MAC Logo

MAC' s Student Guide 

to Capoeira

This Student guide is designed to be a reference to all materials taught at the MAC and Capoeira Class at CSULA.  It is not a substitute for regular attendance, but is designed to reinforce and expand on what you are being taught.

What is Capoeira?

     Capoeira is a highly physical sport, dance, and martial art, and as such, offers an excellent way for its practitioners to achieve physical fitness.  Balance, coordination, agility, flexibility, endurance, and strength are all enhanced through the practice of capoeira, and the many unusual and gymnastic movements of capoeira will promote a greater sense of body awareness.  As capoeira training is done to music, capoeira endows its practitioners with a superb sense of timing and rhythm.  Within the game of capoeira (the jogo), players must be focused and alert, those training in the art will find that this sense of focus and awareness carries over into their daily lives, and they will feel more at ease and alert to potential danger.  Since student are trained in self-defense, and are developing their bodies physically, self-esteem and positive self-image will be boosted.  Being an expression of Afro-Brazilian culture, capoeira connects its students to more of the world.  Teamwork, leadership, and creativity are prized in the world of capoeira, all traits which are greatly beneficial in the world outside the training hall and University.

The Martial Arts Club

names and phone numbers

events that the MAC is evolved in

events that are happening in the community

Brief History of Capoeira

   Capoeira is an art form which emerged in Brazil approximately 500 years ago, a product of the uncrushable human desire for the freedom of expression and self-determination.  Capoeira was developed by Africans and their descendants in Brazil from its root art forms in African martial arts, dance, music, and ritual, developing a unique artistic tradition that was employed in the struggle for liberation from slavery.  This art has been handed down by generation after generation of dedicated masters, many of whom faced persecution, imprisonment, and torture as punishment for practicing the art so dear to them.  The legacy which has been left to current practitioners is a highly expressive artform which is powerful in its ability to connect the artist with both their own creative potential and centuries of tradition in the African diaspora and Latin-American culture.


The Game

     Capoeira is, in practice, a game of sly trickery and playful strategy.  It is a martial art, but unlike many others, the straight line as shortest distance between two points is not the governing aestheic.  The practitioner (capoeirista) is expected to entrap his or her opponent in a web of feints, fakes, and misdirecting movements.  Rather than resisting with blocks, the capoeirista is simply not there when the blow arrives.  Through the use of unpredictability and unusual, often confusing movements, the capoeirista nimbly dances, literally, in circles around his or her opponent confounding any attempt to be hit.

Orientation Class and Basics


Terminology and the Portuguese Language

Promotion Requirements

     For each cord level, there are different requirements. These requirements may change as more is added to the curriculum.

Links to other interesting sites

    Other Capoeira resources on the Web!

All Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

Please email me at:

This Student Guide is just that, a guide.  Many sources and hours have gone into the design and upkeep of this site.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to ask.

This Student Guide was created to assist the student at Cal State LA in there training in Capoeira.  This guide is not a replacement for actual instruction by an instructor.

Copyright 2002 by MAC@CSULA

Course Outline (for CAP class)
History of Capoeira
The "GAME"