Capoeira's history is rich in culture and grew out a need for survival. This martial art form utilizes not only fight moves, but music and dance elements as well. Energetic, powerful and focused on quick movements, Capoeira is a high-energy martial art form from Brazil.
Origins Capoeira's history is thought to date back to sixteenth century Brazil. During this time period, the descendants of previous African slaves in Brazil began to combine moves into what would soon become the Capoeira style. Few records of Capoeira's history from the time period exist, so details about its creation vary.
Style This dance-like style combines swift kicks with other quick movements. Movements are often complex and are set to music. The music sets up the beat which the fighters move to and is as much a part of the style as the moves themselves.
Ranking While modern-day American martial art styles typically use a colored belt system to rank fighters from beginner to master, Capoeira uses a different, simpler system. Capoeira students start at the student level. Next, they move up to the graduated level, followed by the form level and then the teacher level. Finally, a student may move past the teacher level to become a master.
Goal Also unlike traditional American martial arts, Capoeira is not about hurting the other person in the fight. Instead, it focuses on teaching other players to use an evasive technique while allowing others to show off their moves. Often the player will start out the execution of a move only to break it off before actually making contact with his opponent.