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24 September 2014
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Dougie's agility makes him a natural at caopeira
Dougie with York capoeira instructors

The art of capoeira

It's quite likely that if you've seen the latest BBC One idents depicting various forms of movement, you've recognised tango, tai chi, skateboarding and bollywood. But what exactly is the martial art shown in the other one? Capoeira, that's what.

Capoeira classes in York

  • Tuesday: 6 - 7pm at the Priory Street Centre, York. All abilities welcome. £4 per class.
  • Wednesday (during term time only): 5 - 7pm at York Univeristy. All abilities welcome, but open to students at the university only. £5 per class plus £5 membership fee.
  • Thursday: 6 - 8pm at the Priory Street Centre, York. All abilities welcome. £6 per class, or £8 for both this class and the Tuesday class.
  • Friday: 6 - 7pm at the Next Generation Gym, Hull Road, York. All abilities welcome. £3 per class for gym members, £4 for non-members.

All the way from Brazil, capoeira (pronounced cap-wear-a) has finally made its way to North Yorkshire - thanks to instructors Edy Alves and and Cris Gonsalves, who run classes in York every week.

Trained in Arapoti Parana in Brazil, Edy and Cris have been studying capoeira since 1997. But as Edy explains, you don't have to be an expert to do it.

"People of all abilities are able to do it... in our classes we have people from the age of four doing it, right up to those in their 50's"

Capoeira instructor Edy Alves
Edy Alves the folding man

As well as appealing to people of all ages, capoeira is good for developing a whole range of skills too. The energetic kicks, ducks and twists involved help to increase agility, flexibility, strength, speed and coordination.

Capoeira's not bad for weight loss either. One regular at Edy and Cris's classes, Jos, says he lost a stone during his first two months doing the sport. Though he admits he's been doing little else since starting!

One of the reasons Jos and more than 40 others in York enjoy capoeira so much is the sense of fun. As well as improving fitness, capoeira acts as a way for people to come together to play and sing, since music is an integral part of it.

All too good to be true? Find out for yourself by going along to one of Edy and Cris's classes.

Capoeira photo gallery >
Download BBC 1 idents >
York capoeira website >
National capoeira website >
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last updated: 20/09/06
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