What is Capoeira?

A Brazilian Martial Art, highly acrobatic, energetic and difficult to master. Capoeira blends elements of dance, music, rituals, acrobatics, and fighting.
Capoeira was born in the "senzalas", the places where the slaves were kept. It consists of a stylized dance, practiced in a circle called the "roda", with sound background provided by percussion instruments, like the agogo, the atabaque, and the pandeiro (tambourine).
The main instrument of Capoeira is the Berimbau (which is shown in the picture below). The Berimbau controls the rhythm of the Roda, and has three kinds: Gunga, Medio and Viola. Each varies by the sound it makes.
Capoeira incorporates "maculele", done with blades, and "maracatu", done with sticks.

From "The martial arts FAQ"

The berimbau and the atabaque are shown in this picture:

Atabaque and Birimbau

Capoeiristas (people who practice Capoeira) can get higher cords each Batizado.
A Batizado (from the word "baptize") is the traditional ceremony, in which new students are becoming a part of the Capoeira. In this ceremony, new Capoeiristas are given nicknames, according to their character or appearance.
Nicknames are a traditional part of the Capoeira. In the beginning of the century, Capoeira was illegal. Therefore, the Capoeiristas made up nicknames, in order not to be recognized in their real names. Capoeiristas who were caught, were imprisoned.
All the names in this site (such as Crystao, Toupeira and Franja) are nicknames.

There are many Capoeira groups in the world. Our group, Abadá (Associação Brasileira de Apoio e Desenvolvimento de Arta-Capoeira), is the world's largest group.
Mestre Camisa founded it in 1988. Now, Abadá has members all over the world, and is acquiring more and more fans.