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Axe Capoeira brings unique martial art to Kingston

What is capoeira? Is it a form of dance or self-defense?

If you ask Jean Kwanda who teaches at Axe Capoeira in Kingston, Ont., it’s a little bit of both.

“Capoeira is a martial art. It’s a blend of music, acrobatics and martial arts as well – that’s what makes capoeira so unique.”

The Afro-Caribbean martial art originated in Brazil more than two-hundred years ago, according to Kwanda. He says the acrobatic and dance-like nature of capoeira allowed the African slaves to disguise it from their masters.

“So the master when they look at it, they watch them play. They don’t think that they’re preparing themselves for war; they just say, ‘Oh yeah, just let them play capoeira.’”

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Practitioners all point to a sense of community as to what keeps bringing them back.

Marissa Monette has been practicing for capoeira for years.

“My favorite part about doing capoeira is when you have a group and everyone is doing it together and you can feel that everyone is in sync.”

Cameron McEachern, who has been practicing for two years, agrees.

“Learning new movements, tying everything together, the community, the music, the dance part of it.”

Kwanda says Eddy Gordo, a character from the ’90s video game series Tekken, played a role in introducing the martial art to a wider audience.

“That’s the beauty of it though, that game came out a long time ago, and then people just knew about capoeira from that aspect of it.”

Its popularity has since expanded though, he says.

“Now people can tell you that they’ve seen it on Instagram, seen it  on Facebook, even MMA now.”

Everyone is welcome to try the art, he says, regardless of whether they’ve been practicing it for 10 years or 10 minutes.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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