A Little Bit of Capoeira Philosophy

In December 1990, the magazine Cometa Itabirano, a little journal published in Itabira, Minas Gerias, did an interview with the leader of the Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelourinho, Mestre Moraes. Here is an excerpt:

O Cometa: Is capoeira just a fight?

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.
For more of this thought-provoking article, see the whole piece (in Portuguese) in our archives.

There have been a number of requests for more mestre interviews. We have only so many in our archives. Please consider interviewing your mestre or teacher, or sharing a story of your own, and passing it onto our archives. Thank you!

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