Capoeira is a complex Afro-Brazilian martial art. It differs from other martial arts because the great amount of round leg strikes, reverse positions, its dynamics and positive mood. Capoeira can be very variable and include different components, which astonish an onlooker - «What do all this people do? Do they dance? Or fight? Sing? Play musical instruments? What is this circle for? Is it a sect?»
From its African origins Capoeira inherited an integral perception of reality not estimating who is better and who’s worse, what is a dance and what is a fight.  It can be both when needed. There are no sparrings in a habitual way in capoeira, but there is a circle, where there participants sit. The circle is closed by bateria – the orchestra of impact tools, which gives the rhythm to the movements.  Then participants go inside the circle in pair – “to play capoeira”. The game inside the circle can vary from slow and cautious to fast and hard depending on  rhythm and songs.
Capoeira appeared in South America because of  black-skinned slaves, who were taken to Portugal from the African Colonies. Because of cruel treatment some slaves escaped to selva.  . The refugees inhabited kilombush– ‘free cities. So capoeira took origin in the mixture of African and Indian cultures.
The extraction of capoeira is disputable. According to one version it takes origin in the African ritual combat dance n’golo, which served as a compulsory attribute of the rite of initiation in Angola and which performed zebra’s dances.
The word “capoeira” according to one version belongs to one Indian language of the tupi- Guarani group and means “a field with low procumbent shrubbery”, which, evidently, reminded of procumbent moves of  players of capoeira.
For a long time capoeira was prohibited. After the coup d'état of 1930 in Brazil capoeira became a legal martial art and capoeira schools appeared. There appeared to main areas – Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional. The founder of Angola, mestre Pashtinia, stressed traditionally ritual and playful nature of capoeira.  Mestre Bimba, the founder of Capoeira Regional school, stressed the combat aspects of capoeira.
But it often happens that there are more differences in the doctrines of masters of one school, then there are between schools. Some masters refuse to divide capoera into parts - capoeira is united, it’s a living art, which help everyone to express himself. Capoeira doesn’t have thousands years of history, as oriental martial arts do, but it has that very life, freedom, joy and spontaneity  which are lost by the “old” martial arts.





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