The National Sport of Brazil

August 25, 2023

Brazil, a country known for its vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and passionate people, is also renowned for its love of sports. While soccer (or football) might be the most popular sport in Brazil, it is not considered the national sport. In fact, Brazil doesn't officially have a designated national sport.

However, if there's one sport that comes close to being considered the national sport of Brazil, it would undoubtedly be Capoeira.

What is Capoeira?

Capoeira is a unique Brazilian martial art that combines elements of fight, dance, acrobatics, and music. It originated in the early 16th century when enslaved Africans were brought to Brazil by the Portuguese colonizers. As a form of resistance, these enslaved Africans developed Capoeira as a way to preserve their culture and defend themselves against oppression.

Capoeira is characterized by fluid and rhythmic movements that blend seamlessly with energetic music, typically accompanied by traditional Brazilian instruments. The game is played in a circle called a "roda," where participants engage in a non-contact dance-fight while showcasing their agility, strength, and creativity.

The Role of Music in Capoeira

Music is an integral part of Capoeira. It sets the rhythm and pace of the game and helps create an atmosphere of camaraderie and community. Traditional Capoeira songs, sung in Portuguese, narrate stories of African history, resistance, and freedom. The main instruments used in Capoeira music include the berimbau (a musical bow), pandeiro (a type of tambourine), atabaque (a hand drum), and agogĂŽ (a bell).

The music not only guides the flow of the game but also holds symbolic meaning within the Capoeira community. Each song and rhythm has its significance and can convey messages, emotions, or instructions to the participants. The combination of music, movement, and game creates a vibrant and captivating experience.

Capoeira Today

Capoeira has evolved significantly over the centuries. From its origins as a secretive martial art practiced by enslaved Africans, it has now become a celebrated cultural expression and a popular activity for people of all ages in Brazil and around the world.

Today, Capoeira schools, known as "academias," can be found in numerous cities across Brazil and many other countries. These academias not only teach the physical aspects of Capoeira but also strive to preserve its history, traditions, and philosophy.

Capoeira is not just a sport; it is a way of life that promotes physical fitness, self-expression, discipline, and respect. It fosters a sense of community and teaches valuable life lessons through its philosophy of inclusivity, resilience, and perseverance.


While Brazil may not officially have a national sport, Capoeira holds a special place in the hearts of Brazilians. It represents the rich cultural heritage of the country and serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and creativity of the Brazilian people.

So, the next time you think of Brazil and its sports, remember Capoeira and the intricate combination of movement, music, and history that makes it a cherished part of Brazilian culture.

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