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1. Capoeira 100: An Illustrated Guide
2. Capoeira Conditioning: How to
3. The Little Capoeira Book, Revised
4. The Little Capoeira Book
5. Essential Capoeira: The Guide
6. Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game
7. A Street-Smart Song: Capoeira
8. The Hidden History of Capoeira:
9. Capoeira And Candomble: Conformity
10. Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial
11. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form:
12. Learning Capoeira: Lessons in
13. Capoeira: The History of an Afro-Brazilian
14. Capoeira Beyond Brazil
15. Unknown Capoeira: Secret Techniques
16. Ring of Liberation: Deceptive
17. Capoeira: A Tale of Martial Arts
18. Capoeira
19. Capoeira: African Brazilian Karate
20. Capoeira, pequeno manual do jogador

1. Capoeira 100: An Illustrated Guide to the Essential Movements and Techniques
by Gerard Taylor
Paperback: 336 Pages (2007-01-09)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$17.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583941762
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Capoeira 100 is an illustrated guide to 100 essential techniques used in the art of capoeira. Each movement is accompanied by a series of color photographs that show how it is done, as well as helpful pointers and tips on how to apply the technique in the game of capoeira. The book is divided into sections for beginner, intermediate and advanced movements. Ground-work, kicks, escapes, "floreios," flying kicks, and acrobatic movements are all covered.

Capoeira 100 is unique among English-language capoeira books in that it is illustrated by full-color photographs, and it focuses 100% on technique. Sequences of movements, drills, games, and conditioning exercises give the reader a chance to practice capoeira workouts at least a hundred times without ever repeating the same routine twice.

These exercises can be done alone, and many can be done with a partner to create the real conditions of the game. Rather than being theoretical, all the information and instruction in this book are geared toward functional use, so that students can train at their optimal pace. Specificity of movements and exercises are structured to help readers achieve steady improvement of capoeira skills. Additionally, the author provides encouragement and no-nonsense advice, based on his 10+ years experience as a capoeira instructor and nearly 20 years as a player.

Readers not affiliated with a capoeira club will find information about the capoeira game, and advice on etiquette and strategies of play. The glossary of 100 terms helps new players understand Portuguese descriptions used in Brazil. A question-and-answer section at the end of the book addresses some of the most frequently asked enquiries about this fascinating sport.

This is an indispensable manual for those who have been searching for a concise "how-to" guide to capoeira techniques, and who are already connected with a capoeira group or teacher. It will be of interest as well to freestyle martial artists, dancers, actors, and others who increasingly look to capoeira for its inspiring and exciting techniques. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
The good: This book is good for demonstrating fundamentals, and some advanced techniques. It provides generally good descriptions of the techniques with clear colour photos and how these techniques can be used and combined with other techniques.

The bad: Some of the pic sequences need an extra pic to illustrate exactly how they are getting into the position. If you knew nothing of martial arts and particularly capoeira you may not be able to tell exactly how they got into all the positions - but then, the book is recommended as a guide to be used with an instructor, not as a complete capoeira course.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for beginers
This is a pretty good book if you are a beginner. I think anyone with an intermediate level wouldn't learn to much from it.

If you're getting started with capoeira, this is a great book that could help you develop your "jogo"

Although you have to remember that the true way to learn capoeira is practicing it.

5-0 out of 5 stars 99 and a half won't do.
This is a great beginners book for those who are just starting out in Capoeira. this progresses with you as you go from beginer to advanced. I reccomend going to an actual class to fully understand and execute these movements and techniques. Also pick up the Capoeira conditioning book. It will definteley help you with the intermmediate and advance sections of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars helpful
This book is very helpful and one of a kind. I gave it five stars but i guess there is room for improvement. I think the pictures could look prettier or have arrows but then again maybe there is a functional value to it.
I would tell anyone to buy it if they are a beginner. It demonstrates moves and transitional moves. And when i get confused I use it as a reference. It is also provides some philosophy behind capoeira. I use it a lot when i am playing at home. It even gives combinations to try after breaking moves down. It is very reader friendly. also has a sturdy binding so you can throw it around and it stays intact. Overall, I was pleased with the purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great asset for any level capoeirista
This book is great for helping the beginner to advanced capoeira student.There is great help for learning individual moves plus challenging training exercises for interactive learning and fitness conditioning. ... Read more

2. 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$9.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158394141X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
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

3. The Little Capoeira Book, Revised Edition
by Nestor Capoeira
Paperback: 240 Pages (2007-12-26)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583941983
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Nestor Capoeira, a long-time teacher of capoeira and noted mestre (master), begins this revised edition of his bestseller with an in-depth history of the Brazilian art, giving the most popular theories for the origins and purposes of this movement that combines the grace of dance with lethal self-defense techniques in a unique game-song structure. He discusses some of the most famous capoeristas and their influence on the art. In addition, he describes how the two major branches of capoeira (Angola and Regional) came about and the differences between them.

The Little Capoeira Book’s clear descriptions of the game, or jogo, explain the actual application of capoeira, vaguely similar to sparring but very different in purpose and style. The music of capoeira, which is played during all jogo, is also examined, along with its main instrument, the berimbau.

The author includes a how-to guide with photographs showing basic moves for beginners, with offensive and defensive applications for simple kicks, takedowns, advanced kicks and movements, head butts, hand strikes, and knee and elbow strikes. Each technique is vividly depicted with drawings that are easy to understand and learn from, and mestre capoeira includes an explanation of both Angola and Regional versions. ... Read more

4. The Little Capoeira Book
by Nestor Capoeira
Paperback: 240 Pages (2003-05-06)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$3.94
(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

5. Essential Capoeira: The Guide to Mastering the Art
by Mestre Ponchianinho
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-01-29)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583941967
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Fun, different, and above all effective, capoeira is a unique dance-fight-fitness program enhancing strength, stamina, and flexibility training for the entire body. While there are many books on the subject, this one differs in being a succinct yet thorough discussion of the basics to engage even the nervous novice. In clear, accessible language, author Mestre Ponchianinho explains the aims and benefits of the discipline, along with its history, origins, and philosophy. He continues by introducing the two main styles along with the techniques of the most famous mestres. Easy-to-follow warm-ups, basic moves, defense and escape moves, kicks, training combinations, strengthening exercises, ground movements; and more advanced acrobatic movements are all described and illustrated in step-by-step photographs. The author discusses the self-defense aspects, the importance of music in capoeira, the significance of the bateria, the hierarchy within the tradition, the grading system, and much more. Unlike other martial arts disciplines, capoeira lets practitioners give play to their artistry as well as their physicality, in the process sharpening the mind and spirit while energizing and strengthening the body. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for basic knowledge
This book is a good book if you want a basic understanding of Capoera. It can also be useful to learn the language used to call the Capoera moves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for a beginner caporista, especially from CDO
This book gives a good overall history of capoeira, Groupo Cordeo de Ouro (the capoeira group Mestre Ponchianinho belongs to), and some good basic capoeira movements to learn and supplement face-to-face instruction.Being an extended member of the CDO Family myself my opinion my be slightly biased, but if you are new to capoeira or want to learn more about CDO in general this is a nice book to have in your collection.This book also does a nice job of providing tips and pointers as to how to warm up and make moves a little easier.Overall a good book to have and supplement your capoeira training.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for a beginner
This book gives a clear message of practical capoeira knowledge in about 20 pages.The rest of the book is pictures and easy-to-follow, detailed instructions on a good amount of basic movements with large pictures and sequential diagrams.It shows indiviaul movements, partner sequences and extra training techniques. ... Read more

6. Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game
by Nestor Capoeira
Paperback: 346 Pages (2002-07-09)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$30.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556434049
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game covers a broad range of topics -- philosophy, history, training -- related to the increasingly popular martial arts style. The author discusses capoeira's evolution from Brazilian street play into a way of life. The philosophy of capoeira, and the practical and spiritual benefits of that philosophy, are also discussed. Instructions and exercises in intermediate and advanced skills take up where the author's previous book left off. The book includes 100 black-and-white photos and illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Look into the Aesthetics and History of Capoeira
I have been watching my children learn to play capoeira for a number of months.What impresses me most is that they are learning more of an aesthetic than a series of martial arts moves.It is this Afro-Brazilian aesthetic which has allowed capoeira to grow and move beyond its homeland to become an international movement."Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game" is not an instructional manual.Instead, it is a deeper look into the origin and aesthetic which has shaped the game.

Nestor Capoeira is not only a senior capoeira mestre but also one of the game's leading intellectuals.This work is a compilation of different articles he has produced over the years.Of special interest are his chapters on the role of malicia and malandragem in the playing of capoeira. His section on the rich dialogue between Mestres Bimba and Pastinha is also very interesting.What keeps me from giving this book five stars is that at times, Nestor Capoeira's writing style becomes excessively didactic in a manner common to Latin American intellectuals.This book is a great introduction and I am looking forward to reading additional books about the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Around the World and Across Time: Understanding the Global Perspective
Nestor Capoeira's book offers readers a powerful testimony to the history of capoeira.Written in a clear and informative style, Nestor's work is accessible to all.What I most appreciate about Capoeira: Roots of the Dance, Fight, Game, is that is both an excellent foundational piece for those new to the art-form's long-standing socio-cultural traditions AND one of the best references covering the inner-workings and politically-motivated debates that have taken place in the recent past. I particularly enjoyed the anthology of recent essays and updates he includes in the last 1/3 of the book: his own reflections on new elements in the history of capoeira and Muniz Sodre's perspectives that are informed by his experiences in Candomble.Nestor's experiences--both inside roda and inside the academic realm of research--will continue to be a touchstone for the next generations grappling with the ever-shifting and expanding global contexts of capoeira.I highly recommend this book!Axe ASCAB!

5-0 out of 5 stars Delve deeper...
A very in-depth look into the history of capoeira that you WILL NOT learn from most mestres, especially those who only teach technique.Nestor gives a historical look at slavery's influence on capoeira, takes a contemporary look at capoeira's development, and offers illustrated basic to intermediate techniques.The most interesting thing is the examination of capoeira at a physical and metaphysical level, and how it affects the individual player as s/he progresses.A game, a fight, a dance, a way of life..?You decide.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good fundemantel
This is another good *basic* book from Nestor Capoeira. It includes basic theories, history and some basic capoeira movements. Seems like this book is second part of "The little Capoeira book"

If you have just started to learn Capoeira, or if you are wondering what it is, this book would be very helpful for you.

On the other hand, if you are already a baptized capoeirista you can not find anything that you dont know, in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, written with an open-minded view on Capoeira
Again a very good book by the hands of the famous Nestor Capoeira. This book shows many aspects of our beautiful art and shows various views on certain subjects by people who really know this art (Jair Moura, Mestre Itapoan and more). The book is written with an open mind like I know Mestre Nestor. His open-minded view shows in all the conversations and lectures I had with him. This book is really a must for the dedicated Capoeirista. ... Read more

7. A Street-Smart Song: Capoeira Philosophy and Inner Life
by Nestor Capoeira
Paperback: 344 Pages (2006-06-02)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158394155X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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A Street-Smart Song delves into the boundless philosophical depths of capoeira, the fascinating synthesis of Brazilian dance and self-defense. Drawing from a wide range of sources — the streets of Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, the teachings of the old masters Pastinha, Bimba, and Leopoldina, and the brutal economic realities inflicted on the poorest of Brazil — Nestor Capoeira paints an indelible portrait of this living art, its spiritual heritage, and its vital place in a world hypnotized by media and crushed by poverty. The traditional poems and songs of capoeira are here, along with the author’s lively discussions of everything from the space age and television’s impact on third world culture to Candomble and capoeira’s life-changing lessons. Rounding out this absorbing cultural survey are historical photos, sketches of weapons and instruments, and fully illustrated fighting movements, taught step by step. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars As good as always
If you've read any book from Nestor Capoeira you know what to expect from him. As always this book discusses some really interesting insights about capoeira, great book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get deeper into the capoeira way of seeing life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for those who do Capoeira.
Having done martial arts for most of my adult life and read numerous titles on the subject, I can safely say that A Street-Smart Song is the best book on the arts that I have ever read.With an intimate understanding of his subject, Nestor Capoeira presents and explains Capoeira and its environs in a colorful, honest, and plainspoken manner.Along with his previous U.S. releases: The Little Capoeira Book and Capoeira: Root of the Fight - Dance - Game, A Street-Smart Song is a worthwhile read for any freethinking martial artist. ... Read more

8. 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

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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

9. Capoeira And Candomble: Conformity And Resistance in Brazil
by Floyd Merrell
Hardcover: 317 Pages (2005-07)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$74.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155876349X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Capoeira is a unique music-dance-sport-play activity created by African slaves in Brazil, and Candombl‚ is a hybrid religion combining Catholic and African beliefs and practices. The two are closely interconnected.Capoeira and Candombl‚ have for centuries made up a coherent form of Brazilian life, despite having been suppressed by the dominant cultures. Now they are not only widely recognized in Brazil, but have become popular in North America and Europe as a new blend of sports, dance, and holistic approach to many facets of life.For Western audiences, Capoeira performance and Candombl‚ services are fun to watch and participate in, but difficult to understand. Both have apparently familiar elements, but this seeming conformity with the dominant cultures was for 400 years a strategy of resistance byBrazilian slaves.The author offers his own reflections about Capoeira and Candombl‚, combining personal experiences with anecdotes, historical facts, and research as well as religious and philosophical interpretations, both Western and non-Western.The result is informative and entertaining, a description and analysis that allows readers to get a feeling, understanding, and even experience of the spirit of Capoeira and Candombl‚. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Neither insightful nor complete
This book offers neither historical information nor insightful commentary. The only thing unique I can see is the combining of Capoeira and Candomble references into one book and even that is questionable as the two are isolated in separate sections.

Floyd Merrell's writing lacks any tidbits of historical significance. His perspective on Capoeira is so biased pro Angola that he misrepresents Capoeira as a whole. This includes his beloved Angola, which he does not appear to understand so much as he believes. He falls for a trap that many authors of Capoeira literature fall for, obsessing over the idea that Capoeira is difficult to understand. He then proceeds to explain Capoeira and Candomble using the most artificially built up confusing language that he can muster making the topic even less clear. Over and over he slips back and forth saying Capoeira is like this but not like this but it is like this or not really like this but it looks like this.

This is also one of the most blatant cases of reverse racism I have ever seen. Mr. Merrell idolizes African's and Afro-Brazilians. He paints the origins of not only Capoeira and Candomble but of Afro-Brazilian society as a whole, as systematic and deliberate.

This would probably have been a great paper, if it had been something less that 40 pages. Don't expect to learn anything about either Capoeira or Candomble. If you want some deep and often redundant insight on Floyd Merrell's opinions regarding the two topics in the title then by all means pick up this little gem. I'm sure it would be a great gift for his mother or brother. Everyone else will find it boring, self gratifying and pedantic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Playing in the "bodymindspirit"
Merrell's book offers a fresh perspective on the tradition of capoeira, particularly with his emphasis on the influences of candomble.Merrell builds upon and references Mestre Acordeon's often-cited insights (of "playing in the dark," "playing in water," "playing in the light," "playing with the crystal ball," and "playing in the mind"), attempting to explain to readers the feel and power of "playing in the bodymindspirit." For those who like pondering ways of being (i.e, notions of "becoming," of ambiguity, and of the processual)--and I do--this work is truly enjoyable.While this book may be a bit weighty or academically abstract and philosophical for some capoeiristas' tastes, Merrrell's work fills an important niche in 8-10 top books in English written on the subject.As but one example of his scholarly flights of imagination, see his handling of Exu, trickster by default, and the complexities of moving beyond "either/or" and "both/and" thinking to a third way of thinking, or "thirdness."Expect coverage of complex topics, a bit of "jargon" (appropriate for a scholarly work well-informed by years of research in Latin American history)--and you'll be rewarded with a book that makes you go "hmmmmmm." Axe ASCAB

5-0 out of 5 stars Capoeira and Candomble
Capoeira is a unique music-dance-sport-play activity created by African slaves, and Candomblé is a hybrid religion combining Catholic and African beliefs and practices. And while there are numerous books on Candomblé and kindred Afro-American religions, none of them effectively combines Candomblé and Capoeira. Actually, Capoeira and Candomblé are closely tied to one another. Together, they make up a coherent form of life in Brazil within the current process of globalization about which there has been much ballyhoo, eulogies, and condemnation.
This study involves the author's practice of and reflections on the arts of Capoeira and Candomblé; it culminates in the idea of an "other logic," an alternative culture "logic," about which much lip service is being paid in academic circles, with little to no concrete details.
This book, consequently, is one of a kind insofar as it bears on the interdependency of two Afro-Brazilian practices while grounding them in a theoretical framework and at the same time interrelating them with topics of great concern in the initial years of a new millennium: post-colonial and diaspora studies. ... Read more

10. 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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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

11. 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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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

12. Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art
by Greg Downey
Paperback: 288 Pages (2005-03-03)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$6.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195176979
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art is a provocative look at capoeira, a demanding acrobatic art that combines dance, ritual, music, and fighting style. First created by slaves, freedmen, and gang members, capoeira is a study in contrasts that integrates African-descended rhythms and flowing dance steps with hard lessons from the street. According to veteran teachers, capoeira will transform novices, instilling in them a sense of malicia, or "cunning," and changing how they walk, hear, and interact.
Learning Capoeira is an ethnographic study based on author Greg Downey's extensive research about capoeira and more than ten years of apprenticeship. It looks at lessons from traditional capoeira teachers in Salvador, Brazil, capturing the spoken and unspoken ways in which they pass on the art to future generations. Downey explores how bodily training can affect players' perceptions and social interactions, both within the circular roda, the "ring" where the game takes place, as well as outside it, in their daily lives. He brings together an experience-centered, phenomenological analysis of the art with recent discoveries in psychology and the neurosciences about the effects of physical education on perception. The text is enhanced by more than twenty photos of capoeira sessions, many taken by veteran teacher, Mestre Cobra Mansa.
Learning Capoeira breaks from many contemporary trends in cultural studies of all sorts, looking at practice, education, music, nonverbal communication, perception, and interaction. It will be of interest to students of African Diaspora culture, performance, sport, and anthropology. For anyone who has wondered how physical training affects our perceptions, this close study of capoeira will open new avenues for understanding how culture shapes the ways we carry ourselves and see the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read for anyone interested in Capoeira
I read the book a few months ago and it was very entertaining.The authors experience was very informative.He explained a lot on theory and provided support through practice.I appreciate the time that was taken to write the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Learning cunning through written text.
Greg Downey is his book "Learnig Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art" strikes at the some of the very important fundamentals of Capoeira that every practitioner from Angola to Regional should hold close.

He speaks from a backround in sociolgy and phenomenolgy. His arguments are strong whilst his stories entertaining. Neither form of Capoeira is looked over nor does he argue for one particular style, he gives a wonderful overview of the mythologies, teachings and importance of Angola and Regional.

A great book and a wonderful learning tool.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must buy
A must buy for anyone serious about capoeira, especially those who are practicing capoeira angola.

5-0 out of 5 stars the best english language capoeira book to date
the title of this review may be a surprise to some, considering that greg downey is neither brazilian, nor has he really spent a huge amount of time studying capoeira (no more than five years, if i recall, and only with a medium intensity). and yet, this book was a better read than almost any other capoeira book i have ever read in english (i own them all up until the date of this writing, nov 2005). this is, of course, not to take away from nestor capoeira or mestre acordeon's books. both of these authors have produced valuable additions to a capoeirista's library and should be picked up as well.

this book does not teach you moves but, then again, capoeira has never really been about moves; it is about moving. greg downey guides you through what it is like to learn capoeira, and what it is like to see through the eyes of someone who has gained experience in the game and learned to see with the eyes of a malandro, shows you how you will be changed if you go deep into the game. there are quotes from joao pequeno, joao grande, mestre moraes, as well as many other renowned mestres of capoeira, and lots of great stories.

downey's book is based upon experience with capoeira angola with GCAP in bahia, and you may find yourself more attracted to it if you practice angola, rather than regional or contemporary capoeira. but whatever you play, you will probably learn a lot from this book. i for one am very happy i picked it up, and have passed it on to my contra-mestra. i am confident she will enjoy it as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars On Feeling One's Way to--and through--Play...
Greg Downey's book is a delight to read! The writing style is clear, the approach is innovative, and the topics covered are both timely and relevant to today's burgeoning interest in the arts of Capoeira.This book combines the best coverage on Capoeira's cultural history (similar to Acordeon's or Nestor's foundational books), but adds a new twist: the lastest scholarship on "embodiment" (that is, how to talk about experiencing the Body as a way of knowing).Downey's book is remarkable for giving us the benefits of his well-informed research across several fields of study without getting overly bogged down in jargon (of phenomenology, for example).Of the many intriguing chapters, several of the most compelling insights come from sections such as: Listening with a Musician's Hands,Hearing with a Player's body, Moving Like a Mestre, and the Rogue's Swagger.Downey's coverage of "the malandro," the "chamada," and "malicia" stands as among the most perceptive I've read in the 8-10 books in English that have been published on Capoeira.This book seems well-poised as a "bridge": appealing to capoeiristas as well as to those approaching capoeira from more of an outsiders' stance.For both sets of readers Downey's book puts us into the place--and space--of Capoeiristas' bodies.We experience, through his words, how to walk, how to fall, how to see, how to hear the berimbau, how to swagger, how to dissemble--in short, many lessons in the craft and cunning of this disarmingly simple yet complex tradition.Axe ASCAB! ... Read more

13. 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

14. 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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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

15. Unknown Capoeira: Secret Techniques of the Original Brazilian Martial Art
by Mestre Ricardo Cachorro
Paperback: 256 Pages (2009-12-29)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583942319
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Capoeira, a fascinating hybrid of martial art, game, and dance, has long captivated practitioners in all those areas of interest worldwide. Originating in Brazil, the form has been traced back to the 16th century, created and developed by slaves brought from Africa. Written by a legendary master, Unknown Capoeira examines the form as the complete martial art, including its history, music, dance, and folklore. The game, or jogo, at capoeira’s center is presented in close detail, including demonstrations of the graceful moves and gravity-defying acrobatics that make up this rhythmical dance-fight in the roda, a circle made of capoeiristas within which capoeira is performed.

Designed as a comprehensive resource of linked information and techniques, so that the capoeirista or the researcher can benefit most from reading the whole book, Unknown Capoeira features special sections that outline the objective of each technique, how to practice each technique alone, the main points of impact, and the defense and counterattack strategies. The book is intended for capoeiristas of all skill levels. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Stay away from this book!
Apart from being a very poorly-written book, full of mistakes and ridiculed by Brazilian capoeira masters, this book was written by a fugitive of Brazilian law.

This book is written by a well-known Brazilian con artist whose real name is Ricardo Reinprecht, who duped several people back in Brazil for millions of dollars while he was the president of a publishing house called Axcel Books (try googling this name to see), being currently in unknown location and hiding from Brazilian justice. This book was written so he could get some money while in hiding.

As for capoeira, he hasn't practiced this art since the late 1970's/early 1980's, so it is at least suspicious why someone that hasn't practiced capoeira for the past 30 years decided to write a book about the subject.

As for the book, all illustrations were done by Ingo Bertelli, who was also scammed and wasn't paid a dime for the job.

Please, do not buy this book. By buying this book you are helping a criminal to stay afloat.

3-0 out of 5 stars Confusing and off-putting
This book is far from reader-friendly: moves are described in separate chapters in alphabetical order rather than in order of difficulty; different versions of the same move are often mentioned but not explained at all (there isn't even a glossary);descriptions/ diagrams are difficult to follow and often ambiguous (some are plain abstract!). It might be that it is intended for absolute experts, in which case I will probably give it another chance a few years from now - but for beginners & intermediates who are hoping to improve their game, this book turns out to be off-putting and demoralising. There are many other books available that are more engaging, motivating and visually-appealing - and ultimately, there is nothing better than experience and competent teaching that enables one to unravel the secrets of this wonderful art.

I read with some amusement the three "reviews" (apparently written by one person or the same person with two confederates)about this book. It is clear that Senhor Torres is so consumed with his own anger and bitterness at the author, an alleged former publisher in Brazil, that he would rather rant about the author's alleged poor character than about the quality and clarity of the book.

As someone who doesn't know or practice martial arts, I look to a book like this for its qualities of clarity, education, motivation,and readability, not the alleged personality of the author.

On balance, this book is simple to read, clear, nicely illustrated, and well laid-out. It gives significant information, although I must confess I am rather out-of-shape to engage in the physical exertions shown in the illustrations.

One must also consider the fact that Blue Snake Books, which also published the well-known Krav Maga series of books highlighting the Israeli form of personal self-defense, is a reputable publisher which has undoubtedly vetted the contents of the book and its accuracy and helpfulness as opposed to considering anything as extraneous as a personal broadside against the author.

When I read a "review" such as that by Senhor Torres, I am inclined to search to see if there is some bias - legitimate or illegitimate - on the part of the reviewer. In Senhor Torres' case, he claims on his anti-Axcel website that he has sued the person he calls Ricardo Reinprecht and that he is a "victim" of the publishing house which he claims was run by Reinprecht. This would hardly engender an unbiased review of this book.

I respectfully suggest that anyone who is seriously interested in buying this book read the book or its excerpts and judge it for its own quality and usefulness rather than allowing themselves to be led around by questionable "reviews."

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book. Please!
I've praticed capoeira for 5 years. Nor me nor my Master Abano (who has more than 30 years of his life dedicated for capoeira and whose Master was the well known capoeirista Master Camisa ) ever have heard about this "mestre". By now I was telled that this man is actually a criminal! So I do not recommend this book at all. There are many other book about Capoeira better than that.

1-0 out of 5 stars Author have problme with brazilian justice and law
This book is written by a well-known Brazilian con artist whose real name is Ricardo Reinprecht, who duped several people back in Brazil for millions of dollars while he was the president of a publishing house called Axcel Books (try googling this name to see), being currently in unknown location and hiding from Brazilian justice. This book was written so he could get some money while in hiding.

As for capoeira, he hasn't practiced this art since the late 1970's/early 1980's, so it is at least suspicious why someone that hasn't practiced capoeira for the past 30 years decided to write a book about the subject.

As for the book, all illustrations were done by Ingo Bertelli, who was also scammed and wasn't paid a dime for the job.

Please, do not buy this book. By buying this book you are helping a criminal to stay afloat. ... Read more

16. 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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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

17. Capoeira: A Tale of Martial Arts Mastery, Mysticism and Love
by Khafra K. Om-Ra-Seti
Paperback: 225 Pages (2004-03-30)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0963564595
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ptah, a versatile and highly confident martial artist, has been the welterweight champion of his division for the past five years. His prowess in the ring is near legendary and he is popularly known as Ptah the Wizard. As a member of the Dogon clan, PtahÂ’s family has been instrumental in establishing the multi-million dollar earnings for fighters that truly proved themselves in the arena.

But lying just below the competitive struggles in the arena is a universal struggle of good vs. evil, of revenge and deception, of mysticism and history, and of the ultimate test to achieve mastership in oneÂ’s life. PtahÂ’s confrontation with the ancient beauty and brilliance of Capoeira is the ultimate test to discover the true master in himself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars I agree
As a Screenplay, this book gets three stars.As a book, one and as a Capoeira manual (I play Capoeira), none.This being said, Om-Ra-Seti has the germ of a really interesting story which could be made into a great action/martial arts picture.I would *love* to see the final battle envisioned here with all of the Orishas attending on the big screen - with the talents of a better writer.

I just saw a message from the author on another forum - looks like the book *was* originally intended as a screenplay.I'll stand by my original assesment: as a Screenplay, this rocks!Great story, just not translated well into book form.

5-0 out of 5 stars A speculative mystical event!
Science fiction and mysticism fused in a timeless spiritual embrace. Heroes and villains, conspiracies and revelations, are what best describe this compelling and all around off-the-hook novel. Capoeira possesses a sublime 'deepness'. It's author is a weaver of literary magic. He
tells several stories on many levels, while entertaining and informing the reader.

The world in which this epic journey unfolds, is for some, already here, and for others, not too hard to envision. It's a place where the subculture of Extreme Combat, and the Battle Mania Brawls seen on Pay-per-view, have grown into the dominant sports attraction.

The people who populate this place of African themes and inner discovery, are important and multi-faceted. Is Ptah; the main character, an arrogant fighting machine, or is he a spiritual phenomenon, destined to pierce the veil of human consciousness? What of the Dogon Clan, his powerful family? And then there are the Akans. Arch rivals to the Dogons.

Capoeira is replete with symbolism, inner visions, and spiritual attainment. It is a speculative panorama. Like the Martial Arts that permeates It's pages, this book is fast paced and snags you immediately. It is a complete tale of epic proportions. The conclusion; mature and appropriate. Capoeira is simply, essential reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Martial Arts and More
CAPOEIRA takes us on a journey through time, where past and present collide in a page turning series of events.It is 2010 and the World Free Style Martial Arts Association has gained a huge fan base and following and has brought martial arts to a whole new level ofpopularity.The main character in the story, Ptah, is the champion of the welterweight division and part of the Dogon Clan.The Dogon�s are part of a long family line of people with special spiritual powers and abilities.Soon readers learn that the Dogon Clan is not without enemies, and that Ptah�s journey to remain a champion will delve deeper than his bouts in the ring.Indeed they become part of his deeper journey into mysticism and to further his spiritual development.Ptah, along with the other members of the Dogon Clan, are involved in the universal fight against good and evil, but they have to fight these battles in both the physical and supernatural realms.

CAPOEIRA is a book that has a little of everything.Drama, suspense, and fantasy are all wrapped up in this interesting story.For fans of martial arts, this book is a must read, as the author takes us to a time when martial arts is a sport that can gather arena size crowds like football or boxing can today.The author carefully weaves in a lot of information about various types of martial arts and incorporates it into the story so well that readers who are not already fans will learn a lot, but still enjoy an otherwise fast paced story.The elements of fantasy and spirituality add additional depth to the story while the drama and suspense will keep you turning pages.My only complaint was that at times the author seemed a bit repetitive.This is a must read for martial arts fans and a book many others will truly enjoy.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

5-0 out of 5 stars A Product for the Big Screen
This novel is simply a product for the "big screen," because the settings, and the energy are absolute vehicles.Today, most young people (all races) are into the martial arts and the struggles of physical fitness and survival.The energy in "Capoeira" is profound, and it captures the black family as a strong institution.This is significant, because family structures prevail againist the odds for the betterment of society. Therefore, people can benefit in many ways from this interesting story.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worse than terrible...
I practice the art form known as capoeira, and this just isn't it. if you want to be misguided, buy the book. if you like pulp afro-fiction, rent the book. if you like good books, buy a case of these, then take them to the recycling center so they can see some use. ... Read more

18. Capoeira
by Ponciano Almeida
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2007-10-31)

Isbn: 3613505495
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19. Capoeira: African Brazilian Karate
by Yusef A. Salaam
 Paperback: 29 Pages (1983-06)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1564111105
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars Capoeira: A Dangerous Subject in the Hands of the Ignorant
It is difficult to review this "book" due to the fact that it's very poorly written, it lacks structure, and it has no particular point or theme beyond its blatant pro-African American agenda. The sad thing is that there is a very powerful connection between Capoeria and Africa, but the author misses the point completely by indulging in ficitional (and often downright incoherent) tribal Capoeira fantasies, rather than delving into its the actual history and traditions.

Poor penmanship can be forgiven, but this "book" is just plain irresponsible, without substance and grossley misleading to anyone looking for information about Capoeira

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm contacting the "publisher" now!
I'm thrilled there's been so many accurate reviews for this title, telling of its misconceptions and predjudices. But remember its possible that it could be sold other places...

I'm contecting the publisher, and if possible the author himself.
Fredom of speach, freedom of press, I know; but there's no reason why any knowing person should have to even read such ignorant things...

1-0 out of 5 stars 1 star is still too much
This author had no factual information and had ascant viewpoint into the actual waycapoeira is played and lived. Everything he has said hasbeen proven incorrect by other books, and I definitely did not like this book at all. Anyonewho said that this book would enhance their viewpoint and knowledge of capoeira, then they should learn more about it.

1-0 out of 5 stars i put it in my trash can
This book was a complete waste of my time and money.As I read it, I wondered if the author actually had any idea what capoeira is.I might be completely wrong, but I am pretty sure that the people of Portugal, who brought the slaves to Brazil, don't have blonde hair or blue eyes.I just feel bad for the rest of the people who actually bought this thinking they would learn about capoeira.

1-0 out of 5 stars A great source for capoeira DIS-information
This was single handedly the most outrageous farce I have ever seen in my life.I don't even know how this got published.It is chock full of atrocious falsities, misspellings, and story-like nonsense.Aside from all that, the book is also told in a very racist context, and practicioners ofcapoeira know that capoeira unites the races, not creates something tosegregate.Capoeiristas come in every age, gender, race, and nationality. I would definately advise writing to the publisher to get this book off thepresses.This book spreads the disease ofignorance.Avoid this "publication" at all costs. ... Read more

20. Capoeira, pequeno manual do jogador (Portuguese Edition)
by Nestor Capoeira
 Unknown Binding: 238 Pages (1998)
-- used & new: US$89.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8501048798
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