On Capoeira & Fighting

If you want effectiveness, get yourself a gun. If you don’t like guns, then go for military combat systems or Krav Maga. Either way, when fellow pops out a knife and ruthlessly goes after you, stabbing, you are in trouble.

Thus the ongoing conversation whether Capoeira is a fight or a dance, so passionately held by various martial artists (Thai boxers and the like) and Capoeiristas, is pointless. And I believe it drags the focus of Capoeirista off of the main thing. I like how Ido Portal put it: “Capoeira is first and foremost a social interaction. … It’s a corporal dialogue.”
It can be a fight, it can be theatrical, mischievous, showy…

Capoeira is deep – backed by its history of resistance against oppression, its music, its love of movement. It has a beautiful story.
So next time some street fighter, or Thai boxer questions whether Capoeira is a martial art, just wave him off with a smile, saying: ‘oh yes, it is. And it goes way beyond that.’

Ultimately, when a fellow quiets his mind and lets his soul express itself, fellow ends up using movements from outside of Capoeira, fellow transcends the boundaries of a style.
What is left then is movement in all its shapes and fighting with no rules.

The discussion then misses the elephant in the room.

2 thoughts on “On Capoeira & Fighting

  1. An interesting starting point and discussion. I think many capoeiristas have become so agitated and affected by this idea that they end up changing the art form they practice so they can prove the fighting efficacy of capoeira.
    This, inevitably, diminishes the already rich art they practice. I think capoeiristas should probably spend as much time thinking about how capoeira isn’t fighting as they do think about how it much it is or might be.


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About Petr Klíma