Capoeira Beyond Brazil
By Aniefre Essien
(Blue Snake Books, Paperback, 9781583942550, 136pp.)
Publication Date: October 21, 2008
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Until recently, Brazilians dominated the market on capoeira books, yet the form has spread across the globe over the last four decades. This expansion from the favellas (slums) to the world stage has introduced a host of new capoeira practitioners with varied lineages, techniques, and traditions. In Capoeira Beyond Brazil, Aniefre Essien brings an international, political perspective to capoeira, speaking to both the novice and aficionado, as well as to historians, martial artists, social justice organizers, and youth development professionals.
Essien shows capoeira in its complete historical context, providing not only technical instruction but a critical history that highlights the political milestones of the form. Author Essien doesn’t shy away from the realities of the capoeira community, directly illustrating principles that should be embraced, as well as established norms in practice and instruction worth questioning.
Capoeira Beyond Brazil expands the meaning of capoeira with a sociocultural consideration of the effects internalization has had on the form. Showcasing Essien’s own experiences using capoeira training at-risk youth, the book articulates the form’s empowering aspects with strategies for using martial arts to foster individual self-reliance and confidence, as well as a commitment to community development.
Aniefre Essien, aka Tartaruga, started teaching capoeira to at-risk youth in Oakland, California, in 1988. Since then he has studied with Mestres Russo, Ralil, and João Pequeño. A three-time gold medal winner at the Copa des Americas, and the editor of Mestre Preguiça’s book Capoeira: The Art of Survival, he lives in Oakland, CA.