Renata polo shirtCapoeira is an Afro-Brazilian mix of martial art, dance and music. It originated in the 16th century, when African slaves in Brazil used it as a way to mask their martial arts training, which was forbidden to them. The music and movement were designed to confuse and distract people.

Long-practised in the suburbs in Brazil, Capoeira was recognised as a Brazilian national sport in the 1970s.

Today Capoeira is still the same mix of movements, without physical contact, that show what martial arts moves opponents could carry out, but which flow like a dance.

A number of combination movements are the basis of Capoeira; ginga is the foundation – movements that go along with the music to keep the rhythm of the practice; bencao and meia-lua are kicks that you mix with the ginga to attack; queda de rim and esquiva are movements to defend yourself.

Renata demonstrates a move

Capoeira is a very good aerobic, balance, strength and power workout and it is suitable for everyone, as it can be adapted to any level of ability or fitness. It can be very precise, agile and dynamic, or more focused on balance, rhythm and flexibility, so exercising both the body and the mind.

Classes at Hands-on Health are taught by Renata Saracchi Bruck. Her FitFlow sessions offer beginners the chance to learn Capoeira movements.

See the class timetable, call 01395 224207 or email for more information.