Capoeira was something I had never heard of before. I had no idea what to expect but my wife who is from San Francisco and much more cultured than I am had a friend that was heavily into it. My Humanities professor made it sound fun and when I heard the word martial arts it drew me in because I've always been interested in martial arts. When I asked my wife if she wanted to go, she excitedly accepted the invitation. We just had our fourth baby just over a month ago and desperately need to go on a date and have some fun together. I understand now why my wife was so excited to go. Capoeira is much more than just martial arts fighting, it's a dance, a sport, a game, and an artistic expression of freedom.
Capoeira was created by slaves brought to Brazil from Africa as a form of self-defense. As slaves they had to disguise their study of the art by making dance an intricate part of it, making it a highly acrobatic, rhythmic form. It was also designed to allow them to fight while their hands were chained, and thus relies heavily on kicks and the use of one hand as a support for many of the cartwheel type moves. They are guided by Portuguese music, along with singing and clapping. The main musical instrument is a berimbau; it's a one stringed instrument that looks like a bow. They also use a drum that contributes to the rhythm. Capoeira takes place in a circle (roda) surrounded by spectators. The people participating in the circle fight to the rhythm of the beat, flow to the music, taunt, show-off and have fun. Now that I've told you a little bit about the history of Capoeira let me tell you what it's really all about.
I sat on the floor, just like the thirty or more people that were their, with my back to the wall, camcorder in hand, ready to watch a presentation, or so I thought. After the instructor taught us some of the history I have just explained he had us move into a circle, close around him and approximately ten other participants. The first thing he did...
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