The first time I came in contact with Capoeira was playing Eddie in the video game Tekken. The same sweeping moves I saw again when I came here, on the streets or on the beach. I do not play myself but I have met many foreigners that have come to Rio and Brazil that do it. On this page I have put together some info on where you can practice and also where you can buy those pants and instruments. At the bottom I have some Capoeira videos. I will start out with some history.

History of Capoeira

Developed by the many slaves that where brought to Brazil from Africa some scholars will say that it’s purely African whilst others would argue it’s based on an already existing Indian game or point out some European influences. With the emancipation of the slaves in the 19th century Capoeira became associated with the new, many times semi-legal, communities and was made illegal. It kept on being practiced but in hidden locations. A curiosity is that the nicknames that was used to hide the identities of the practioners from the police are still in use today. Eventually after being more and more socially accepted it was made legal in 1958 (took some time hey?).

Mestre Bimba
You can’t talk about Capoeira without mentioning him. In 1937 he founded the first academy in Brazil and in the end managed to take it from the slums to all Brazilians. Many people think that the art of self defence always was hidden in the moves (the reason it got prohibited), Mestre Bimba made this clearly visible. He founded a new style called regional which is faster, more spectacular and includes more clear martial arts. As a counter movement a Mestre Pastinha founded the style Angola which preserved the old traditional style, it grew in popularity around the world in the 1990´s, the style that is most common today is still Mestre Bimba´s version.

Capoeira on Farme de Amoedo

Capoeira on the street in Ipanema. Photo by Andreas Lönngren.

All About Capoeira

If you would like to learn Capoeira from A to Z – history, moves, groups, videos, music, interviews etc., please visit

Some Videos

If you click Capoeira Videos you will come to my page with clips of it all in action.

The Music

The music plays an integral role in the rituals and the performances. I have explained all this in more detail on the page Capoeira Music. There you also find some clips with example music.

Academies in Rio

So if you want to attend classes here in Rio, where should you go? All this you find by clicking Capoeira Classes. it has descriptions of each academy.

The Moves

If you want to know more and see some different moves that are used just go to It’s an excellent site with lots of moves, descriptions and illustrative video clips.

Buying Capoeira Clothes & Instruments

To finish off I will give some advice on where it’s best to buy those pants or other garment as well as instruments. Click Where to Buy Capoeira Pants to get there.