O Cometa: Is capoeira just a fight?For more of this thought-provoking article, see the whole piece (in Portuguese) in our archives.
MM: In Brazil, capoeira accentuated its martial aspect because it had to be used as such. Capoeira came to Brazil in its original form, as a cultural manifestation, as a ritual of the black African religion. But they saw that this manifestation could be used as a liberation movement. The knife was not made to kill, but it can kill. This is what happened with capoeira. The knife is a weapon; there are times when it is a weapon and times when it is an instrument to cut. Just like the berimbau, it is an instrument, but you can use it like a weapon. Capoeira was this, but people limit themselves to see it only in the latter form. I believe that this incapacity, this laziness that we Brazilians have to abstract things is what makes it difficult for us to understand the most mystical aspects of capoeira.
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