What is Capoeira?

“To say that Capoeira is just another martial art would be incorrect, because Capoeira is much more than just a Martial Art. It is culture, it is history, and it is dance and music. A true visual feast, watching Capoeira can evoke feelings of sheer and exhilaration. It is an experience that must been seen and heard, to be truly appreciated and understood. For those who might ask, ‘what about the martial aspects of Capoeira?’ It is probably one of the most exotic, and unique martial arts in existence!” –  taken from the magazine ‘The World of Martial Arts’ – April 1993 issue – featuring a story on Mestre Eclilson de Jesus and Capoeira Aché Brasil by Bruce Fontane.

Capoeira is a Brazilian art form, which combines dance, music, and acrobatics with martial arts. Known as the secret dance of Brazil, capoeira is an astonishing display of acrobatics, breath-taking kicks and self-defense tactics performed to the music of the Berimbau (an ancient stringed bow-like instrument) and drums. But why just tell you about Capoeira? Why don’t we show you what Capoeira is! Below is a video that was filmed by one of our group members promoting our yearly festival and graduation ceremony. It will give you a feel of what our art form is all about and what it means to be apart of our Capoeira family.

Originating in the Northeast of Brazil (about 400 years ago), by slaves from the African continent, Capoeira had to be practiced in secrecy after the lethal potentials were discovered by the slave masters. Although Capoeira was created as a way to free the slaves from their oppressors, it has evolved into one of the most hypnotic and interesting art forms yet to come out of Brazil. Two major styles of Capoeira exist in Brazil today, Angola and Regional.


whats capoeira

The meaning of the word “Ache”:

We have chosen to spell ‘Aché’ in is original form. Others spell the same word as “Axé.” We have learned that ‘Aché’ means the positive energy that moves the universe or everything that is positive.

Perhaps Mestre Acordeon better explains it in his Capoeira book:

“Aché (axé, asé) is the magic force that moves all things in the universe according to the African religions in Brazil. It exists in all realms of nature and can be transmitted through specific rituals. Although Capoeira has no direct connection with religion, the capoeiristas, as the majority of the Brazilians, are related one way or another with Afro-Brazilian rituals. Aché in Capoeira means the connection with the roots, a special energy to be developed by any capoeirista. To wish aché to someone means to wish good luck. For those who believe, some special people transmit aché through their wishes.”

Excerpt taken from: “Capoeira, a Brazilian Art Form,” by Bira Almeida – Mestre Acordeon, Page 06.
Copyright 1996 by Bira Almeida. Published by North Atlantic Books.

capoeira photos