ABOUT AXÉ CAPOEIRA
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 and cultural expression. It is marked by its agile and tricky movements that may be executed anywhere from an upside-down position, to a gravity defying kick. Capoeira incorporates various forms of physical movement and is always played with music.The word Capoeira can have many meanings. It is believed to be linked to the tall grass, capoeira, in forests where the slaves would hide and attack their slave masters when they escaped. The term is also believed to be linked with a breed of fighting rooster.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.
Roda and Philosophy
The “Roda” is the circle of people within which Capoeira is played. People who make up the roda’s circular shape clap and sing along to the music being played for the two Capoeiristas engaged in a Capoeira match or rather a “Jogo” (game). Depending on some Capoeira schools, an individual clapping and singing in the Roda can join in to engage one of the two players and begin another game. The rhythm being played on the berimbau sets the pace of the game being played in the roda. Slow music limits the game to slow yet complex ground moves and handstands. Faster music allows for more circular momentum and gravity-defying movements in the roda. It is also easier to see the fighting aspect of Capoeira in these faster games as they tend to be more obvious. Philosophy plays a large part in Capoeira and teachers strive to teach Respeito (Respect), Responsabilidade (Responsibility), Segurança (Safety/Security), Confiança (Self-Confidence), Malícia (Cleverness/Street-smarts), and Liberdade (Liberty/Freedom).
Capoeira is an art form that anyone can appreciate and practice, regardless of experience. It can be described in many ways. It encompasses Afro-Brazilian culture, art, music, language, and movement into one cohesive whole. The result is at once beautiful yet dangerous, smooth yet powerful.
At its purest level, Capoeira simply becomes a conversation between two bodies in motion, and at this level it truly becomes a sight to behold. The music controls the focus of the game, and from the music the movements of Capoeira flow. The berimbau leads the roda and dictates the type of jogo that the two capoeiristas must play. They, and everyone else playing in the roda must essentially follow the rhythm of the berimbau.