Capoeira (pronounced ka-poo-eyh-rah) is an Afro-Brazilian martial art and self-defense discipline that brings together fighting techniques, acrobatics, dance, percussion, and songs, in a rhythmic dialogue of body, mind, and spirit.
Capoeira helps people to approach conflict, fear, and uncertainty with greater confidence, determination, and humor. Ultimately, Capoeira is a celebration of the joys of movement, music, physical expression, and strategy. Today’s students, like the earliest practitioners of Capoeira, learn to translate struggles into celebrations, to believe in their abilities, and to understand the richness of sharing with others.
Capoeira has gained respect as a martial art form throughout the world. Increasingly visible in popular culture and mainstream media, Capoeira has attracted millions of individuals from every part of the globe.
Playing Capoeira is both a game and a method of practicing the application of Capoeira movements in dangerous situations. It can be played anywhere, but it’s usually done in a roda.
The “roda” (pronounced “ho-dah”) refers to the circle formed by Capoeira players form during practice, and inside of which the game is played. Those forming the roda are as important to the game as the two players inside— setting up the energy and rhythm of the game by clapping hands, singing choruses of Capoeira songs, and playing instruments. The two players inside receive energy and support from the roda. As a metaphor for the circle of life, the Capoeira roda illustrates that all individuals are important in the creation of the whole, and that cooperation is essential to the process.