The Brazilian art of Capoeira, a national martial art that blends elements of dance, play, combat, and is accompanied by traditional music, emerged in the midst of the 16th century within the Black communities of South America. The first professional Capoeira school was established in Brazil in 1932, and this art has since become a cornerstone for contemporary mixed martial arts (MMA). Read on for an in-depth exploration of Capoeira's history by Sarbaz.kz correspondent.
Across the globe, a myriad of diverse sports exist, each aimed at fostering individuals' best qualities, nurturing their inner strength, and cultivating unyielding character. Martial arts, for instance, enable people to attain both physical and emotional equilibrium. A form that embodies all these elements is Capoeira.
Capoeira encompasses several styles, including "Capoeira Angola," "Capoeira Regional," and the most widespread form, "Capoeira Contemporânea." It is a game that integrates sporting aspects like strikes, jumps, and sweeps. Within the "Roda" (a circular formation symbolizing the sun), two Capoeiristas commence their play at the heart of the circle. Yet, at times, the routine dance morphs into a true battle, which can lead to severe injuries.
The musical rhythm is provided by a person playing the Brazilian national instrument called "Berimbau." Comprising a gourd (cabaça), a special resonating chamber, a wooden stick (verga) with an attached string, and a coin or stone (dobrau) for sound extraction, the Berimbau yields an array of sounds despite being single-stringed.
As with any form of martial arts, Capoeira has varying levels of mastery. It encompasses 16 belts, from the novice "Crua" belt to the esteemed "Branca" white belt. After a specific interval, a Capoeirista must undergo an exam to attain a new belt.
In homage to Brazilian traditions, Capoeira's entire terminology is in Portuguese.
Capoeira's introduction as a form of martial art in Europe dates back to the mid-18th century. Since then, this Brazilian dance-game has gained immense popularity worldwide. Today, Capoeira schools exist across the globe, hosting diverse tournaments.
In Kazakhstan, Capoeira is still in its infancy, gradually finding its place. As it garners popularity across all age groups, it inexorably asserts its influence and expands its reach.
Anton Kuzmin, a Capoeira instructor and the country's sole holder of a brown belt, reveals that Capoeira is, for him, primarily a way of life:
"Everyone takes something unique from Capoeira. For some, it's a game, for others, a dance; for me, it's a life embodied through martial arts. The flow of the game is determined by two Capoeiristas entering the 'roda.' If their preference leans towards dance, things conclude rather peacefully; yet, when the focus shifts to combat, things get heated. Regardless, with the final stroke of the 'berimbau,' Capoeiristas shake hands and part ways."
Capoeira encompasses an exhaustive study of aspects like combat, dance, and acrobatics. Acrobatics, a pivotal dance element, enables practitioners to execute unpredictable moves against opponents, particularly when encountering adversaries. The blend of acrobatics, strength, and precise strikes grants Capoeiristas an air of invincibility.
Kazakhstan's foremost Capoeira school is situated in Almaty, with branches in Astana and Aktobe.
Each year, a "Mestre" (Capoeira master) visits, conducting masterclasses. In Almaty, "Workshops" in Capoeira are also held, where participants can procure necessary equipment directly from Brazil.
Despite being relatively new to Kazakhstan's sports scene, Capoeira practitioners have already achieved notable successes. Annually, Almaty hosts Capoeira competitions.
Capoeira is capturing the hearts of individuals across all age groups, instilling optimism in its followers. This burgeoning demand will undoubtedly lead to the establishment of schools in various regions, profoundly impacting the country's overall public health.