Afro-Brazilian martial arts form thrives in Decatur

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What do you get when you start with martial arts, then add in some dance, live music, and acrobatic moves?  The answer is Capoeira, and a Decatur studio is helping men, women, and children master this Brazilian art form, one ginga at a time.

Capoeria Maculelê Decatur is a martial arts center located in Decatur, founded by Francisco Antônio Rodrigues da Silva (aka Mestre Fran) and Sara Janneni (Mestra Sara).  Together, the two have helped introduce the Brazilian martial arts form Capoeira to people across North Georgia, passing on a tradition that stretches back hundreds of years.  According to the studio’s website, the roots of Capoeira​​​​​​​ can be traced to African slaves in Brazil, who were forbidden to openly practice self-defense and thus disguised it using music and dance. 

Today, Mestre Fran and Mestra Sara offer classes for all age groups, ranging from a “Little Kids” class for children under the age of seven to Adult Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced Classes.  Instructors say practicing Capoeira​​​​​​​ offers many benefits to students, including building physical strength and self-confidence.

Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken is always looking for a new way to get in shape, and spent the morning with the teachers and students of Capoeria Maculelê Decatur learning more about the vibrant and energetic form of martial arts.  For a full list of classes and class locations, click here.