Abolição Oxford Capoeira

What is Capoeira?

Capoeira is an art form which combines martial arts, dance, music and acrobatics. At its heart Capoeira is a fighting game which takes place in the Capoeira Roda. Participants form a circle, sing, clap and play traditional musical instruments. Two players enter the roda and challenge each other using kicks, sweeps, acrobatic movements and trickery.

Capoeira is..


Capoeira comes from the time of slavery in Brazil. Portuguese colonists took slaves from Africa to the Brazilian colony to work on their plantations. These slaves came from various parts of Africa and brought their traditions and cultures with them. From this mixing of cultures among the African slaves in Brazil, Capoeira was born. The exact origins and history of Capoeira are unclear as there are few intact records from that time and the period has not been well studied. One popular story is that the slaves were not allowed to practice fighting techniques but cleverly disguised their training as a dance to avoid punishment.

Brazil abolished slavery on May 13th 1888, and this is where our group gets it's name: Abolição meaning Abolition. After slavery the now free Africans in Brazil were largely unemployed. Capoeira became associated with crime, street gangs and mercenaries, and in 1890 the practice of Capoeira was outlawed, although it still continued in hiding. Capoeira remained illegal until 1937 when, thanks to the work of Mestre Bimba, Capoeira was legalized.

Capoeira Styles

In group Abolição we base our training in Capoeira Regional as created by Mestre Bimba.