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Capoeira

In 1405, Chinese admiral Zheng He set sail from China to East Africa with 28,000 men aboard 62 treasure ships (each larger than a football field). At each stop, Zheng He would leave warriors and laymen to live with native cultures. His last stop was Angola, Africa. Chinese warriors lived with the coastal natives. Decades later, Portuguese slave traders shipped Angolans to Brazil. Soon after, it’s believed that Angolan slaves in Brazil developed a system of unarmed self-defense called capoeira. To avoid punishment by their superiors, the slaves disguised their martial movements as dance—hence the art’s rhythmical nature and musical accompaniment. It places a heavy emphasis on using mobility to evade attacks.

Capoeira includes numerous acrobatic kicks, punches and flips. Some techniques, such as the cartwheel kick, were created because the slaves’ wrists and ankles were bound by chains to prevent escape. Because Chinese martial artists lived among the Angolans in Africa and many of capoeira’s moves are similar to those found in Chinese martial arts, the fact that Chinese martial artists lived among Angolan’s in Africa, it’s possible capoeira is rooted in Chinese martial arts.

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  1. Capoeira Kicks: An Overview of the Brazilian Art’s Fancy Foot Techniques (Part 2)

    Capoeira Kicks: An Overview of the Brazilian Art’s Fancy Foot Techniques (Part 2)

    The author describes the most popular leg techniques of the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, including the instep kick, heel kick and screw kick, as well as the iconic one-arm handstand kick and two-foot mule kick.
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  2. Capoeira Kicks: An Overview of the Brazilian Art’s Fancy Foot Techniques (Part 1)

    Capoeira Kicks: An Overview of the Brazilian Art’s Fancy Foot Techniques (Part 1)

    Learn the history and techniques of the kicking-oriented martial art that was created by African slaves who were taken to Brazil 300 years ago and forced to disguise their fighting moves with music and dance.
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  3. Brazilian Martial Arts DVD Collection Features Capoeria Moves and Capoeira Drills

    Brazilian Martial Arts DVD Collection Features Capoeria Moves and Capoeira Drills

    Earlier this week, Black Belt announced G4′s American Ninja Warrior tryouts. The show’s intense obstacle course requires its athletic contestants to perform a wide variety of acrobatic leaps, swings, dangles and landings. Anyone even thinking of taking on that course would require hard-core body conditioning for strength, flexibility, agility, balance
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  4. Capoeira: The Dance Art of Martial Arts

    Capoeira: The Dance Art of Martial Arts

    Some 400 years ago in Angola, on the west coast of Africa, a form of combat practiced by the natives was beginning to take shape in what we would today call a martial art. Four centuries later, capoeira is practiced in that South American nation known as Brazil. It no
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  5. Capoeira: The Muddied History of Brazil’s Other Martial Art

    Capoeira: The Muddied History of Brazil’s Other Martial Art

    For several years now, Brazil has skirted its heritage with capoeira. It has been overlooked, disregarded and dismissed. Historians battled against bureaucratic red tape. To find the clearing, some gaps in history had to be filled in. A few years ago an 81-year-old Vicente Ferreira Pastinha— a Portuguese man and
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