Capoeira is an acrobatic martial art developed in Brazil by African slaves imported by the Portuguese. Its exact origins are unclear, but it seems to have grown out of a fusion of fighting arts from several parts of Africa. Savate (pp. 193-194) might have influenced it as well. In any event, Capoeira has existed in some form since the 16th century, although it has become more organized and visible in recent times.

Dance is a traditional form of practice and demonstration in African martial arts. Capoeira inherited this trait. Tradition claims that its dances enabled slaves to practice their art under the nose of unwitting overseers. Whatever the truth, dance and Capoeira are closely linked. Musical instruments - notably the berimbau (a bow-like stringed instrument) and drums - are a fixture at the Capoeira jogo (match), and strikes occur within the context of the rhythm and beat.

Capoeira fighters claim that slaves could do the style's athletic kicks - especially its signature handstand kicks -while chained at both wrists and ankles. This might be optimistic but it's in-genre for a cinematic game. A trained mestre (master or teacher) could certainly defend himself once freed! Thus, Capoeira let escaped slaves protect themselves from recapture.

Capoeira stylists are in constant motion, mixing high-line strikes with low-line sweeps in a flowing series of attacks. Kicks make frequent use of Deceptive Attack, for kicks coming out of acrobatic moves, and Telegraphic Attack, for showy, easily spotted kicks. Fighters commonly alternate between Committed Attack and All-Out Defense (Increased Dodge). A handstand kick - executed by standing on one or both hands and then kicking out with the feet -is an All-Out Attack (Strong) with one foot or an All-Out Attack (Double) with two. Because acrobatic moves are so fundamental to the style, practitioners may learn the Acrobatic Kicks perk as soon as they have a point in Acrobatics (instead of the usual 10 points in skills and techniques).

Groundwork and defense are also important. Stylists use Sweep to take a foe to the floor and Scissors Hold to grapple a vulnerable adversary. They dodge more often than they parry, making frequent use of retreats and Acrobatic Dodge.

Early forms of Capoeira were taught informally, without an established curriculum or ranks. Fighters typically learned it from fellow slaves - or later, on the street - and honed their skills by putting the lessons to practical use. These "schools" also trained with such easily found weapons as knives, machetes, razors, and sticks. Dirty fighting tactics were common, especially holding razors between the toes (requires the style's unique Razor Kicks perk and inflicts thrust-1 cutting) and throwing dirt in the eyes. This variety of Capoeira still exists on the streets in certain places.

Modern schools often mix Capoeira with Karate, Jujutsu, and other Asian martial arts. Some have ranking systems with colored cordoes (cords, worn as belts), fairly uniform clothing, and kata-like drills. An academia of this kind might place more emphasis on jogo and sportive play, and teach Karate Art and Wrestling Sport instead of combat skills -although this isn't universally true. Students rarely get training in weapons other than sticks, which are used in a dancelike drill to make music (add Smallsword Art).

Cinematic mestres should definitely have actual combat skills and weapons training! Any cinematic ability that improves leaping and dodging is suitable, as is the Springing Attack technique.

Skills: Acrobatics; Karate; Wrestling.

Techniques: Acrobatic Stand; Axe Kick; Back Kick; Ear Clap; Feint (Karate); Hammer Fist; Head Butt; Jump Kick; Kicking; Scissors Hold; Spinning Kick; Sweep (Karate).

Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap; Power Blow.

Cinematic Techniques: Roll with Blow; Springing Attack.

Perks: Acrobatic Feints; Acrobatic Kicks; Razor Kicks; Technique Mastery (Kicking).

Knobbed Club

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