What Is Capoeira All About ?
To begin with, a little bit of history. African slaves developed Capoeira in Brazil more than five hundred years ago, as a form of resistance against their white oppressors. They were actually composing a strategic fighting technique under the cover of performing ritual dance moves. Capoeira could be described as a physical and mental challenge between two players, with deceptive trips, sweeps, head butts, and deliberate attempts to trip the other person.
Class and racial conflicts led the authorities to ban all forms of physical expression, including Capoeira. However, this did not stop the Brazilian army from using the capoeiristas' knowledge of the martial art in the war against Paraguay, when an entire troop of capoeiristas was cheered for its front line victories. Nonetheless, there was a gradual disappearance of the practitioners due to increasingly tough laws against the martial art. It was revived in 1937 by the then Brazilian president.
Capoeira de Angola is held in the tradition of Master Pastinha, a famous capoeirista. The name does not refer to the South-Western country in Africa, but rather to pay homage to the African slaves in Brazil, since both Brazil and Angola were colonized by the Portuguese.
Capoeira Regional grew out from the above style, and greatly benefited from the ruling party's mandate on athletics. This type of Capoeira was named by Master Bimba, who was one of the first capoeiristas to introduce teaching techniques and incorporate various sequences and predetermined movements into the art of Capoeira.
Capoeira surrounds a dialogue between two bodies, two figures, two minds. It involves using intelligence and developing the body's ability to react. It also assists in obtaining better notions of space, time, rhythm and music. This is an amazing exercise for the body, since it engages all the muscle groups and hones a series of physical qualities. After a while you will notice a great change in your body – less tension, quicker reaction and increased power.
If you stick with performing Capoeira at least three times a week, your breathing becomes regulated, your cardiovascular system is developed gradually and your abdominal muscles are greatly strengthened and toned. The practice of Capoeira brings you the following benefits:
Endurance: to provide the maximum energy during period of play.
Agility: to match quick alteration of movement on your partner's side.
Speed: to trick your opponent.
Flexibility: to perform large, wide movements typical of Capoeira.
Balance: to master the body's control during complex movements.
Coordination: to be able to respond to attacks with arms, legs and torso all at once.
Rhythm: the game is led by rhythmic music and the pace of movement must match this rhythm.
Undoubtedly, Capoeira is not only good for the body. It provides airing for one's emotions, helping to free aggressiveness and tension, although the game does not condone any form of violence. By practicing Capoeira you improve your:
Concentration: constant attentions must be paid to your adversary's moves.
Perseverance: you need determination and diligence to master the game.
Daring: step by step your creativity is manifested in the movements you choose to make without inhibition.
Cunning: needed to fool your adversary with unpredictable sequences of movements.
Everyone can perform Capoeira, according to one's natural abilities (except those with spinal problems who must consult with physicians before launching into it). One hour of Capoeira burns about 500 calories. In the process, one must also strength and weight train to improve flexibility.!!