Introduction to Capoeira

Introduction to Capoeira
Henry Miles

What is Capoeira?


Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art steeped in history and ritualistic traditions, but in its most basic form it combines several elements of dance and acrobatics in a game of deception, evasion and trickery. The style of capoeira that we will be practising is called capoeira Angola. This style focusses on control of movement, trying to find grace and control in whatever contorted position we find ourselves in. The interaction between two players creates a beautiful flow as they move through each other’s space in a fluid movement along with lively capoeira music.


What we will be learning in this workshop


This workshop will introduce you to some basic capoeira movements, music and traditions. We will be exploring different ways we can move, with a focus on play and having fun with our bodies. The movements will be accessible for everyone and allows you to explore what is possible for you. Whether that be walking around on your hands or rolling around on the floor it’s all good in capoeira


We will also be learning some capoeira music and how to play an array of percussion instruments. 


The workshop will end with a traditional ‘roda’ or circle. Where we will combine the music and movements we have learnt to play together in a full expression of capoeira.


The history of capoeira 

The original practitioners of this beautiful art form were Africans who had been enslaved by the Portuguese and transported to the south Americas. The Portuguese captured around 40% of their slaves from the kingdom of N’golo (known as Angola today) and so this is widely accepted as the original home of Capoeira.


When slaves were captured, they were forced to reject all cultural traditions and identity. In order to keep their traditions alive, the slaves would meet in the fields and practice their traditional fighting. The word capoeira can be roughly translated to mean ‘forest round’ referring to these meetings hiding in the long vegetation of the plantations.


After the abolition of slavery in Brazil the ‘free’ Africans were still widely persecuted, and capoeira was still illegal until late 1920s often resulting in death without trial. This meant that capoeira evolved (integrating elements of samba) to allow its practitioners to hide it from the authorities. Capoeira still had poor connotations in Brazil until the 1970s, when capoeira masters started traveling around the world, helping the art form become internationally recognized and practiced.


The evolution of capoeira means that today there are many styles, and each capoeira tradition/ family has their own distinct rituals and traditions. The two main styles are called Angola (traditional, small, controlled movements) and Regionel (acrobatic, jumps/flips).

In the Capoeira tradition, when you have mastered a lot of the movements, you start to develop a distinct style and get given a name by your teacher. I was given the name Gafanhoto (locust) 🦗
I will leave you guessing why, or you can come to the workshop and find out
About your Teacher


Henry started learning Capoeira in 2009 with his teacher Pao de Milho, in the capoeira family Angoleiros do Mar (players of the sea). He fell in love with its vibrant music and crazy acrobatics instantly and hasn’t stopped dancing or cartwheeling since!


He has worked in the NHS as a paramedic for the last 10 years alongside teaching capoeira since 2013 and Yoga since 2017. He takes his understanding of safe movements/ anatomical alignment and create a playful way to explore the many ways our bodies can move. 

Suitable for all all.


If you have any questions please contact us on 01872 496613 or email


• Sat 8th January


• 3pm – 5pm


• £15


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