How does it work?
This martial art form originates from African slavery in Brazil and was originally a way for the slaves to defend themselves against their masters. Capoeira is now practised throughout the world in classes, as a way to get some exercise, learn fighting skills and continue the tradition that was started all those years ago.
Capoeira is performed in a circle or roda made up of the class group whilst the contenders play in the centre of the roda. Some classes even have musicians in the circle playing Portugese music which will determine the nature of the game - friendly or competitive.
A class will normally begin with a warm-up and stretches to reduce the risk of injury during the exercise. During the class you will be taught some basic movements such as cartwheels, basic acrobatics, various sequences and the jinga. Capoeira keeps you agile, flexible and quick - exactly as the slaves needed to be back in the day. It can improve strength and core stability while also providing much-needed stress relief and self defence tactics.
Is it for me?
Capoeira is a physically demanding sport so be warned you may see a few bruises pop up if you choose to practice regularly. Despite the chance of the odd bit of pain, Capoeira welcomes people of all abilities and skill levels to try this martial art out as an alternative fitness regime or simply as a complementary self defence class.
Good to know:
Many Capoeira schools have their own uniform but when attending a class for the first time you can simply wear comfortable clothing.