What is Capoeira?

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art developed in the 1500s by enslaved African and Indigenous peoples 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 training 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 enslaved people would hide and attack their enslavers when they escaped. The term is also believed to be linked with a fighting rooster breed.

Capoeira has two main styles, along with many other less distinct ones. One is called Angola, characterized by tricky, low play with particular attention to the rituals and traditions of Capoeira. This style is often described as slow; however, it may be just as fast as the following 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. Counterattacks and feints mark both styles of Capoeira and use lots of ground movements along with elbows, hands, kicks, head-butts, sweeps, and other take-downs.


Grupo Axé

Grupo Axé Capoeira began in Recife, Brazil in 1982. Today, with academies throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America, the Grupo continues to rise as one of the world’s leading Capoeira organizations. The Grupo continues to travel worldwide, promoting Brazilian culture, music, and dance, participating in Capoeira, and opening martial art exhibitions and competitions.

Axé Capoeira is working hard to ensure Capoeira has a strong future. Our goal is to be among the world’s most widely practiced and respected martial art forms. Through research, travel, and participating in events, we hope to increase our knowledge and contribute to the evolution of Capoeira.

The philosophy of Grupo Axé Capoeira is to respect all the mestres, preserve the roots and traditions of Capoeira, and train Capoeira in all its aspects: as a fight, art, dance, music, and culture. We endeavor to teach and educate so that capoeira will grow positively and healthily. We attempt to pass on to the students physical and mental training methods so that they learn to create situations and maintain a dialogue within the game. Students learn to deal with problems in or out on the roda by playing with friends and strangers. In North America, we teach movements, Brazilian language, and customs so that the students may become true capoeiristas.

When you join an Axé Capoeira, you will have a chance to participate in a batizado, a baptism into the art of Capoeira. At this point, you will typically be given a ‘Corda,’ a cord belt, and possibly your ‘apelido’ or Capoeira nickname. Batizados are grand celebrations of Capoeira, and several groups and masters from nearby or far away are invited to the festival. These ceremonies are a great chance to see various Capoeira styles, watch Mestres play, and see some of the best of the game. These celebrations are open to the public and are an excellent chance for outsiders to learn about the art.


Axé Capoeira YYC

Axé Capoeira YYC is registered under the name Axé Society for Capoeira and is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating Brazilian culture through Capoeira, Afro-Brazilian dance, and percussion. It is our Mission to Foster CONFIDENCE, COMMUNITY AND CULTURE. 

Proudly, we have been active in Calgary and surrounding areas since 2005. You may have seen us performing in festivals or with with the Calgary Board of Education, Calgary Catholic School District, and Rocky View School Division. We continue to stand by our commitment to providing accessible programming. Community-building remains a top priority to Axé Society for Capoeira.

Capoeira is for everyone, and the benefits are essential in the quest for wellness. Strength, stamina, agility, flexibility, and balance are a few of the physical benefits to expect. Expression of the body and mind, along with stress reduction and language development, are changes one may notice.

At Axé Capoeira YYC, foundational movement is vital. Our teaching staff ensures a solid base is formed and proper technique is a priority so our students are confident and their game is safe and efficient. Axé Society for Capoeira has Alberta’s only Capoeira Master as the head instructor. Therefore, our students experience a balanced approach to training. As a result of years of personal experience training with the world’s most respected Masters and playing capoeira in some of Brazil’s toughest rodas, his methods are proven. Most importantly, he remains passionate about teaching and capoeira.