There is a cultural way to stay fit if you are travelling to Brazil; do Capoeira.
Capoeira is a martial arts disguised as a dance and played as a game. It was originally done by slaves (mostly from Angola) who were brought to Brazil. So as not to arouse suspicion from their owners, the slaves would dance ‘harmlessly’ while cultivating their fighting skills. It was also a way for them to preserve their culture and sanity while being enslaved.
The Capoeria often seen today makes use of percussion and the berimbau, a stringed-instrument resembling a very slim ‘cello. A crowd forms a circle (roda) and 2 Capoeiristas spar with each other in the middle using acrobatic movements. Music plays while the other Capoeiristas sing. There is no contact intended.
Though outlawed for a time in Brazil, Capoeria is not only allowed today, it is actively promoted as part of Brazil’s heritage.
As with any exercise, Capoeira, when performed properly can have certain health benefits:
flexibility, agility, coordination, concentration, speed and endurance.
Movements require core engagement and the continual motion used when performing this exercise makes for a good cardio workout too.
- Experience Brazil
Classes in Capoeria and Portugese
- South America Living
Traveling for Dance in Brazil
- Capoeria World
What is Capoeria?
- Rough Guides
All About Brazil