Capoeira: Getting fit the non-violent way

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cr_04_july24For those who are no longer excited by the prospect of going to gym on a regular basis, mixed martial arts are fantastic way to work out. Whether you want to vent pent-up anger, or stay fit, the Brazilian martial art form of capoeira is perfect way to achieve that.

What is capoeira?
Combining self-defence, acrobatics, dance and music, capoeira was developed in Brazil by descendants of African slaves, probably around the 16th century. They used it to disguise the fact that they were practising fight moves in an attempt to liberate themselves from slavery. Capoeira is played in a circle called a roda, accompanied by music and singing.

Fitness benefits
Not only does capoeira look enticing, but it gives you a fantastic physical workout. Since it is about reacting quickly, regular practice ensures that you develop fast reflexes and good agility. Capoeira involves a lot of bending, twisting, curls and stretches, thus developing mobility throughout your joints and muscles. It strengthens the upper body and increases your stamina.


Dressing up right
What do you wear for a capoeira class? Well, as a beginner, you can get away with track pants and a T-shirt. But opt for a small size as the last thing you want is for it to be all over your face. However, most capoeira groups have their own uniform, so if you plan to attend classes regularly, you will need to purchase one. For the feet, you can either go barefoot, or wear non-slip lightweight shoes.

Where to try it
Most major metros and cities across India have a capoeira classes functioning since as early as 2008. The most notable ones are conducted at Centre for Capoeira in Mumbai and the Mixed Martial Arts Studio in Delhi.

  • Centre for Capoeira India, Mumbai +918652726738 and Goa 080 65463261
  • Reana Shah at Zela Health Club, Bangalore 080 65463261

To sum it up, as Reza Messah, a renowned capoeira instructor based in Mumbai says, “Capoeira is one of the only martial art forms in the world that is based on a philosophy of non-violence. The agenda is to escape without hurting yourself or others.” So, when are you joining a class near you?

This article originally appeared in The Label – Your Guide to Capoeira