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Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art and art form, which merges physical activity with music, rhythm and dance. It is said that this Brazilian fight has a fundamental principal that can be expressed in the word - freedom. It is an activity whose essential character has been preserved over the years by virtue of its intimate connection with popular culture. It was the black slaves that arrived in Brazil who, through the practice of Capoeira as a form of amusement, attempted to forget the burden of their lives. Entertaining themselves thus, they developed, in camouflaged form, and instrument of combat, which they could employ without the need for weapons, to confront the supervisors and owners of the plantations.
After the abolition of slavery, a new struggle for survival began against economic and social marginalisation, as well as against racial discrimination. Many former slaves left the plantation and contributed to the growth of the urban centres such as Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. Under the difficult circumstances of their new life in freedom, many Capoeiristas saw no alternative other than to take jobs as hired gunmen and bodyguards for those holding power. The practice of Capoeira, which had already been forbidden and persecuted under slavery, continued to be the object of State repression.
Hundreds of Capoeiristas were exiled to the distant island of Fernando de Noronha in the 1890s. Despite this regression, Capoeira managed to survive and retain all of its vigour and beauty, enchanting all those who attend the displays in the big cities such as Recife, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro.
The Association of Capoeira Argola de Ouro (S) is Singapore's first official association in this martial arts form led by Master Ousado who has a 35 year history in the playing, learning and teaching of Capoeira under his belt.