Embedded deep and far back in Brazilian culture, Capoeira is a striking martial art that enriches a dark history.
Its origins lie in the times of slavery, when West Africans were shipped to Brazil to work in intolerable conditions on the sugar cane farms. Originally practised as a means of survival should the slaves escape, it later became a powerful and dangerous martial art against the threat of Portuguese colonial troops. Nowadays, Capoeira masters teach this traditional art all throughout the world to various cultural backgrounds.
Seemingly dance-like to the untrained eye, capoeira is known for its speed, agility and power with the majority of attacks made using the legs in the form of precision-like kicks to the head or vital body parts. A fundamental move is the 'ginga' that ensures the Capoeirista is constantly moving, enabling them to avoid attacks through evasive moves rather than block threats.
Presentations are often made to the beat of hypnotic music that sets the tempo and pace of the performance. These are usually acrobatic rather than aggressive performances with the aim to showcase the complexity and skill of the Capoeiristas, and the Brazilian heritage that it is so deeply associated to.
You can find many basic Capoeira workouts on youtube, why not give it a try?