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Martial arts meets music


When Scott McBride brought capoeira to Bend, he viewed it as an opportunity to share his passion. McBride beams with excitement as he discusses the layered and rich art of capoeira, a form of martial arts that combines music, dance, acrobatics, community, and culture. If you're looking for a way to stay alert physically and intellectually this winter, capoeira may be the answer.

Unlike traditional sparring in martial arts, meetings between two capoeiristas are called a "jogo de capoeira," literally translated, a "game of capoeira." While there are still active attacks, much of the practice is comprised of preventing, avoiding, and responding to your opponent in a playful, rhythmic, and fluid way.

McBride describes capoeira as a come-as-you-are activity that is joyful and challenging. Anyone can begin, bringing with them their experiences in whatever element of capoeira they are drawn to. Some may have a background in gymnastics and be drawn to the acrobatic movements. Others will enjoy the musical component of capoeira, either as musicians themselves, or as dancers. Many will appreciate the cultural history, which has origins in Brazil and roots to Africa through the Brazilian slave trade.

In fact, capoeira is believed to have begun as covert battle training for Brazilian slaves. Wishing to be prepared for self-defense and physical combat, they cloaked their practice by pairing it with music, subversively beguiling slave owners into thinking they were only dancing.

Flavorful, rich, and fun, capoeira holds the potential to ignite a passion in those who commit to practicing it with patience and perseverance. McBride and his students say they love the energy and engagement they get while being physically challenged. Unlike chiseling away hours on a treadmill this winter, McBride and those who join the fun will enjoy the multifaceted arena of a workout rich in culture, music, and movement. To learn more, check out

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