The dance-sport of Capoeira has become increasingly popular since the 1930’s when it became legal to participate in it again. It gives participants the chance to combine martial arts, dance, music and theatrics all into one sport.
Let us first define what Capoeira is. Capoeira blurs the line between martial arts and dance and acrobatics, but it commonly known as a dance-sport. It originated in Africa, generally believed to be Angola, and was brought over to Brazil in the 16th century when the slave traders brought slaves to Brazil. Capoeira was performed by these slaves who adapted it to suit their needs. However, it was highly illegal and participants were ruthlessly persecuted.
Now that Capoeira is no longer illegal, since the 1930’s it has grown in popularity, not just in Brazil, but throughout the world. While martial arts such as Kung Fu, Karate, Kick-Boxing, Aikido, Choi Kwang Do etc, all seem to lean towards the fighting skills of their participants, Capoeira allows you to emphasise your gracefulness and fluidity as well as learning self-defence moves.
To find a Capoeira school near to you, you must first decide which type of Capoeira you want to learn. As with all martial arts, there are distinct forms of Capoeira, such as Capoeira Angola, Capoeira Regional and Capoeira Contemporanea. All three have different movements, kicks, attacks, defences etc.
The first place you can look is on the web. With the amount of knowledge it holds, the internet is a great way to search for groups. You can type in such keywords or phrases such as ‘Capoeira schools in England/London/Birmingham/New York/Washington etc and the search engines will bring up a list of pages which is relevant. You will most probably have to refine your search, but it can definitely be of use.
One of the best websites around on Capoeira is www.capoeira.com – this website holds everything you could need about learning the dance-sport. The online community forum will allow members to post questions and this can help you find schools or other participants close to you.
Another way of finding a Capoeira school or group near you is to ask other martial arts or dance schools. There are usually several different types of schools in your local area and these teachers and masters are a wealth of knowledge in the martial arts and dance communities. If you ask them, politely, whether they know of any groups in the area, they will be able to help you with your search.
Another great way is using Yellow Pages in the UK, or the White Pages if you live in the USA. As Capoeira blurs the lines between dance and martial arts, schools can be located underneath either one, or both, of these categories. Again, if you cannot find anything under these categories, find a dance or martial arts school near to where you live and ask.
Facebook and MySpace are also great ways to find schools and groups near you. Different types of groups, including Capoeira, are being set up and are great resources for you to use.
If you really do wish to learn Capoeira, you will continue to keep long for groups where the dance-sport is played. Do not be disheartened if you cannot find one straight away. Where there is a will, there is a way!