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1. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form:
2. Capoeira: A Martial Art and a
3. Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial
4. Capoeira Beyond Brazil
5. Capoeira: The History of an Afro-Brazilian
6. Capoeira, a Brazilian Art Form:
7. The Little Capoeira Book
8. Ring of Liberation: Deceptive
9. The Hidden History of Capoeira:
10. Capoeira Conditioning: How to
11. Performing Arts in Brazil: Brazilian
12. Capoeira: The Jogo de Angola from
13. Capoeira: The Jogo de Angola from
15. Capoeira: Capoeira Music. Capoeira

1. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form: History, Philosophy, and Practice
by Bira Almeida
Paperback: 192 Pages (1993-02-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$49.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0938190296
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Capoeira weaves fighting, music, dance, prayer, and ritual into an urgent strategy by which people live, struggle, celebrate, and survive together. In this book Bira Almeida--or Mestre Acordeon as he is respectfully called in capoeira circles--documents his own tradition with both the panoramic eye of the historian and the passionate heart of the capoeirista. He transports the reader from the damn of New World history in Brazil to the streets of twentieth-century Bahia (the spiritual home of capoeira) to the giant urban centers of North America (wher capoeira is now spreading in new lineages from the old masters). This book is valuable for anyone interested in ethnocultural traditions, martial arts, and music, as well as for those who want to listen to the words of an actual mestre dedicated to preserving his Afro-Brazilian legacy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Whether you're just thinking about getting into capoeira, or you've been in it for a while and would like to learn more about the culture of capoeira, this book is great. This book helps the reader to understand the "insides" of the art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Capoeira Book
Amazing book, absolutely amazing.It is not for the person wanting to learn how to do capoeira, but for anyone, beginner or master, who wants to read a great history and personal journey.
It even travels into the spiritual, deeper significance of capoeira.

3-0 out of 5 stars It's okay but you could do better
This book is just an "okay" introductory text on capoeira. A major draw back is the centeral focus on capoeira regional, a better text would be "Ring of Liberation" because it more comprehensivly covers capoeira.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remains an Excellent Introduction to Capoeira
Mestre Acordeon's book has long been praised for its clear writing, for his thoughtful coverage of the history, philosophy, and artistic traditions surrounding this art-form.Other reviewers (see below) have noted that the book was among the first in English to introduce readers to these aspects of Capoeira, while also offering a glimpse into this one mestre's personal and life-long journey.Having assigned his book to students (both graduate and undergraduate alike), I have had ample opportunity to hear students' glowing reviews: most of these students had never heard of Capoeira, nor even seen it played, before having read his work.In retrospect, they (and I, too) consider this book an excellent way to delve into the topic.While there's recently been a flurry of new scholarship on Capoeira (at least 3 books in English have come out in 2005) that matches Capoeira's growing influence around the globe, Acordeon's book remains one of the best places to start one's exploration.Axe ASCAB!

5-0 out of 5 stars 100% Capoeira
Mestre Acordeon takes you on a journey through capoeira, sharing his experiences and inviting the reader to use his imagination.
A truely inspirational piece from a truely inspirational master. ... Read more

2. Capoeira: A Martial Art and a Cultural Tradition (The Library of African American Arts and Culture)
by Jane Atwood
 Library Binding: 64 Pages (1999-03)
list price: US$29.25 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823918599
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Misconception?
I just wanted to say that I read the info on the back of the book, and when it said that Capoeira would be featured in the 2004 Athens Olympics, I was esctatic because my boyfriend practices Capoeira and I had hopes of surprising him with the information.Little did I know that when I signed on the official 2004 Athens Olympic site and looked up the sports featured, Capoeira would not be listed.Perhaps the info on the book should be rewritten?

4-0 out of 5 stars Add to collection
This book is part of a series of books about African and African-American related history. It gives the reader an introduction to Capoeira and is a very good book for children. There are better books for individuals who want more detailed information about Capoeira. However, this is a good selection for someone who does not know much about Capoeira.

1-0 out of 5 stars Scam
The book "Capoeira - a martial art and a cultural tradition" is worthless if you're already into Capoeira. Most of the facts (and the song lyrics/translations) have been taken from Bira Almeidas book - "Capoeira - a brazilian artform", by that one instead! You can also get better information on Capoeira, just by seraching for "Capoeira" on the Internet! But if you want a lousy copy of Almeidas book, including a lot of wrongly named movements and stuff like that, buy this one!

Even the layout and photography is bad!

Stay away!

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Place to Start
Capoeira:A Martial Art and a Cultural Tradition is a good place to learn what Capoeira is. It is NOT a book to teach Capoeira. It gives a good history of this beautiful art as well as a brief insight into how it isperformed. The only downside is that it continually refers to Capoeira as agame when it is really so much more. ... Read more

3. Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!
by George Ancona
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2007-05)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$9.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584302682
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
it's a game, a dance, a martial art! It's a way of expressing oneself through movement and music. With action-packed photographs and accessible text, readers are introduced to this exciting, popular game.

At Madinga Academy in Oakland, California, a group of girls and boys practice the acrobatic moves of capoeira. Then they begin to play games to the infectious, rhythmic beat of traditional music and singing

On to Brazil to experience capoeira in its historic birthplace, where it dates back four hundred years. Capoeira developed as a way of fighting among enslaved Africans, was outlawed the the government, and was permitted once again in 1930 as a martial art and game.

Back in Oakland, at an end-of-year ceremony, students receive their colored ropes indicating their levels of accomplishment. They also look forward to next year, and the fun of expressing themselves through the game, dance and martial art of capoeira.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Introduction to Capoeira's Basic Concepts
My two kids have recently begun to learn how to play capoeira.We read this book because I thought they would get a kick out of seeing other children going through a similar experience.George Ancona begins his book by exploring how kids learn to play capoeira at a school in Oakland, California. He then moves on to tell his readers about the history of capoeira and of the important contributions of Mestres Bimba and Pastinha.The book then moves onto the capoeira instruction of children in Brazil and concludes with a bautizado where the Oakland students are presented with their cordaos.

"Capoeira" has beautiful color photographs and is well written.In this short book, George Ancona covers all the basic concepts of capoeira.Importantly, he touches on the fact that capoeira is as much an aesthetic as a series of martial art moves.I cannot imagine a better written, grade appropriate introduction to the art of capoeira.Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good as an intro for my son
Good little book for kids on capoeira.My son liked it.I wished that there was more about how to do a few of the movements.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great gift for a martial arts lover
In Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!, George Ancona tells the story of Capoeira by following a classroom of students at the Mandiga Academy in Oakland, California. Kids reading the book are sure to get a kick out of the Portuguese nicknames of the students in the classroom from Reizinho (little king), to Perereca (tree frog), to Princesa (princess) to the name of the instructor, Malandro (scoundrel). In fact, Ancona uses a number of Portuguese words throughout the book when talking about Capoeira. He even includes a glossary with a pronunciation key in the back of the book for kids who want to practice speaking the words. Through pictures and Ancona's detailed descriptions these students teach different moves and techniques as well as names of traditional musical instruments used to play music during Capoeira games.

Ancona also takes us to Brazil and shows the impact of Capoeira on the Brazilian culture today. From the slums and beaches to actual Capoeira academies, we see vibrant photographs of kids of all ages and walks of life practicing this amazing art. A few years ago, I spent four months teaching English in Brazil and was fortunate enough to see Capoeira being played on the streets. While nothing can compare to seeing it in person, Ancona's book gives us a vivid picture and interesting history of the art. ... Read more

4. Capoeira Beyond Brazil
by Aniefre Essien
Paperback: 136 Pages (2008-10-21)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$5.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583942556
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Until recently, Brazilians dominated the market on capoeira books, yet the form has spread across the globe over the last four decades. This expansion from the favellas (slums) to the world stage has introduced a host of new capoeira practitioners with varied lineages, techniques, and traditions. In Capoeira Beyond Brazil, Aniefre Essien brings an international, political perspective to capoeira, speaking to both the novice and aficionado, as well as to historians, martial artists, social justice organizers, and youth development professionals.

Essien shows capoeira in its complete historical context, providing not only technical instruction but a critical history that highlights the political milestones of the form. Author Essien doesn’t shy away from the realities of the capoeira community, directly illustrating principles that should be embraced, as well as established norms in practice and instruction worth questioning.

Capoeira Beyond Brazil expands the meaning of capoeira with a sociocultural consideration of the effects internalization has had on the form. Showcasing Essien’s own experiences using capoeira training at-risk youth, the book articulates the form’s empowering aspects with strategies for using martial arts to foster individual self-reliance and confidence, as well as a commitment to community development. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Inspiring
Aniefre Essien, or "Tartaruga" paints a very unique picture of Capoeira as an an artform and community in his new book, Capoeira Beyond Brazil. While most of the other Capoeira books on the market are written by native Brazilians who grew up playing Capoeira in Brazil,their perspectives can be very difficult for non-native capoeiristas to understand as the artform clearly has a much different role in their society. Tartaruga, on the other hand, is an American who stumbled into the art much in the same way many other Americans did. He quickly moved up through the ranks, to where he currently stands as Professor for the group Raizes do Brasil. This book tells his perspective, as an advanced American-born Capoeirista, who started a Capoeira school and worked extensively with at-risk youth in Oakland.
While identifying many of the basic tenets of Capoeira that one expects from a serious Capoeira book, (history, etc) Tartaruga goes a step further and explains intangibles like "Malicia," "stealing time" or "Mandinga" in chapterslike "Attitude and Etiquette' in the Roda or "Philosophies of Capoeira."As a beginner Capoerista, these chapterswere very helpful to me in expanding my "Capoeira Vocabulary" and complementing all the physical training I sufferthrough.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Essien tells the story of many individual American capoeirstas in the Oakland area, both through interviews and shortprofile/stories.These touching and compelling stories explain how Capoeira can become such a birght source of light in dark lives, similar, in many ways, to as it was in slave times.These stories serve as both a source of inspirationand a beacon of hope, for anyone,Capoerista or not, American-born or from Brazil.
This book is an absolute must read for any Capoerista at any level, particularly for any non-Brazillian Capoeristatrying to understand the role Capoeira can and should have in his or her life and community.The book is easy to read, well written, and incredibly inspiring.It also makes you a better Capoeirsta.
... Read more

5. Capoeira: The History of an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art (Sport in the Global Society)
by Matthias Röhrig Assunção
Paperback: 224 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$74.95 -- used & new: US$68.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0714680869
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Originally the preserve of Afro-Brazilian slaves, the marginalized and the underclasses in Brazilian society, capoeira is now a mainstream sport, taught in Brazilian schools and practised by a range of social classes around the world. Some advocates now seek Olympic recognition for Capoeira.
This apparent change in the meaning and purpose of Capeoira has led to conflicts between traditionalists, who view capoeira as their heritage descended from the maroons, a weapon to be used against the injustice and repression; and reformers, who wish to see Capoeira develop as an international sport.
Capoeira: The History of Afro-Brazilian Martial Art explores Capoeira as a field of confrontation where the different struggles that divide Brazilian society are played out.It contains both the first comprehensive English language review of archive and contemporary literature relating to Capoeira, as well as the first scholarly account of Capoeira's history and development. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive
Very comprehensive review of the history of capoeira. The book's strong point is its thoroughness in covering the cultural/social/political contexts in which capoeira developed in different parts of Brazil. I must disagree w/ the reviewer Dr. Ifatunmibi's point that the author is, "only using written accounts of Capoeira to validate his views." I found that the author was meticulous in his references to the many oral historical accounts of capoeira, and cites his own oral interviews w/ Mestres, etc. that he completed in conducting his primary research. And despite the fact that the author does draw some conclusions from his research, I do believe he presents a fairly balanced view of the written/oral documentation of the antecedents of Capoeira and the broad spectrum of opinion, from whether Capoeira is a purely African art form transported intact to Brazil, or is a purely Brazilian art form. The book has a few weak points: it needs a good proofreading - I found many typos, items missing from the index, sentences that are difficult to understand and words that seem out of place. Also the way the text is organized leads to some chronological "jumping around" that's sometimes difficult to follow, and to some redundancies.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too costly
I think a better deal is the books by Nestor Capoeria and those by Gerald Taylor.They both have 'game vision'and mandinga and malicia , which is really based on years in the roda.

3-0 out of 5 stars Elitist
The problem with this book is that He is only using written accounts of Capoeira to validate his views.Many other reviewers mistakenly regard this as "scholarly".It down plays any other perspective about the history, origin, or practice of Capoeira as "questionable" because it was not written about at a certain time.

The problem with this attitude is that it leaves Capoeira's definition in the hands of the white slave owners of Brasil who were writing about it.It neglects the fact that just because someone did not write about something it did not happen.Capoeira's origins, as the author acknowledges is from Angola.These people were followers of oral learning not written learning.It is elitist to suggest that the writing (especially when written by outsiders who were also bias slave holders) is more valuable than the oral traditions.

Capoeira is African.And most of Africa is oral in traditions of learning and recording...thus it is only fair to acknowlege these oral legacies over the outsiders written response to a martial art he did not understand or respect.

5-0 out of 5 stars a model for other martial art books

I've been reading martial art books for the past sixteen years, and this has to be one of the best.As a practitioner and an academic I have to say this is a welcome addition to any martial arts library whether or not you practice capoeira.This is an extremely well researched, well-footnoted book by a professional historian who has the requisite language and archival skills needed to do justice to the topic.It also traces the historiography of the art, i.e. it critically and convincingly addresses what other scholars have written about capoeira in English and Portuguese.
The price is an issue, and it is well known that books published by Routledge are outrageously expensive (which is why many authors try to publish elsewhere).But if you are serious about capoeira, or need to know how martial art books should be written, then spend the 50$.Although 224 pages doesn't sound like much, this is a book packed with information that has serious implications for thinking about how capoeira history has been appropriated as a political activity.For instructors of capoeira I would advise them to buy this book before they say anything more to their students about capoeira hitsory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history of the art...
Matthias Röhrig Assunção draws on historical fact to propose a view of Capoeira's development as a martial art.Through research, and much like many of us, through objective interpretation he ascertains what is reality, and what is fiction.Furthermore, he relates the common myths surrounding Capoeira to the people who need them, and proposes that at times myths are exactly what inspires individuals.He is, however, an advocate of fact, truth, and reality; and this shows in his work.

The book is by far the most in depth work on Capoeira written in English to date. (To the best of my knowledge)It's perspective is born of inquisition rather then the "gospel truth" word of mouth tradition so common in Capoeira circles.
Bravo !!!I am sincerely touched now that this book has been published, for I myself have been attempting various essays regarding some of the topics explored here.I am glad that the perspective came from a source so well educated, and through such a large spectrum of information.I have received educated reason to back many opinions I have had to date.

Instrutor LoboGuara (Associacao Cordao de Contas do Canada)
Paul Bielak and David M. Cvet ... Read more

6. Capoeira, a Brazilian Art Form: History, Philosophy, and Practice
by Bira Almeida
 Hardcover: 181 Pages (1986-01)
list price: US$25.00
Isbn: 093819030X
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7. The Little Capoeira Book
by Nestor Capoeira
Paperback: 240 Pages (2003-05-06)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$3.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556434405
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Capoeira is a synthesis of dance and personal defense from Brazil. The Little Capoeira Book presents some of the popular theories of how and why capoeira began and profiles the most famous capoeiristas and their contributions to the art. The book contains diagrams showing various positions and movements and discusses attacking and defending strategies and the critical aspects of feinting. Over 100 photographs and illustrations are included. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Graceful Self-Defense Musical Dance +++
I frequently walk-by an amphitheater [semi-sunk arena] which is used frequently by some Capoeira folks to engage in their "Combat Dance" -- they look to be having a good time in their collective musical graceful "Dance". With Brazilian Jiujitsu so popular recently [for good reason], I am happy that another fine Art from Brazil [and Africa] has taken-root in the world-at-large as well. The appearance of Capoeira as a graceful "Dance" may put-off some seekers of "direct self-defense" -- which may be exactly one of the purposes of this musical collective graceful "Dance". Some things are best hidden in clear view -- especially some precious things. Aikido LOOKS gentle and quite graceful -- with participants mutually "dancing" thru the Kata-flows -- and so a sceptic may be very surprised to be thrown easily to mat by someone quite smaller. Aikido-type Arts are increasingly used by defense professionals -- as they do work well. Recalling the history of Aikido makes this not surprising -- as dance-like as it now appears -- it is in fact a direct offspring of a thousand years of Japanese Civil War -- as is Brazilian Jiujitsu via very early [circa 1900] Judo in its more Kitoryu Jiujitsu like Combat Judo days.

As "The Little Capoeira Book" explains -- Capoeira is coming from a rich Africa-to-Brazil history, involving under-class folks who needed and wanted a way to survive and thrive via their ancestral skills -- in newer country to urban locales in Brazil. So it does appear as a "Dance" -- but does include some hard-core self-defense as good as any. Capoeira IS famous for its "Ground Dance" [which may or may not apply to mostly standing urban self-defense versus armed foes]. The book under review shows quite a variety of these ground kicks, turns and twists. YET, as shown in this book, I see at least two other great aspects -- the standing-methods are fluid, clear and sharp -- and the "Ginga" seems especially worthy to me -- altho the basic "holding pattern" -- it looks to be a dynamic [moving] On-Guard -- in CYCLIC COUNTER-ROTATION -- with "wing elbows" always in front -- that could catch an unwary foe much like favorite Krav Maga elbow-slams. It is INGENIOUS to to have "Ginga" as THE BASE for standing Capoeira. A fine presentation of the "Ginga" is on pages 62, 63 and 64 of "The Little Capoeira Book" under review. This fine book by Nestor Capoeira covers much ground to verify and further the above impressions of Capoeira. I really like Bimba's Sequences starting on page 86 [using the "Ginga"] and the section on [standing] TAKEDOWNS starting on page 108 +++

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to the art of Capoeira
I cannot recommend this book enough.It is highly readable and full of useful advice on how to perform techniques properly.The illustrations are simple, but they do a more than adequate job of getting the point across to the reader.I find myself referring back to this book constantly as a supplement to my Capoeria training.The insight the author provides into the unique culture and history surrounding Capoeira make for interesting reading as well.I can't wait to order and read the second book in this series.Nestor Capoeira has done a great service to the Capoeira community via this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice book.
I'll be perfectly honest. With my short attention span I have at times, I havn't done much in the way of practicing through the use of this book. But what I have practiced using it, I was able to figure out easily thanks to the diagrams and explanations in it. This book was also able to make me hold the interest I first had in Capoeria before finding it with the additional sections that talk about the styles history and the philosiphies behind the art.

If you want a book on Capoeria that will hold your attention for a good long time, than you'll deffiantley want this one! Just don't assume that you'll be able to catch on to the style immediatley though, this book also proves that Capoeria isn't something you can pick up right away. ;D

5-0 out of 5 stars great for new capoeiristas
great read for people new to capoeira that want to have a more comprehensive review of the history, music, and game. also has an interesting review of a conference that discusses capoeira in US and Europe, which is very useful to read to learn about the different trends and mestres around. definitely recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Discusses and teaches the Game on many levels
I found this book to be an entertaining and informative read which discusses the game of capoeira on many levels from the philosophy through to movements and drills. It's a well rounded book and I reccomend that you give it a read if you are interested in capoeira (and even in philosophy). ... Read more

8. Ring of Liberation: Deceptive Discourse in Brazilian Capoeira
by J. Lowell Lewis
Paperback: 294 Pages (1992-09-15)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$17.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226476839
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Based on eighteen months of intensive participant-observation, Ring of Liberation offers both an in-depth description of capoeira—a complex Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines feats of great strength and athleticism with music and poetry—and a pioneering synthetic approach to the analysis of complex cultural performance.

Capoeira originated in early slave culture and is practiced widely today by urban Brazilians and others. At once game, sport, mock combat, and ritualized performance, it involves two players who dance and "battle" within a ring of musicians and singers. Stunning physical performances combine with music and poetry in a form as expressive in movement as it is in word.

J. Lowell Lewis explores the convergence of form and content in capoeira. The many components and characteristics of this elaborate black art form—for example, competing genre frameworks and the necessary fusion of multiple modes of expression—demand, Lewis feels, to be given "body" as well as "voice." In response, he uses Peircean semiotics and recent work in discourse and performance theory to map the connections between physical, musical, and linguistic play in capoeira and to reflect on the general relations between semiotic systems and the creation and recording of cultural meaning.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Capoeira at the border to Brazil.
Yes, I think this book deserves five stars, because it gave me insight; both professional and personal.Training Capoeira for seven years (including two trips to Brazil for the same reason) has taken me to thestrange border between two cultures: my own Danish average Europeansocio-historic background, and the Afro-brazilian transcultural vegetationin which Capoeira flourishes.Alouring - and as Lewis notes: deceptive,Capoeira as a performance reveals conflictuality on the Afro-braziliansocial and historical level, which differs from the writers own background;in this case quite similar to my case.The task of relating to thisdifference is met by Ring of Liberation through respect of the ontic 'way'of the capoeirista, and at the same time maintaining an epistemic approach. What this means, is that Ring of Liberation can be read by theintellectual layman as well as the non-brazilian capoeira enthusiast, as aguide to experiences already had or about to happen...great stuff!

4-0 out of 5 stars Biased, perhaps, but not an "agenda of subjugation"
I used this book, along with a host of other books, transcripts, articles and recordings of capoeira to complete my undergraduate thesis in anthropology.Regarding an earlier post here, i don't think that Lewis wastrying to necessarily undermine the black African origins of capoeira, butrather his experiences with capoeiristas around Brazil led him to focus onthe wholly Brazilian cultural aspects (samba, too, is a cultural phenomenonwith roots in Africa).While i do belive that his treatment of the Africanorigins of capoeira were sketchy, this is to be expected as the data oncapoeira's African origins is not very clear, and to the best of myknowledge is to date a matter of conjecture.The only truth regarding thatmatter is that capoeira did come from Africa with the (primarily WestAfrican) slaves and developed into modern capoeira while in Brazil. Thislast part, "in Brazil", is something that I stress in the sensethat although many Caribbean and South American nations received slavesfrom the same parts of Africa, only Brazil's slaves and mulattos producedcapoeira.

More to the point of this type of entry: the book is a definitemust-read for anyone (capoeirista or not) interested in the modernexpressions of african diasporan culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars DAMN IT, IT'S GOOD!
I found that this is a VERY true to actual accounts of Capoeira. I've been practising Capoeira myself for a while now, and this book reflex the views that I, and most of my Groups shares. It would seem very one-sided, but youNEED to be a Capoeirista to fully understand the concpts and ideas andhistory of this book. To me, A VERY GOOD BOOK ON WHAT I BELIEVE


4-0 out of 5 stars A nicely writen bookabout a misterious sport
This book brings a good deal of information on the history of capoeira and on the phylosophy behind it. After a few years practicing it, I finally had in my hands some background to understand some of the the principles, andpart of the history of this sport. The author apparently has had contactwith many mestres, both in Brazil and in the US, and has done quite anintensive survey on historical records, to get to his conclusions.Furthermore, he analyzes capoeira under an anthropological light, giving ascientific taste to the book that we don't find in most publications aboutit (although I don't agree with some of his interpretations). My onlycomplain is that I would like to see more figures in the book, which wouldmake it more interesting to people with less knowledge on the subject.

2-0 out of 5 stars Another biased account of Capoeira!
Another biased account of Capoeira which lacks the scientific rigor toconnect Capoeira with its African roots.Ring of Liberation, attempts toassert Capoeira as a Brazilian art form and strips it of its African roots.Lewis's basic premise traces Capoeira to samba circles in 19th centuryBrazil. It remains to be seen how Capoeira could develope its fightingelements through urban samba circles in Bahia. Lewis utilizesanthropological jargon to complicate the story of Capoeira, it seems to bea mask to hide his agenda. An agenda which seeks to undermine Capoeira asan empowering agent for its descendants (Africans in the Diaspora). Ring ofLiberation should be praised as another book about Capoeira, but severlycritisized for its biased nature and cultural disempowering approach! ... Read more

9. The Hidden History of Capoeira: A Collision of Cultures in the Brazilian Battle Dance
by Maya Talmon-Chvaicer
Paperback: 249 Pages (2007-12-15)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0292717245
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Capoeira, a Brazilian battle dance and national sport, has become popular all over the world. First brought to Brazil by African slaves and first documented in the late eighteenth century, capoeira has undergone many transformations as it has diffused throughout Brazilian society and beyond, taking on a multiplicity of meanings for those who participate in it and for the societies in which it is practiced. In this book, Maya Talmon-Chvaicer combines cultural history with anthropological research to offer an in-depth study of the development and meaning of capoeira, starting with the African cultures in which it originated and continuing up to the present day. Using a wealth of primary sources, Talmon-Chvaicer analyzes the outlooks on life, symbols, and rituals of the three major cultures that inspired capoeira--the Congolese (the historic area known today as Congo-Angola), the Yoruban, and the Catholic Portuguese cultures. As she traces the evolution of capoeira through successive historical eras, Talmon-Chvaicer maintains a dual perspective, depicting capoeira as it was experienced, observed, and understood by both Europeans and Africans, as well as by their descendants. This dual perspective uncovers many covert aspects of capoeira that have been repressed by the dominant Brazilian culture. This rich study reclaims the African origins and meanings of capoeira, while also acknowledging the many ways in which Catholic-Christian culture has contributed to it. The book will be fascinating reading not only for scholars but also for capoeira participants who may not know the deeper spiritual meanings of the customs, amulets, and rituals of this jogo da vida, "game of life." ... Read more

10. Capoeira Conditioning: How to Build Strength, Agility, and Cardiovascular Fitness Using Capoeira Movements
by Gerard Taylor
Paperback: 144 Pages (2005-12-08)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158394141X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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The popularity of capoeira continues to rise as more people discover how useful — and fun — it can be for increasing agility and flexibility, as well as strength and endurance. Capoeira Conditioning is an illustrated guide to whole-body training based on this increasingly popular Brazilian martial art. Designed for all ages and all levels of experience, the book is a step-by-step training manual with photographs that guide users through every movement and sequence. Accompanying text gives special pointers and describes the fitness benefits of each individual technique. Capoeira Conditioning offers no-frills advice about nutrition, regularity of training, capoeira in relation to other sports, and capoeira conditioning for children, along with a simple Q&A section. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book delievers what it says: CONDITIONING
I'm amazed at how many reviews for this book knock it down because it fails to teach Capoeira. The title of this book is not misleading at all it states quite clearly that this is a book geared towards Conditioning utilizing Capoeira.

Please look at this as a fitness manual and not an instruction manual for Capoeira. If you want to get in shape, gain some agility, and have fun in an innovative way then by all means add some of these routines to your current workout. If you're looking for instruction of Capoeira than you'll be somewhat introduced to it but not as much if you would have purchased a book intended for that purpose such as Nestors: Little Capoeira Book, one of the few publications in English. AXE

5-0 out of 5 stars Like Combat Conditioning with a gymnastic twist
If you are a fan of bodyweight training, you should check out this book. For those of you familiar with Combat Conditioning, you will find a lot of similarities. It's basically like Combat Conditioning with a very gymnastic twist to it, which makes it all that much more challenging and interesting. A lot of handstand type movements and supporting your bodyweight on your hands.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic workouts
i just started capoeira. this book certainly has some real info and the workouts will show their effect in no time. very encouraging and easy to follow.

3-0 out of 5 stars libro de acondicionamiento
esto es un libro para acondicionarse para la práctica del capoeira, encontraras movimientos básicos, algo de historia, es un libro para principiantes y para personas que esten interesadas en este excelente deporte.

5-0 out of 5 stars 100% Correct!
The title says it all. A very good book for anyone who is into physical conditioning using only body weight exercises! ... Read more

11. Performing Arts in Brazil: Brazilian Stage Performers, Dance in Brazil, Capoeira, Zouk-Lambada, Forró, Frevo, Andrea Libardi, Samba de Gafieira
Paperback: 62 Pages (2010-09-15)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1158073305
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Editorial Review

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Chapters: Brazilian Stage Performers, Dance in Brazil, Capoeira, Zouk-Lambada, Forró, Frevo, Andrea Libardi, Samba de Gafieira, Maxixe, Lundu, Boi, Xaxado. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 61. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Capoeira (Portuguese pronunciation: ) is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance. It was created in Brazil by slaves from Africa, especially from Angola, Mozambique and Congo sometime after the sixteenth century. It was developed in the region of Quilombo dos Palmares, located in the Brazilian state of Alagoas, which was the state of Pernambuco before dismemberment, and has had great influence on Afro-Brazilian generations, with strong presence in the states of Bahia, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Participants form a roda, or circle, and take turns either playing musical instruments (such as the Berimbau), singing, or ritually sparring in pairs in the center of the circle. The sparring is marked by fluid acrobatic play, feints, takedowns, and with extensive use of leg sweeps, kicks, and headbutts. Less frequently used techniques include elbow strikes, slaps, punches, and body throws. Its origins and purpose are a matter of debate, with theories ranging from views of Capoeira as a uniquely Brazilian folk dance with improvised fighting movements to claims that it is a battle-ready fighting form directly descended from ancient African techniques. The word "capoeira" had a probable origin as a derisive term used by slave owners to refer to its practice as chicken fights (the word literally means "chicken coop" in Portuguese). Another claim is that the word "capoeira" derives from the Native-American language Tupi-Guarani words kaá ("leaf", "plant") and puéra (past aspect marker), meaning "formerly a forest." Hi...More: http://booksllc.net/?id=5976 ... Read more

12. Capoeira: The Jogo de Angola from Luanda to Cyberspace
by Gerard Taylor
Paperback: 560 Pages (2005-10-13)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$42.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556436017
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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The first in a two-volume series on capoeira, Volume One traces the origins of the popular martial art and dance form from the beginning of the slave trade in the Americas in the 1500s to the early years of the Brazilian Republic in the 20th century. Focusing on the people and events that shaped the art form in Brazil prior to the "academy" period of the last century, Capoeira: The Jogo de Angola from Luanda to Cyberspace explores the subject from many vantage points. Author Gerard Taylor explains how the fighting techniques of African forces laid the groundwork for capoeira movements. He shows how work songs, religion, and various percussive traditions and instruments shaped capoeira music over the years. Drawing on archival sources and historical accounts, the book paints a vivid picture of capoeira’s dramatic evolution from the sugar plantations of Pernambuco through the brutal backstreets of Rio and the Minas Gerais goldmines on its way to becoming a world-class practice ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Best historical summary of capoeira
I have been training capoeira for 13 years and have read many books on the subject.This is the first book I have read that provides a detailed, well referenced history of capoeira from pre-slave trade in Africa to the establishment of recognized schools for the art in Brazil.I highly recommend this book for those wanting to know the roots and history of capoeira.
My only criticisms are:
the book does not present the information in a definitive chronological order but jumps forward and backward in time within a presented era, making it a bit difficult to follow at times; and
Taylor could have used a few (even one or two) maps to illustrate the locations he discusses.The reader can always use an atlas.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lots of assumptions and inconsistencies
As far as history of capoeira goes, the author makes so many assumptions, jumps to so many conclusions and shows so many inconsistencies that this book cannot be taken seriously.

For example, he assumes that capoeira was already played to the rhythm of the berimbau in 19th century Bahia, based on nothing but a guess. He goes even further (without citing one source whatsoever), stating that capoeira in the 19th century was played to the "bateria" as we know it today: berimbau, atabaque, pandeiro, reco-reco e agogo.

That assumption is completely crazy, besides making no sense, of course. Capoeira was played in the streets and capoeiras were often chased by the police. Right now, I can close my eyes and see one of them running from the cops with an atabaque on its back...

Then he makes other assumptions based on one of M. Pastinha's interviews and on his ghost-written book.

Many people are aware that it is naive to take Mestre Pastinha's interviews literally as he was known for speaking in highly metaphorical words. And many capoeira researchers also find it very likely that a few people other than the Mestre and the ghostwriter were actually involved in the writing of his book.

Finally, if anyone is interested in serious, detailed, backed-up, complete research about the history of capoeira, to this day I've only come across one book who lives up to its promise: Capoeira- the history of an Afro-Brazilian martial art, by Matthias Rohrig Assuncao.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Historical Perspective
This first part of two by Gerard Taylor is less about capoeira per se than it is about helping the reader understand the environment in which capoeira evolved.The author's stated intent for the second half is to invest much more narrative to the subject of capoeira itself in the modern world.Given this, I'm not terribly disappointed that Volume One is mostly about the histories of Brazil and Portuguese Africa as they relate to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the evolution of capoeira in Brazil.However, prospective readers should bear in mind that Volume One really is a book on history, albeit one worthy of inclusion in the syllabus of a collegiate Portuguese history class.

Taylor covers a great deal of time and space in 450 pages of text, from the Portuguese exploration of West Africa in the 1400's to the mid-Twentieth Century in Brazil.His focus is on the people who would give birth to capoeira: slaves from West and Central Africa.The Portuguese of Brazil play a key role in that they created the conditions under which Africans were brought to Brazil as slaves.According to Taylor, many of the slaves who were transported to Brazil from Central Africa between 1500 and the late 1800's were prisoners of war who were sold to the Portuguese.As a result, large numbers of fighting men schooled and experienced in the way of Central African war were included in the body of slaves.Some of the slaves who escaped and fled to the edges of Brazilian society were military men.These warriors brought experience with the Central African fighting techniques to villages called quilombos where escaped slaves formed new communities.Quilombos often were protected by extensive earthworks and obstacles, which presented real challenges for Portuguese attempting to recapture slaves and wipe out the quilombos.

Central African warfare was almost exclusively fought by infantry.The infantry used swords and spears, but they almost never carried shields.Instead of blocking attacks, the Central African infantry used a fluid, mobile technique of avoiding blows altogether.This style of moving, twisting, and dodging defense finds an expression in capoeira.

Taylor also covers areas such as the growth of the Brazilian economy from its earliest stages, the patterns of the slave trade, and life in the quilombos.Overall, this first book of two is an enjoyable, accessible work of history as it relates to the evolution of capoeira.I'm looking forward to reading Volume Two.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thorough Examination of Sources.....
This volume is NOT a physical instructional manual.It is a dedicated examination of how Capoeira came to be, from the Continent of Africa from which the root of this combative art hied, to its development in Brazil.

The author examines a variety of sources (which he lists).Rather than stopping at the usual cursory description of the original slaves imported to Brazil from Africa, Taylor provides documentary evidence concerning the existence, treatment, and conditions encountered by slaves imported to Brazil from Angola and other regions of Africa.Taylor's descriptions and historical references make the experiences of these peoples very real, and does more than any work I have read thus far to explain the spiritual, cultural and physical reasons behind the development and propegation of Capoeira, at once both a method of personal defense and strength training, and a physical mode of expression.

For those with a dedicated interest in the history of Capoeira specifically, or anyone with an interest in the anthroplogical side of combative arts generally, this first volume in a planned two-volume set is a must.I look forward to reading a continuation of this history. ... Read more

13. Capoeira: The Jogo de Angola from Luanda to Cyberspace, Volume Two
by Gerard Taylor
Paperback: 560 Pages (2007-04-24)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$20.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583941835
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Editorial Review

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Capoeira evolved as a Brazilian martial art developed initially by that country’s African slaves. Marked by deft, deceptive movements played on the ground or completely inverted, the form started gaining worldwide popularity in the early 20th century, when this second volume of Gerard Taylor’s wide-ranging history begins.

The book opens with a study of the capoeira “Bamba,” Mestre Bimba, who became renowned as a fighting champion in Bahia and opened the first legal academy during the dictatorship of Getulio Vargas. Taylor investigates the dramatic development of the schism that resulted in the competing styles of Regional and Angola. Moving into contemporary capoeira, the author provides an overview of new trends, such as international encounters, long distance “mail-order mestres,” mass membership capoeira associations, cyber-capoeira, and grading systems.

The book features the wisdom of a number of important mestres recounting their experiences teaching capoeira professionally around the world. In frank, inspiring interviews they talk about the highs and lows of the capoeira life, and how its lessons can enrich people’s lives.

Photographs, illustrations, and an extensive glossary of terms illuminate the complex history of this fighting art. ... Read more

by Maria Brigida De Miranda
Paperback: 276 Pages (2010-06-03)
list price: US$97.00 -- used & new: US$96.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3838360419
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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This book questions whether the practice of martial arts in physical actor training encourages a physicality with its origins in masculinised regimentation. The training of the body of the actor in physical practices, historically connected with the martial and military sphere, assumes that disciplining methods can lead to a 'neutral', 'natural' or 'universal' body, which leaves out of account the question of cultural context and gender identity. The book examines key training methods theoretically and explores how actor training might resist such masculinised regimentation. It analyses physical exercises, derived from the martial and militaristic spheres, in well-established actor training approaches of the twentieth-century. The book proposes an alternative training structure inspired by capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars From actor and academic
This book contributes a unique theoretical perspective on how martial arts training methods are being used in the process of contemporary actor training. Readers interested in Brazilian and Asian physical training methods for actors will find this an invaluable resource. Actors looking to extend their understanding of how their bodies are active and dynamic elements of theatre production and spectatorship will also appreciate this book. This book also examines the complex relationships between the uses of bodies in theater and the ways in which bodies are culturally imagined and understood in western and asian theatre practices. I highly reccomend this book to all readers engaged in academic and practical research on the body and theatre. ... Read more

15. Capoeira: Capoeira Music. Capoeira Angola, Samba, Maculelê (dance), Puxada de Rede, Capoeira in popular culture
Paperback: 92 Pages (2009-08-10)
list price: US$48.00
Isbn: 6130032587
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Editorial Review

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Capoeira. Capoeira music, Capoeira Angola, Samba, Maculelê (dance), Puxada de Rede, Capoeira in popular culture, Capoeira toques, List of capoeira techniques, Manuel dos Reis Machado, Vicente Ferreira Pastinha ... Read more

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