.
Capoeira developed independently. In the special literature, one can find the statement that capoeira has developed independently over the 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 martial arts of white people, especially since they did not have access to oriental martial arts. Most likely it was until about the end of the 19th century. On May 13, 1888, the Golden Law was issued, freeing all slaves. Then capoeira began to gradually borrow the self-defense system adopted in Europe - boxing, wrestling. And among the practitioners of this martial art, not only black fighters appeared, but also white people, Europeans. Half a century after the abolition of slavery in Brazil, the Regional style was formed, which, in fact, we are seeing today. The Angola style, which positions itself as traditional capoeira, also developed at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Capoeira was influenced by the Indians. Comparing the dates, it can be understood that Native American traditions had practically no influence on the martial art of 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 has always been the same. Speaking about the creation of Mestre Bimba "Regional", it should be noted that up to that moment, high kicks were not practiced in capoeira, there were also no jumps and dizzying acrobatic movements. Handwork was poorly developed, as was wrestling technique. When the legendary teacher taught Brazilian martial art, he also studied in parallel. Mestre Bimba took lessons in Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu. The most useful technical elements migrated to capoeira. A little later, the game received its own "chips", with which today capoeira is associated. If all these innovations are removed, then you get the very raw, with which Bimba was forced to work. There were no teaching methods, and the technique was scarce. So one great teacher significantly changed capoeira, there is no need to talk about independent development. In the last century, the martial art began to closely contact with other similar teachings, having significantly modified under their influence. The characteristic features of modern capoeira did not appear on their own for a long time. Even traditional "Angola" is not at all what blacks showed during their slavery.
Capoeira is a dance disguise. You can often find an interesting history of the origin of capoeira. Allegedly, the slaves decided to disguise their martial art as a permitted dance, so as not to arouse the anger of the owners. The version is beautiful, but unlikely. In the 19th century, capoeira had little resemblance to modern capoeira. The tactics, combat techniques and strategies that existed at that time had nothing to do with the arsenal that Mestre Bimba and Mestre Pashinha eventually began to promote. In the memoirs of travelers to Brazil at the beginning of the 19th century, there is a description of that "dance of war" called the dance "capuera". It was a very cruel and bloody sight. Two black fighters pounced on each other, trying to knock the opponent to the ground with strong blows to the body. The sight was all the more unpleasant because the soldiers either jumped from side to side, or butted like rams. Were the overseers naive enough to take such a carnage as choreography? It is worth noting that it was the word “dance” that was used, and even such a fight took place quite openly, with witnesses. For white masters, these slave occupations could not be acceptable - there was a banal damage to property. So there is no need to talk about a mass phenomenon, it was a rare sight, like the battles of gladiators.
Capoeira has always been performed to music. There is also no confirmation that the berimbau musical instrument accompanied the fights of fighters during the time of slavery. The traditional African atabake drums were used, high, to the waist. It was their blows that set the ritual rhythms for local religious rites. But they have always been negatively perceived by the Catholic faith, being a form of manifestation of paganism. So the dubious dance to the beat of the drums was banned, as an act contrary to true faith. And since 1814, after the approval of the Portuguese king in Brazil, almost all manifestations of African culture were banned and persecuted. In this regard, there was simply no point in disguising one prohibited act as another.
Capoeira is quite effective in combat conditions. They say that the capoeira technique is not only outwardly spectacular, but also effective in real, not game, battle. If we are talking about such blows as martelo (in the low kick version), chapa bike (in the knee of the opponent's front leg), ponteira (in the groin or knee) or joelhada, then this can be believed. But the combat use of high swing strikes, especially with a full turn, is simply unthinkable. True, in some books they write that a blow while standing on one hand in a split can be used in combination with an escape maneuver. So you can not just get away from the enemy's attack, but also counterattack it, use it against a turntable or other low movements with aiming at the head. "Au batido" can also be used for care and protection from various punches and kicks, often this element is performed while standing on one hand. People usually see the acrobatic elements of capoeira, considering them to be simply beautiful movements. It's actually quite realistic to adapt them for a street fight. So, a kick from the wheel can be very powerful and incapacitate the attacker.
Capoeira is not suitable for people with poor stretching and poor physical fitness. It's just that the shape and stretch do not appear. All this must be developed in oneself. If your hands are weak, then you need to pump them up and strengthen them. For the appearance of stretch marks, you need to regularly carry out a set of exercises. If a person has a stomach, then this hanging bag must be driven. We admire the toned bodies of gymnasts, but they were not born that way, but created their bodies through hard training. It is worth starting to practice capoeira, and over time, the body will really change for the better. But lying on the couch certainly does not achieve anything.
Not all physiques are suitable for capoeira. You can see your advantages in any disadvantages. If a person is tall, it means that he has long legs, and he will be able to get them further. A shorter person will be faster and will be able to outrun his rivals more often. Any flaw can do a good job by giving the owner some unique feature. It remains only to identify it and learn how to use it. In the world of football, there are many medium-sized goalkeepers who compensate for their growth with jumping ability. The legendary Russian gymnast Alexei Nemov is considered too tall for a gymnast, but this does not prevent him from spinning in such a way that not every low athlete can do it. And Sylvester Stallone is a world movie star, and after all, at one time he was criticized for his crooked mouth, for disgusting facial expressions and slurred speech. So you can achieve everything if you really go for it.
The movements of capoeira are so complex that a beginner will not be able to repeat them. Learning here is conducted from simple to complex. In any case, you won't be able to do the most dizzying elements right away. In his life, a person first learns to crawl, then walk, and run. The same is in capoeira - at first the student will be asked to repeat simple movements, and then the basics will be supplemented and developed.
Capoeira movements are scary and dangerous to health. Those who are not afraid of anything simply do not exist. So this is a completely natural reaction, fear for your health after dizzying jumps. But no one will require a beginner to jump high up and rotate at the same time in different axes or wildly swing his legs in the game. Capoeira is now a peaceful art. Going from simple to complex, it will be possible to understand that there is nothing terrible here, but doing this is fun and tempting.
Capoeira will take a lot of time or money. Those people who act as instructors are ordinary citizens like everyone else. They live the same life, also having problems with time and money. But they succeed in doing what they love. If an individual approach is required, then it is worth discussing it. Simply by saying nothing, such a path cannot be passed.