Thursday, February 26, 2009


Did you know that Brazil used to have slavery? I didn't. Maybe I was supposed to? That's how this area I'm in (called Bahia) has so many Afro-Brazilians.

When the slaves were training to revolt, the masters wouldn't let them practice fighting (for obvious reasons) and so they turned it into a dance form called Capoeira.

Today the afro Brazilian guys perform this very martial arts like dance on the street for tourists and passerbys. I think in most cases they expect some donations too.

It's pretty cool to watch the precision as they time their kicks at eachother together to stay in line so they don't actually hit eachother. I wish I could have taken a video but I wasn't able to take my camera outside much in Salvador because of crime.

What I saw reminded me a bit of tae kwon do, because tkd is like a dance martial art too. There's a lot of kicking jumping and spinning. I think today Capoeira is considered the only official Brazilian dance form.


Anonymous yan said...

thanks for refreshing my memory. I can never remember what it,s called so i just call it "brazilian shadowboxing". The dancers make a circle and each time 2 of them come out in the center. It seems completely random yet the 2 are so good at dancing together but not hitting each other. I was very amazed to see it my first and only time in beijing(!) a couple of years ago

February 27, 2009 at 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Marcelo (Brasilia) said...

Actually capoeira may be the only "brazilian fight" or martial arts, as you wish. There are different styles, ranging from slower, dancelike "Angola" to faster, more aggressive "Regional". There's also the long knife show, usually played at night or in the dark, for the sparks, called "MaculelĂȘ".

There are lots of different brazilian regional dances. Have a good trip, Jim!

March 4, 2009 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

yan, i can~t believe you saw it in beijing. that is awesome.

March 4, 2009 at 8:00 PM  
Anonymous yan said...

wow Marcelo, from now on if i have any question on Brazil, i'll go to you!

yes, we have everything here in Beijing :)

March 5, 2009 at 7:42 AM  

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