Capoeria is at the heart of Brazilian life, the first time I saw it was when I was walking down Copacabana Beach and seen a huge mass of people surrounding two amazing performers... I was mesmerised. So when planning this Brazil Day it was essential that this art was part of the day.
Capoeira is a martial art that combines elements of fight, acrobatics, music, dance and rituals in a very elegant and magnetic way. Although there are few official history records, it is known that Capoeira was created nearly 500 years ago in Brazil by African slaves (mainly from Angola). Taken from their homes against their will and kept in slavery, they started inventing fighting techniques for self-defence. To cover their inside combats from their prisoners, the African slaves used their traditional music, singing and dancing. Thus, the Capoeira continued its development and soon became not only for self-defence but for rebellion.
So it was now time for us to start our Capoeria training! We moved into the hall and put some Samba beats on. We started with the Ginga which is the fighting stance and after the children perfected that we moved to the Esquiva (the dodge). The children were now moving like true Capoeria performers so I thought we needed to learn some more complex moves. We brought the Mei Lua De Frente (standard kick) into our growing arsenal and finally we learnt the Meia Lua De Compass (round kick). When we became experts at all these moves the children then created their own Capoeria routine. I was amazed by how fantastic the Year 5 pupils were at this complex and old martial art; at times I thought I was back on Copacabana beach.