What is Capoeira?

About Capoeira

Capoeira is much more than a martial art, combining self-defense and fighting techniques with dance, acrobatics, music and culture. It is truly an activity like no other. Some would say its a form of exercise, others would call it a way of life.

Capoeira is difficult to define in words. That’s why we encourage you to schedule your free trial lessons, to come in and observe any of the classes on our schedule, and to watch our You Tube videos to become better acquainted with this very unique martial art form.

Click here to learn more about CAPOEIRA

Here’s an article about us in WEMERGE magazine (by Casandra Tanenbaum)…

You’ll find all kinds of traditions stewing in the cultural melting pot of south Florida.  Among them, Capoeira is arguably the most engaging and exciting, and Capoeira Karkara is the premiere performance troupe/training center/community gathering bringing the tradition to life all around us. Even if you know nothing of the rhythm or the movements of Capoiera, the energy of a gathering is infectious: sooner or later, you’ll be pulled in!

The tradition of Capoeira combines unique Afro-Brazilian martial arts movements with chanting and music for full scale sensory immersion.  Steeped in the history of Brazilian slave rebellion, the physical element of Capoeira consists of a blend of self-defense, acrobatics, improvisational dance.  Participants create a large circle (called a roda, pronounced “HO-dah”) within which two partners “play” off one another, employing kicks, turns, leaps, ducks, and gymnastic evasions in a free-flowing spontaneous dance, all to a rhythm and series of call-and response chants from the outskirts of the circle.  The result is a physically challenging total body workout, a communal endeavor, a journey into Afro-Brazilian rhythmic expression and an exciting interactive performance spectacle all in one!  In the Roda, you have an opportunity to use your voice as a musical element to encourage the flow of activity, engaging the communal spirit of a family gathering.  You also get a personal invitation to show off your skills, flexibility and power when you play in the center of the circle with your ‘opponent’.  The play of the Roda is a light and friendly exchange of one-upmanship: unlike the combative back and forth of other martial arts disciplines, the participants watch it as more of a dance than a fight.  After all, participants refer to the exchange as “playing Capoeira,” though the movements may appear serious to the untrained eye.

In order to play smoothly in the Roda, participants engage in ongoing training, building fundamental skills into complex maneuvers to improve their technique.  If you want to learn to play, you’ve got to come to class!  Luckily, Capoeira Karkara makes sure there are classes available any day of the week.  The master teacher and founder of the troupe Mestre Betinho, and his wife, Professora Sara, formed the group in April of 2006 teaching kids and adults this joyful practice.  Classes can be found at the YMCA of Boynton Beach and at Level 5 fitness in Delray Beach, but the troupe performs regularly all over south Florida, at festivals and celebrations as well as fitness expos for youth and adults.  The group has recently begun annual cultural immersion exchange vacations, bringing south Florida’s dedicated Capoeira students to study in Brazil.

Meet Our Mestre

Mestre Betinho who currently has 30 years of experience with this art form, began training capoeira in his hometown of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil when he was just ten years old. Capoeira immediately became his passion, and he has not stopped training ever since. For his first five years of training, his teacher was Mestre Berico, a student of Grand Mestre Dinho of the International Group of Capoeira Topazio. In 1991, he began training with Mestre Dinho himself in Liberdade, a neighboorhood in Salvador, Bahia. He earned his blue cord, deeming him a graduated student of capoeira, on September 25th, 1994. (read more)

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