More than 4.5 million African slaves where stolen from Africa and brought to Brazil, mostly to work under inhumane conditions in plantations & mines for the Portuguese Conquistadores. They were forced to assimilate and to turn to Christianity (partly adapting this new religion to their own culture, creating for instance the Codomblé) and forbidden to practice anything that would look like self-defence or Martial Arts.
Nevertheless, African slaves integrated Martial Arts into dances and music, and created the Capoeira. This Martial Art looks at first sight like a dance and is always performed with live music, but is indeed a powerful, and complexe Martial Art, with very feline movements and attacks.
I witnessed a Capoeria class in Salvador de Bahia and a Capoiera training in Morro de Sao Paulo (that was more a show off on the beach than a training, but that’s another story…).
In Ouro Preto, one evening, I could experience something that was both some kind of training and performance and had the opportunity to film parts of it… The older and more experienced the Capoeiristas get, the closer from one another and quicker they get, and the more impressive it turns. This was quite a show!