A Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is referred at times as a game. It was developed in Brazil mainly by African descendants (N'golo, or zebra dance - a kind of dance in which the participant uses their feet to kick the head of their opponent to mimic how a zebra moves) with native Brazilian influences (Maran√° war fight - a kind of fight in which one uses all of his or her body to attack the enemy), probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques; *at heart is the ginga (similar to native Brazilian dance until today), the back-and-forth, foot-to-foot movement that serves as the starting point for such leverage*. Capoeira used in genuine self-defense situations incorporates many sweeps and low moves, whereas when played as a game there is more emphasis on high moves, demonstrations of acrobatics, full cartwheels (called au) for evasion, and flips or other exotic techniques by mestres (masters), and performing an entertaining match for the audience.


"Often fought metered to a tempo provided different by insturments, the back-and-forth, foot-to-foot movement serves as the starting point for leverage"