Capoeira is a 500-year Afro-Brazilian Martial Art that combines elements of self-defense, dance and acrobatic movements to the pulsating rhythm of traditional live music. It has its roots in the slavery days of Brazil, when millions of Africans were brought from their homeland to Brazil and indigenous peoples of the Amazon were relocated to work by force, kept in slave camps called “Senzalas.” It was here that Capoeira was born and became an important tool in the enslaved people’s fight for survival and ultimately, their freedom.
After slavery was abolished these capoeiristas, in their vast majority of African and Brazilian-indian descent, were persecuted as outlaws and the practice of Capoeira remained a punishable crime until 1940 when it finally ceased to be an illegal pratice. At this time, it began to lift itself from the depths of social bias and racial prejudice it had suffered from its inception.
Capoeira throughout history has endured, evolved and prevailed; quickly being discovered and embraced as a unique Art Form and important cultural legacy of Brazil and its people. On the 17 of July 2008 Capoeira was recognized as Cultural Heritage of Brazil, continuing to spread around the world and be enjoyed by millions of practitioners of diverse cultural and social backgrounds that see it either as a hobby or as a way of life that continues to liberate today.