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What You Don’t Know About Capoeira Could Fill a Book

October 20, 2009

Unknown Capoeira coverPop quiz! Capoeira is a(n):

A. martial art
B. traditional activity handed down from African and Afro-Brazilian slaves
C. exercise to maintain physical fitness
D. theatrical performance

Correct answer? E. All of the above! Looks like you might need to do some extra reading on Capoeira. Not to worry, we’ve got just the book for you: Unknown Capoeira: Secret Techniques of the Original Brazilian Martial Art by Mestre Ricardo Cachorro. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience as a capoeira master, Cachorro outlines attack moves and defense strategies for Capoeiristas of all levels.

Similar to the roda (the circle) of capoeira, Unknown Capoeira offers no hierarchy of moves, but rather, a guide with linked information and techniques for capoeiristas to learn and use in the dance: “Each chapter was designed to approach one technique; however, reading the whole book and finding its interconnections may broaden your knowledge of capoeira as both a ludic game and a martial art…A simple negativa can be as important as a meia-lua reversao; a classic can be as strategic as a macaco or a folha seca,”  Mestre Cachorro explains. “I do not suggest what move should be considered as a beginning or an advanced level of expertise–I prefer to leave that to your Mestre.”

Unknown Capoeira‘s strength is its organization: each chapter includes step-by-step illustrations with additional drawings for extra clarity, a statement of the objective for the featured move, a description of the precise point of impact, tips for practicing alone, and possible defense moves and counterattacks.

Detailing moves from A to Z (or from armada to xangô), you’ll learn a variety of skills from Mestre Ricardo Cachorro, just like Capoeiristas in the roda learn from the performances of their more practiced peers.

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