The martial art of Capoeira seems to have been originally created over 400 years ago in Brazil by African slaves. This martial art is unlike many of the other martial arts anywhere else in the world, and combines a blend of power, beauty, mental balance, physical power, music, dance, and an overwhelming sense of art and style.
From its roots, Capoeira demonstrated that it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of size, weight, or age. The style is actually a great deal more than simply a martial art, being also a social event that is rich in tradition and history. That having been said, Capoeira is a truly powerful martial art...a collaboration of music, dance, and exotic movements - and even a game.
In fact, those who witness Capoeira games and demonstrations will note the music, and the similarity to dance.
Both music and the lyrics play a big part in the way that the game (known as Jogo De Capoeira or Game of Capoeira) is conducted. For the players, there are several different rhythms that will relate to different speeds. When watching the game played, spectators are often in at from the artistic, athletic, and acrobatic movements of the players. The jogo consists of a circle, with the players in the middle and the musicians at a so-named "foot" of the circle.
Players in the game launch themselves into the jogo circle with an acrobatic move, some sort of a spring, cartwheel, or other type of visually stunning movement. Upon entering the circle, players will compete back and forth with various combinations of poetic movements and breathtaking aerial displays. It takes a capoeira player years of practice and hard work to become great at the jogo, as it requires precision, fast movement, and flawless application of the Capoeira techniques.
Capoeira is flashy, very creative, and an excellent defensive self defense system, as the movement seem to come out of nowhere and can be very difficult for even the most experienced street fighter to defend against. The opponent or attacker has no clue what to expect next from the student. The Capoeira student defends himself using what appears to be very athletic dance movements and acrobatic techniques, executing perfect movements that were only dreamed of before Capoeira.
A bold and well trained Capoeira stylist could be a very dangerous opponent in MMA style close quarters combat.
Capoeira and the jogo game are very popular in Brazil, with hundreds of students studyiing the martial art. It isn't one of the most popular martial arts in the United States, however, although instructors can be found here. In South America, on the other hand, it is almost a lifestyle for many, with jogo games being played on a daily basis. Many martial arts students don't want to learn Capoeira for the simple fact that the movements can be a bit risky. Once you see how the style is performed, the effort and agility of the practitioners can seem daunting and almost impossible when the best are in action.
Gaining in popularity over the last few decades, interest in, and knowledge of, the art has grown a lot. In 1974, the art of Capoeira became the national sport of Brazil, proving that just about everyone in Brazil had accepted it. As time passes, you can count on more and more competitions and dojos to appear - introducing this truly electrifying martial art to newer generations.