Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art and ritual that combines elements of a dance, fight and game. Capoeira was created out of the rebellious spirit of the African slaves in Brazil, between the 1700’s and 1800’s. Its history can be linked to the West-Central African war rituals. It was developed in secrecy and practiced in the SENZALAS; large house-jails where slaves were kept. It was a creative and original response to the colonizer's oppression: a fight disguised in dance and ritual. Capoeira integrates the agility and grace of a ballet dancer, with the strength, power and skills of a warrior. It brings people from all over the world together. Fostering an environment of peace, joy, and fulfillment, both in the game and in life.
The ritual takes place in a circle (RODA) formed by practitioners, musicians and players. Two Capoeira players dance and fight in a continuous, fluid and harmonic flow. The tactical and sly moves of each player, in addition to music and clapping forms this unique martial art. Capoeira is a celebration of life, and the facing of day-to-day struggle. It conveys a message of courage and freedom. It is a holistic art manifestation that allows its practitioners to overcome their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual limitations.