|Brazilian Jiu Jitsu|
Brazil has an old history of a special type of Martial Arts, quite distinct from other prominent systems. Capoeira is one type of Martial Art that has originated in Brazil and the major style of Brazilian Martial Arts as well. Capoeira employs a degree of flexibility consisting of kicks, head butts, elbow strikes and sweeps. Another popular Brazilian Martial Arts is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While this martial art did not originate in Brazil and was rather adopted from Japan, it incorporated new styles and techniques.
Capoeira can be described as "Martial Dance" that consists of music, dance, athletic movements, martial arts and combat theories altogether. African slaves in Brazil developed this Martial Art about 400 years ago where the slaves practiced Capoeira as a way to protect themselves. Later, it grew and continued to be developed by the ex-slaves as a way of protection on the streets. At that time it was not a legal art and the practitioners were forced to hide its practice. They even gave each other nicknames to hide their actual identities.
Now, it has become a form of ritual and Capoeira has taken an important place in Brazilian Martial Arts. It is considered to be a ritual art form of expression and freedom. Capoeira is a martial art combined with a traditional dance from while at the same time, it requires immense acrobatic fitness, endurance, and flexibility of the body.
There are several types of Capoeira. The oldest version of this Brazilian Martial Arts is called "Capoeira Angola." It is usually practiced at a slower pace where practitioners are close to one another. Another type is "Capoeira Regional," which is a faster and swifter version of "Capoeira Angola.” Capoeira Regional was the first Brazilian Martial Art to use a ranking system and it also featured many changes to popularize the unique art. The journey of martial arts in Brazil started from Capoeira Regional.
Although there are tons of disputes as to who actually began Capoeira, two people have credited for its introduction. They are Mestre Bimba and Mestre Pastinha. Bimba was the first person to teach this unique form of Brazilian Martial Art as an authorized teacher. Mestre Pastinha opened the first Capoeira School in 1942. He produced many talented students to expand this Brazilian Martial Art throughout Brazil and the rest of the world.
Music has an important role in this special art. Various types of beats and rhythms are used according to the pace of the match. Both instruments and voice are used in Capoeira music. The song can be a solo number or a chorus song of that focuses on the question-answer type. Many people find Capoeira to be one of the most entertaining forms Brazilian Martial Arts.
Capoeira is no longer limited to Brazilians as it has expanded to many countries throughout the world. Children and adults alike can participate in classes and take lessons. The Olympic Committee also has accepted this Brazilian Martial Art as a sport. While Capoeira is not only a Brazilian Martial Art, the use of songs in this art has made it a cultural symbol of the nation. It has become a reflection of the historical and cultural life of Brazil.