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What is Capoeira
Capoeira, as it is seen today, is a cultural art form that was created by African Slaves in Brazil some 450 years ago. Some of the fighting styles that tribal members practiced were deemed illegal and hence forbidden by slave masters. The slaves, being ingenious as they were, disguised their fighting techniques by incorporating dance, acrobatics, music and singing so as not to alarm any of the overseers. However, when it was finally time to either defend themselves or revolt they would use the techniques practiced when they danced Capoeira. Because the overseers couldn't discern how to defend against this art it was eventually outlawed. To practice Capoeira carried the penalty of either dismemberment or, in extreme cases, death. These laws weren't overturned until the 1930's. This deep history gives capoeira a richness and meaning that resonates in the hearts of those who practice it. Now Capoeira is embraced as a national sport in Brazil where some 60 million people, young and old, practice regularly. Capoeira is now the second biggest sport in Brazil next to Soccer.
Who Is Cordão de Ouro
The Capoeira Group Cordão de Ouro is the life work of Reinaldo Ramos Suassuna (Mestre Suassuana). Mestre Suassuana trained capoeira for many years in Bahia and, as a graduated student of Mestre Bimba, moved to São Paulo in the 1960's. It was in São Paulo where he, along with Mestre Brasilia, created our capoeira group in 1966. Since that day, he has endeavored to use capoeira to enrich the lives of those around him and create long lasting bonds of fellowship that have stretched across the entire world. Currently, there are Cordão de Ouro capoeira academies all over Brazil, North America, Israel, Europe, Japan, Mexico, and many other places. Though these academies (and the students who train in them) may be far apart, we all share a common bond - which is the love for capoeira that Mestre Suassuna has instilled in us all.
Who Is CDO Bay Area
We have developed a CDO community that is comprised of students and friends who take an active part in building bonds of camaraderie and respect. We get together on the weekends for video parties, go out to dinner after class, sometimes movies, bowling or playing pool. We travel and laugh together. We use capoeira to reach out to the youth in our local schools as well as bring together people of all other walks of life to share in ideas and knowledge. But more than anything, we develop social bonds between ourselves in addition to our community partners which reach far beyond our class environment.
Capoeira music is one of the most intrinsic parts of the capoeira culture. It is so important that everyone takes part in making of the music happen.
The music helps to set the pace for the "jogo" (capoeira game) as well as communicates messages and instructions to the players and surrounding spectators.
As much of capoeira chronicles is an oral tradition, history, philosophy, and strategy lessons are conveyed through the songs that are sung and rhythms that are played on the accompanying instruments. This adds to the spice of the "Roda" (capoeira circle) because the "jogo" can change at any time based on what the music dictates - forcing the capoeirista (capoeira practitioner) to be constantly aware and alert to their environment.