Capoeira is a mixture of martial arts and dance in Brazil. Capoeira was developed by African slaves brought to Brazil by the Portuguese in the 1500s. In 1932, after capoeira was performed in front of the president of Brazil, a man named Manuel dos Reis Machado obtained permission to open a capoeira school in Brazil. Capoeira is accompanied by Jogo music, which uses traditional musical instruments such as the berimbau, atabaque, agogo, and reco-reco. The unique combination of dance and martial arts has made capoeira a much-loved martial art all over the world. In Brazil, capoeira is not only an art, but as national sport. Capoeira is ranked second in Brazil after soccer.
The thing that distinguishes capoeira fro, other martial arts is the movement of capoeira itself, which is done to a rhythm. The 3 kinds of rhythms accompany the capoeira are: ladainha, quadras and corridos. Some of the basic movements in capoeira are:
Ginga is the basic movement that must be mastered first. Ginga is performed as preparation for other movements such as attack, and dodge.
Passape, better known as the Meia Lua de frente, is a half-round kick movement going from the outside to the inside. This movement aims to strike the opposite face directly. Usually this movement is combined with the Au and Armada movements.
Queixada is basically the inverse of passape, with rotation from the inside to the outside. It also has the same aim, the face and head area. The rotation of the leg is generated by the momentum of the body. This technique is used most often because it is easy, powerful and easily combined with other movements.
Armada is a kick movement done by utilizing the muscle strength and body rotation.
Esquiva is used to shy away from the opponent. This movement is similar to the ginga movement.
Capoeira also has many health benefits. The movements can improve balance, strengthen bones, prevent cardiovascular disease, and strengthen the immune system. In terms of intellectual and psychological health, capoeira can sharpen concentration and increase confidence.
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