What is Capoeira?

Capoeira was born in Brazil in the colonial period, around 500 years ago. It was created by slaves - brought over in huge numbers from Africa - with the need to defend themselves, in the search for freedom. Since then, capoeira has been moulded and transformed. A mixture of martial arts, acrobatics, dance, music and rhythms , all steeped in Afro-Brazilian roots. That is a glimpse of what it is. All that and much more.

"CAPOEIRA HAS A RICH AND FASCINATING HISTORY THAT IS PRESERVED THROUGH ITS MOVEMENTS AND MUSIC"

A scene depicting the early use of Capoeria

1888 - Abolition of Slavery but not Freedom for Capoeira

The birth of Capoeira

Capoeira has an incredibly rich and fascinating history that is preserved through its movements and music. Despite a lack of a written history it is generally accepted that capoeira came about from the necessity of the pursuit of freedom from slavery. In the sixteenth century, countless slaves from different nations and tribes of West-Africa were brought to Brazil by the Portuguese colonists. Capoeira submerged as a method of survival - a tool for escaped slaves to fight Capitães-do-mato, the armed and mounted colonial agents who were charged with finding and capturing escapees.

Although the practice of self defence was banned by the colonial masters, slaves were allowed to practice their tribalistic rituals and traditions. The dance-like movements of capoeira were devised as a way of disguising preparation of self-defence as ritual, therefore avoiding persecution by the slave masters. It was in places called Qiulombos, where slaves would unite and fight for their freedom, many using capoeira as their primary form of self defense.

A new beginning for Freedom

1888 was the year that the total abolition of slavery in Brazil came to pass. This was a kind of beginning for Freedom, for Afro-Brazilian slaves, but not yet for Capoeira. This period and the years to come, were a very tumultuous era for capoeira. Although Afro-Brazilians had full emancipation from slavery, capoeira was still associated with the very low socio-economic populations that perchance included criminals and simple people needing to survive. Capoeira was in those days viewed as a practice that was criminal and was thus out-lawed. From this came some of the curiosities in capoeira, such as the necessity for an apelido, or nickname in capoeira and the traditional capoeira toque, or beat, called Cavalaria

It was many years after that capoeira was given the chance for true freedom.

THE MAKING OF MODERN CAPOEIRA

Prior to 1920 there was no unity in Capoeira practice and no recognised teaching methods. Capoeira had become associated with criminal activity and was prohibited in 1890 by the government.

Modern capoeira was born with the recognition of two styles, Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional, the latter changing the image and practice of capoeira for good. 

Capoeira Angola

This refers to capoeira that keeps the traditions held before the creation of the Regional style. The name Angola starts as early as the beginning of slavery in Brazil, when Africans were called "black people from Angola", regardless of their nationality. Capoeira was referred to as "playing Angola". The name Angola was firmly established by Mestre Pastinha in 1941, when he opened the Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola. Mestre Pastinha preferred the spontaneous aspects of capoeira over the martial side.

 

MESTRE PASTINHA The father of Capoeira Angola

"BIMBA CREATED CAPOEIRA REGIONAL BELIEVING CAPOEIRA HAD BECOME TOO PLAYFUL AND INEFFECTIVE AS A MARTIAL ART"

Capoeira Regional

In the 1920s, Bimba - a respected fighter from Salvador - began developing the first system-based teaching method for capoeira. He believed capoeira had become too playful and ineffective as a martial art. In 1932 he founded the first capoeira school and named his style Luta Regional Baiana ("regional fight from Bahia"). The Luta Regional Baiana became popular with the cultural elite of Brazil, and finally changed capoeira's unfortunate image. By 1940, capoeira finally lost its criminal connotation and was legalised. 

MESTRE BIMBA The father of Capoeira Regional

CORDÃO DE OURO: THE STYLE OF CAPOEIRA CDO PERTH

MESTRE SUASSUNA AND
CORDAO DE OURO

In 2017 the Cordão de Ouro group celebrates its 50th birthday as it was founded by Reinaldo Ramos Suassuna - Mestre Suassuna - in 1967 along with Mestre Brasília. Cordão de Ouro is one of the biggest and most renowned capoeira groups in the world. Our gyms can be found all over Brazil and the following countries.

Colombia - Argentina - Panama - Chile - Mexico - The U.S  - Canada - Spain - Italy - France - Germany - England - Sweden - Finland - Norway - Austria - The Czech Republic - Holland - Greece - Israel - South Africa

Japan - South Korea - Russia - India - Malaysia - Indonesia and, of course, Australia

 

 

CAPOEIRA CDO PERTH

Capoeira CDO Perth started back in 2011 when Lee 'Ouriço' Coumbe decided to share with a couple of friends his passion for Capoeira. Together with wife Mariana 'Estrela' they started training every Sunday morning. With their endless passion and energy more and more friends joined them and later that year official classes began.

Since those humble beginnings Capoeira CDO Perth has changed venues a number of times to cater for expanding student numbers and in 2016 proud owners Lee and Mariana moved in to their new studio in Hutton St, Osborne Park. Here Capoeira CDO Perth now holds four weekly adult classes and four weekly kids classes. 

MESTRE SUASSUNA The father of Capoeira Codao De Ouro

CAPOEIRA CDO PERTH Graduada Estrela do Mar , Mestre Kuata, Instrutor Ouriço

OUR TEAM

The Capoeira CDO Perth is owned by Lee (Instrutor Ouriço) and Mariana (Graduada Estrela do Mar). Instrutor Ouriço teaches all the classes at the Capoeira CDO studio while Graduada Estrela do Mar runs all operations behind the scenes.

Mestre Kuata has his own Cordão de Ouro studio in Osasco, near São Paulo, Brazil. He provides guidance and mentoring to Instrutor Ouriço and comes to Perth every year in order to grade CDO Perth's students and enhance their capoeira knowledge and experience.

MOVEMENT OF FREEDOM

"What is Capoeira to me? Capoeira is a game. The game of life. Where the command comes from the Berimbau, imposing rhythm and the type of game to be played in the roda. This game is made of questions and answers expressed through a bodily language. An expression between bodies, where the invisible manifests into various forms. As such, everything that you may look for, capoeira has. Capoeira is everything the mouth eats and the eyes see.

"Since its emergence, capoeira has had a central objective; freedom. The practitioner brings himself to the roda with no strings attached, but with cooperation in mind, because one depends on the other so that the roda enters in harmony. The circle closes with equality. Respect is the base of the fundamentals, towards the orchestra of berimbaus, pandeiros, drums and more.

I assert that capoeira is above any classification and transcends simple definition. It transforms with your maturity and experience within its principles."

MESTRE KUATA