Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art developed in the 1500s by African and Indigenous slaves in Brazil as a form of self-defence from their oppressors that mixes sport, fight, dance, popular culture, music and fun.

Developed by African slaves in Brazil and their descendants, Capoeira has agile and complex movements that utilize the feet, hands and body in gymnastic-acrobatic movements, all incorporated in a typical Brazilian way called “Malandragem”.

A characteristic that distinguishes Capoeira from other Martial Arts is the music. Capoeira will only be “played”(the term used to refer to a sparring in Capoeira) when the Master starts to play the Berimbau (Afro-Brazilian instrument that dictates the rhythm to “play” Capoeira).

The word Capoeira has many meanings; one of them refers to an area of forest that had been cleared by either burning or cutting down. In such places thick, low secondary vegetation would grow, making it a good place for those who escaped slavery and bandits to hide.

There are two main styles of Capoeira, along with many other less distinct ones. One is called Angola, which is characterized by tricky, low play with particular attention to the rituals and tradition of Capoeira. This style is often described as slow, however, may be just as fast as the next style, but with different rituals. The other style is Regional, known for its fluid acrobatic, high-flying kicks and powerful attacks. Speed and agility are common traits of this style. Both styles of Capoeira are marked by counter attacks, feints, and use lots of ground movements along with elbows, hands, kicks, head-butts,sweep and other take-downs.