Women in Capoeira
March is a month of significance, because it is a month dedicated to celebrating women, what they can do and have achieved. Capoeira is one of those things that started as a way to earn freedom, not just for men, but for women as well. Unlike a lot of martial arts and sports that you see in today's societies, Capoeira really caters to no particular gender. It's a martial arts that is very inclusive, and is something that has grown into empowering women and men alike.
In the roda (circle that capoeiristas play in) you should be focused on playing a good game, not on the other persons' gender, and that is what makes Capoeira so unique. In Capoeira, we all get tired, we all get blisters, and we all train. In sports like Gymnastics, Swimming, Wrestling and so many others, the divisions of gender are very apparent. However, in a martial art like Capoeira, we are all train and play together, as one whole community, regardless of gender, age or ability. In Capoeira, women are just as important as the men playing, and with everyone working together to create a community, everyone is just a lot happier. Women play capoeira when they're pregnant! Now if that doesn't say joy, happiness & commitment, then what else does?
Not only is Capoeira extremely inclusive towards women, but its actually improving women's heath too. By now, everyone knows that exercise increases psychological well-fare as well as a better lifestyle by being healthier. However, especially for women, the benefits of exercise are endless, from improving mood to increasing a build in their muscles and confidence. Capoeira is a martial art that brings people together, and that certainly stands true for women in Capoeira as well. When women are in a community that constantly praises and builds each other up, women are no doubt to continue to grow and improve.
However, Capoeira hasn't always been so inclusive. Traditionally, women is Capoeira were left on the side lines of the roda with big skirts dancing on the side. Not allowed to practice Capoeira like the men were, only when society started to advance in women's rights, were women finally allowed to practice Capoeira. Which is why traditionally there are more male teachers than female teachers in Capoeira. However, women like Maculelê's own Mestra Sara are completely changing the game. Making Capoeira become a martial art that is inclusive and innovative in Women's fight towards equality.
Capoeira practitioners are human, and humans have definitely had (and sometimes still have) their faults when it comes to unequal treatment of women. Capoeira, like society, has seen many changes over the years and continues to evolve. Today, there are many schools where women are treated equally and many schools where women are leaders and teachers, and it's helping bring equally to everyone. At the end of the day, it's a beautiful martial art that helps promote a feeling of power and confidence in women.
Women's roda, Brazil 2017