Daise Zannoni

Developing Leaders Through Graduate Education

The Graduate School & University Center of the City University of New York




Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Ph.D.

Previous Research: Capoeira Practice in the United States: What attracts Americans to Practice Capoeira?

The practice of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art involving dance, music, fighting and philosophy has been growing exponentially across the globe. Capoeira has now spread to the United States and has found a strong following, becoming a topic of interest for researchers in the social sciences. This research will explore the growing popularity of Capoeira in the U.S. to the practice consequences of commercialization surrounding this art form. The practice of capoeira in the U.S. has been commercialized and has influenced the way it is practiced in Brazil. This project aims to examine what attracts people in the U.S. to the practice of capoeira over other martial arts forms. As an initial stage in research, a brief review of the literature was performed. Literature showed that the unique features of capoeira that include music, dance-fight and especially philosophy attract practitioners. Ironically, some aspects of capoeira's philosophy tend to clash with core American values. For instance, malicia, which means deception, encourages one who practices capoeira to fake intentions during the game, a feature of capoeira that conflicts with the American value of honesty and integrity. Future research will explore the clash further and how Americans benefit from many of capoeira's distinguishing characteristics.