Capoeira – fighting or dancing?

Like any other major world capital, Moscow is home to many martial arts, and one of the latest has a distinctly Brazilian flavor - Capoeira.

Fighting or dancing? Capoeira is an art form that combines a lot – martial arts, games, music and dancing.

It was created in Brazil, and is one of the main things that the South American country is known for.

In the19th Century, Capoeira was prohibited, as Brazilian slaves were using it in their fight for independence. But now it’s a global movement.

“This is our pride. And people who practice Capoeira are taught not to use it in everyday life. A strong mentality is an important aspect of it. Being strong doesn't mean hurting anyone,” Master No, Capoeira master, says.

Capoeira enjoys a healthy popularity in Moscow. There are currently ten big schools in the Russian capital.

One of the biggest, the INBI Academy, holds an annual Capoeira festival, which is attended by a number of famous Brazilian masters.

“Myself and some other teachers come here quite often. And to be honest, I don't see too many new faces at this festival. But what certainly makes me happy is the growing knowledge and skills of the practitioners,” Master No added.

Andrey Susarenko has been training in Capoeira since 2003, and is now one of the leading specialists in Moscow. He's also traveled to Brazil to sample the roots of the culture.

“What I like about Capoeira is the tremendously friendly people I meet, while training. It's great fun, and also keeps me fit. I would recommend Capoeira to everyone as a skillful and exciting recreation,” Andrey Susarenko said.

Capoeira is steeped in Brazilian culture, but as the Moscow festival shows, it’s attracted quite a few Russians too.