Can Capoeira Be Practiced By Both Men And Women?

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Capoeira is a martial art originating from Brazil that has gained worldwide recognition and popularity in recent years. Despite its roots in physical combat, Capoeira is much more than a fighting style; it is a blend of music, dance, and acrobatics. This unique combination has made Capoeira a beloved activity for people of all ages and backgrounds. But can Capoeira be practiced by both men and women? The answer is a resounding yes! Below, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Capoeira, its modern-day resurgence, and why both men and women can and should practice it.


What is Capoeira?

As mentioned above, Capoeira originated in Brazil as a means of self-defense and rebellion among African slaves. They were forbidden from practicing martial arts, so they disguised Capoeira as a dance, set to the sounds of traditional Brazilian instruments like the berimbau, atabaque, and pandeiro. Over time, Capoeira evolved to become a more sophisticated art form, incorporating elements of acrobatics, music, and culture. Today, it is recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


Is Capoeira only for men?

No, Capoeira is not just for men. Although it has historically been dominated by men, women have been practicing Capoeira for centuries, and many have become accomplished masters in their own right. In fact, some of the most famous Capoeira mestras (masters) in the world are women, like Mestra Suelly of New York City and Mestra Edna Lima of Bahia, Brazil.


Why do some people think Capoeira is only for men?

This misconception may stem from the fact that Capoeira was originally practiced only by men. Women were excluded due to cultural and social norms, which dictated that they were not allowed to participate in activities that were perceived as “masculine.” However, as Capoeira spread beyond the slave community and into wider Brazilian society, women began to break down these barriers and claim their rightful place in the practice.


How do women fare in Capoeira compared to men?

Women fare just as well as men in Capoeira, and many have risen to the highest ranks in the art form. Like any physical activity, Capoeira requires strength, flexibility, and endurance, but it also stresses creativity, improvisation, and musicality – areas in which women may excel. With proper training and dedication, women can match or even surpass their male counterparts in skill and expertise.


What are the benefits of Capoeira for women?

Capoeira offers a unique set of benefits for women, both physical and mental. Physically, Capoeira is a full-body workout that improves strength, agility, coordination, and cardiovascular health. It also promotes flexibility and balance, which can help prevent injuries and improve posture. Mentally, Capoeira builds self-confidence, body awareness, concentration, and quick thinking – all of which are valuable skills in daily life.


Are there any challenges women may face in practicing Capoeira?

Like any physical activity, Capoeira can pose challenges for women, especially those who are new to the practice. Some women may feel intimidated by the male-dominated environment, or may face gender-based discrimination or harassment. It’s important for women to find a supportive and inclusive Capoeira community with experienced female instructors who can offer guidance and mentorship. Furthermore, women who are pregnant or have any medical conditions should consult with their doctor before beginning Capoeira practice.



In conclusion, Capoeira is a martial art that can be practiced by both men and women, with equal potential for success and enjoyment. Although it has historical and cultural roots in male-dominated societies, today’s Capoeira community is inclusive and welcoming to all genders. Women who take up Capoeira can expect to experience a challenging and rewarding physical and mental workout, and may even find themselves drawn to its creative and vibrant cultural expressions. So why not give Capoeira a try? You might just discover a new passion.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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