Research and Publications

A popular art and the academic world…

Why dedicate a webpage to the relation between capoeira and scientific research and reasoning? What does an exponent of oral culture that is capoeira, have to do with one of the pinnacles of written culture, academics?

Well for starters, although the origins of capoeira lie in oral culture, and which is still strong in her today, there exists a whole corpus of literature and reflexions on capoeira that starts with the first manuals and reflections from various mestres, and results today in thousands of unique publications about capoeira. These differ from biographies, manuals, journals and experience based reflections, to full academic articles, books and PhD studies. There exists thus a whole written corpus about this ‘popular passtime’ which makes it increasingly more difficult to neglect within various areas of research. At the same time, there is a lot of application of academic knowledge by capoeira teachers in the teaching and development of this art, especially from the areas of pedagogy, sports, corporal physics, medicine, history and social sciences. 

Next to that, there is another area where capoeira and science encounter each other with frequency, which is the area of education and therapy. Increasinly, capoeira is being included in schools and institutes of higher education, sometimes as activity, sometimes as (obligatory) subject. Capoeira thus ‘intrudes’ in science’s own house, which is founded on the rational formation of individuals. There is even talk of reforming parts of the academic structure following the ‘organic logic’ of capoeira. Even though the foundational structure of capoeira make that seem unlikely, there is no denying the increase of influence these two unlikely partners have on each other today. 

As an academic, Filósofo is formed in political science, philosophy and education, and these are his principal areas of interest when it comes to the interaction between capoeira and the world. Capoeira as a form of cultural resistance, as a logic and pedagogy, and even as means of transcendence and interpretation of the world are amongst the topics that he reflects upon. Filósofo has published two books on capoeira and writes monthly columns for the website, all of which you can find on the subpages on this site. Regularly, he also gives lectures and workshops on these and other topics at capoeira events and other occasions. 

At the moment, Filósofo is engaged in a PhD research on the possibilities and alternatives that popular education (of which capoeira is an example) can have for a conception of transformative education that aims towards change.