Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian cultural manifestation created by indigenous and African slaves in Brazil in the fifteenth century. Denied the right to defend themselves, they disguised their fighting as a dance, with its own instruments and singing. Within the 'roda' or circle, two capoeiristas 'play' capoeira to the rhythm of the berimbau - the symbolic instrument of capoeira - and percussion, as well as the clapping of other capoeiristas around the roda. The trick lies in the ability to dodge your partner's blows, escape and surprise him or her with a counter-attack. Capoeiristas used their art to escape sugar cane plantations, sneaking into the tall grass called Kapuera in the native language of the Tupi-Guarani. The slaves who fled were then hidden within communities that gathered in the forest, called Quilombos which were defended from attacks through capoeira (see History of Capoeira 'for more details).
Today, capoeira is practiced as a martial art disguised as a dance, with historical roots and musical foundations that give it all the richness of its Afro-Brazilian cultural heritage. It is athletic, spectacular and a vector of social integration and sharing between different cultures, ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Capoeira is accessible to all, whatever one's initial skills. It will help you develop physical abilities such as flexibility, coordination, muscle development, balance, speed and strength.
Capoeira will help you master self-defense: you will learn to dodge blows, evade your opponent and to put them off balance.
Capoeira also helps develop one's musicality: it will enhance your sense of rhythm, you will learn traditional songs and to play our instruments. These are essential aspects of each class at Capoeira Sul da Bahia.
Finally, Capoeira is immensely beneficial for one's personal development: it helps overcome shyness, open up to others and embrace our differences, learn to win and lose and especially to meet one's partners and follow the rules of the game, try to excel without having a competitive spirit, and get rid of stress. Joining Sul da Bahia means joining a large family in which everyone is valued for himself or herself.