BSO Capoeira


Get a taste for Afro-Brazilian martial arts

Suitability: Minimum age of 6 years

If you're looking for something a bit different to your usual exercise classes and want to try something new then why not have a taster in the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira.  Capoeira is renowned for its playfulness, non-contact nature and acrobatic elements. Adam has adapted this to a wide range of situations for example parent-child groups and people with additional learning needs and physical impairments. Capoeira can be practised by ALL age groups. His workshops are a mix of movement, song and dance.

What is Capoeira?

Born in the slaves’ living quarters, the poor neighbourhoods and run-away communities in the 1800’s by those seeking to fight for freedom and self-expression.  When slavery ended, mass migration brought this art of deception, trickery and fighting to the cities where gangs clashed over limited resources and fought for access to power and influence.

As a result, Capoeira was heavily restricted until the 1940’s.  Finally the Brazilian government acted to lift cultural barriers.  Academies teaching capoeira began to open.  Like other martial arts students in Capoeira now belong to schools, or groups, and wear uniforms and belts showing their level of experience.

…a dance?

Capoeira is an exchange of physical movements between two players – The exchange between the dancers is surrounded by a circle of clapping and singing as onlookers await their turn.  A group of musicians lead the music which in turn dictates how fast the dance takes place.

…a game?

In the exchange of kicks and movements there are feints and trips designed to catch the other out.  There are no winners; each player seeks to test their own reactions and skill by nudging gently against the limits of the opposing player.  Played fast or slow, with humour or cunning, all games begin and end in the same way; with a handshake.

Professor Adam Watkins who runs CDO Derby is one of Mestre Papa Leguas’ first students.  He started training in 2001 and began teaching in 2004. Adam is one of very few teachers in the UK with the ability to teach both Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian percussion. With over 15 years learning and teaching Afro-Brazilian percussion, check out his Drumming workshop being run on Saturday too.


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Meeting times and logistics

​Meet at the SofA 10 minutes ahead of the session.

Course info card Description
Provided By Capoeira Derby
Student / Instructor Ratio 20:2
Location Thornbridge Outdoors
Min age 6

General advice

  • The School of Adventure is run by the Alpkit Foundation and all courses are with qualified instructors.
  • To participate in School of Adventure activities you must have a valid Big Shakeout weekend ticket.
  • Any orders for activities without a Big Shakeout weekend ticket may be cancelled and refunded.
  • Course times indicate the time you will be leaving from your meeting point to returning to it.
  • Your instructor will require you to sign a participation form before your activity commences. Children under 18 must get their form signed by their accompanying parent or guardian.
  • For courses offsite you will have to provide your own transport.
  • Courses will start without you if you are late.
  • Full information

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