Capoeira at Its Best

story by Angel Colon / photos by Shem Rajoon

Capoeira was born out of the struggle for Freedom. 

Capoeira is an art form from Brazil that evolved from African culture. In Copier opponents must always pay respect to the ground because it’s an African tradition of saying thanks. The game of Capoeira is played in a circle called the “roda”(ho-da), in which opponents must play in, however, they must stay in sync with the motherland rhythm, too.

Omi Hill w his mom

The Capoeira music centers around the musical bow called the “Berimbau.” The Berimbau sets the rhythm and the style for the game. Helping out the Berimbau are the “Pandeiros”(tambourines), “Atabaques”(Drums), and many other instruments, which are also accompanied by the clapping of the watchers and participants.


The Capoeira Batizado, which reporters from HarlemLive attended, began with drums and bells and then words from the masters and parents.

The Capoeira Batizado’s (Baptism) warriors, amazed me with their outstanding physical ability. The heart and courage of the little children who defended themselves against the learned masters was outstanding as well.

The Batizado was available to the students who were just learning how Capoeira is done. One girl was scared to go up against one of the masters, but she still rose to the occasion and managed to receive her green belt. A lot of the children had some really great moves that stunned the audience. A little boy was standing on his head for a good ten seconds. Once the dancing portion was over, although the kids were very tired, they were still eager to do some more dancing around, but it was time for the baptism to begin.

After the baptism, the masters gave every student a nickname. These names were made for a specific reason or cause. One boy was named Cabra because he wore a Chupa-Cabra (a Puerto Rico myth) shirt to practice one day. One was named Bruce Lee because of his speed. Another kid was named Rabbit. Can you guess why a boy is named Rabbit? If you thought it was because of his teeth, you’re right-that kid’s teeth were tooooo big.

If you are thinking about taking classes don’t think twice. If I had the time I would take some classes but I can’t. If you’re saying forget it, give it a try!

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