Have you heard of a sport that involves martial arts, music, and dance as an integral part of the game? It is Capoeira – an art form that is part of Brazilian culture and is also the national sport of the country.
Historical records reveal that this unique sport has been brought into Brazil way back in the 16th century by the slaves from Angola. Basically it is a combative sport disguised in a dance form with music.
According to some historians, the game of Capoeira emerged as an emotional outlet for the slaves to get relief from their oppression both through violence as well as art forms of music and dance. Because of the violence, the game has been banned in the second half of 19th century. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the game has been revived and treated more as a sport and cultural art form in Brazil.
What is Capoeira?
Capoeira is a unique sport in which the combative martial art skills of African slaves and the music and dance of Brazil are entwined. The game takes place in open area where the participants in the game form a big circle called as Roda. Some of the participants start playing music or singing the folk songs. Participants enter into the circle or roda in pairs and perform acrobatic skills in tune with the song and music. The acrobatic skills and fighting between the participants in the circle include elbow strikes, feints, sweeps, kicks, body throws as well as head butts.
While a pair of players perform in the center of the roda, the other participants sing and clap their hands in tune with the music and the songs sung, in an effort to encourage the players in the ring.
The unique feature of this sport is the music. The style and tempo of the game is determined by the type of music. There are a number of forms of music – slow music or fast-paced music beats. As part of the music, songs are also sung by the participants, which do not have any specific poetic form, but mostly narrative, where one person calls and the other person replies for the call. The subject matter of the songs might be varied from historic facts to famous players in the game.
Though Brazil is renowned for Football in sports field, Capoeira retains the popularity among the masses and rightly declared as the National Sport of that country.