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Grupo Maculele Academy on Magazine street is teaching capoeira–afro-brazilian martial arts to students of all ages.  Capoeira combines martial arts, dance, music, and brazilian culture.

Capoeira is purposely made to look like dancing.  Historically, it was used by slaves, so they could deceive their slave owners into thinking they were dancing.  Then the slaves would use what they learned as self-defense against their owners.

“So they were able to fool them, but at the same time it combines all the martial arts aspects,”  Christina da Silva said.

Grupo Maculele is run by Mestrando Cocada.  He’s from Brazil, and moved to New Orleans in 2006 to start his school.

“Capoeira works your entire body.  Take your time, and if you keep enjoying capoeira then you will stick with it forever,”  Mestrando Cocada said.

Capoeira is no longer used to gain freedom, but it does provide a great work-out–increasing balance and power.

“If your’e not in shape, it will get you in good shape.  If you think you’re in good shape then your’e not in as good of shape as you think you are.  It will get you in even better shape,”  Student, Dave Eidelman said.

Evelyn Jordan watched her son, Donovan take capoeira lessons, and couldn’t help but join in herself.

“My son started two and a half years ago.  I was here all the time with him, and I just wanted to do it so bad,” she said.

Mestrando Cocada promises once you start, the adrenaline rush makes it hard to stop.

Grupo Maculele is the first contemporary capoeira group in New Orleans.  The school is located at 1200 Magazine street.

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