The Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, noted for its acrobatic movements and kicks, has been featured in numerous films, TV shows and video game series.


  • Only The Strong, a 1993 action film, is the only Hollywood film that showcases capoeira from beginning to end. While many capoeira fans appreciate the film out of a sense of irony, and as a showcase for the sport, it is generally considered to be of poor quality, probably due to almost completely unrealistic impressions of Brazil.
  • More recent and more widely seen movies such as 2004's successful Meet the Fockers and Ocean's Twelve both featured capoeira in several short, but memorable scenes. "Meet the Fockers" portrays capoeira as a useless but amusing joke martial art, while an antagonist in "Ocean's Twelve" uses his proficient capoeira training to bypass an advanced laser-based security system.
  • Ex-wrestler turned actor "The Rock" performed a fight scene with several capoeiristas in the film The Rundown.
  • The movie The Quest, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, had a scene during the tournament of the Golden Dragon in which Cesar Carneiro, one of the capoeira performers from Only the Strong, fights a savateur in the first round and a Chinese martial artist in the second.
  • Rooftops directed by Robert Wise has also featured a number of capoeira scenes.
  • In "The Mighty Quinn" featuring Xavier Quinn (Denzel Washington), the Chief of Police of a Caribbean Island and his childhood friend, Maubee (Robert Townsend), who becomes the chief suspect in a murder. Xavier and Maubee fight each other using capoeira in one of the final scenes of the movie, and Xavier performs a rasteira, a signature leg sweep, in one of the first scenes.
  • In Kickboxer 4, Mestre Amen Santos, also from Only The Strong portrays a capoeirista fighter in the film's tournament. [1]
  • Catwoman displayed some capoeira moves during some fights scenes. Actress Halle Berry followed a thorough training with Mestre Boneco of Capoeira Brasil.
  • Mestre Poncianinho Almeida from Cordão de Ouro, London, has filmed a fight sequence in Hogwarts for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Cordão de Ouro (1977) is also the title of a futuristic Brazilian movie. Capoeira is central to the plot, and the movie stars several well known mestres, such as Nestor Capoeira and Mestre Camisa.
  • Actress Charlize Theron also trained in the Afro-Brazilian martial-art with Professor Xingu of capoeira Batuque for her role in Æon Flux.
  • Martial arts movie Death Trance (2005) directed by Yûji Shimomura includes a fight scene involving a fight with a highly stylized version of capoeira contemporânea and incorporates curved blades jutting from the sides of the shoes against a swordsman. The blades in the shoes were probably in reference to a common misconception that capoeiras in the old days held or attached razors to their feet when fighting in the streets (in fact razors and knives, when used, were held in the hands). This actually true. Blades were held between the toes. Capoeira was often used by criminal elements in Brazil, and was not nearly as pretty as it is today.
  • In the 2005 Thai action movie The Protector, there is a short fight sequence with the main character Tony Jaa fighting a capoeirista (Lateef Crowder), who was one of the three opponents he faced in the temple fight scene. The fight was presented with a contrast considering Tony Jaa's athletic style vs Lateef Crowder's capoeira skills. Lateef Crowder was reported to have injured his achilles tendon during filming, which is why the fight was cut short in the film.
  • The 2006 film Idlewild featured a short but notable segment of capoeira choreography.
  • The 2006 film Dead or Alive features a scene in which the ninjutsu practitioner Hayabusa uses ground capoeira to fend off attackers.
  • Carlos Saura has announced that he will be going to Brazil early 2007 to make a film about capoeira and other local rhythms.
  • In the 1997 film Mortal Kombat:Annihilation, the character Raiden fights multiple Reptile-like creatures. The last one he fights uses many capoeira kicks and evasions.
  • Many of Wesley Snipes' action films include scenes involving capoeira, as it is one of several martial arts he practices.
  • Mestre Bimba: A Capoeira Illuminada (2006) is a documentary about Mestre Bimba and Capoeira.
  • The French Connection, a company which is a prolific producer of gay pornographic videos, has released at least twenty-seven Capoeira-themed films.[2]
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Abe Sapien uses Capoeira techniques to evade Mr. Wink, a cave troll. [3]
  • In a scene from the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indy and Mutt are attacked by a pair of capoeirista while exploring a Peruvian graveyard.
  • In Transformers Jazz is shown performing various capoeira movements when he is introduced to Sam Witwicky, and again later in the movie while battling Decepticons.
  • In the bonus featurette "Planning the Punches" from the DVD of The Bourne Ultimatum (film) actor Joey Ansah explains he warms up for fight scenes by performing Capoeira.


  • In the American television series, Kung Fu, the main character, Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) encounters an Afro-Brazilian businessman, Isaac Montoya (Moses Gunn) who is trained in capoeira. This occurs in season 1, episode 13, The Stone which originally aired April 12 1973.
  • Capoeira first entered public consciousness in the UK by exposure from the Nokia Mobile 2000 advertisement showing Mestre Sylvia and Contra-Mestre Marcos of the London School of Capoeira performing on a beach.
  • One of the BBC 'Rhythm & Movement' idents introduced to BBC One in 2002 shows a capoeira dance, which raised its profile in the United Kingdom. While the attention capoeira has received has caused a boom of interest in this martial art, more skeptical capoeiristas have argued that the way it is used in the media is misrepresentative of what capoeira truly is.
  • Stargate SG-1 also used several capoeiristas from Grupo Axé Capoeira, namely Mestre Barrão, as well as several professores, instructors and students in many stunt choreographies, and conceptualized a race of alien beings practicing a martial art that is based solely on capoeira. It formed the basis for the martial arts style called Mustaba, used by the Jaffa people serving Imhotep in the Stargate SG-1 universe. The fighting style was highlighted in the fifth season episode The Warrior. In the Season 6 episode Allegiance, some Jaffa can be seen playing capoeira at the alpha site in the background of a conversation between Jack O'Neill and Jacob Carter/Selmak.
  • In the anime Tenjho Tenge, the character Bob Makihara uses this style.
  • In the Immortal Grand Prix microseries, Liz can be seen doing "image training" that involves Capoeira.
  • In the animated version of Fullmetal Alchemist, the homonculus Envy uses many Capoeira-styled attacks in his fight scenes. Most notably he can be seen using it during his fight against the series protagonist in the penultimate episode; he also uses it in the fourth season ending credits and during his fight with Greed in the series midpoint.
  • In the manga and anime One Piece, The Straw Hat Pirates' chef, Sanji, uses a fictional martial art in which one only attacks with the legs and feet. It draws heavily on capoeira.
  • In the anime Samurai Champloo, one of the main characters, Mugen, uses a fictional sword art that greatly resembles the methodology, theory, and movements behind capoeira, although the director Watanabe is quoted as saying it is derived from breakdancing. However, the idea of trickery, as well as the high focus on reading others movements are both exceedingly similar to Mugen's style.
  • In both the anime and manga of the series Death Note, the character L is seen performing Capoeira in two fights against Light Yagami and in the second opening sequence. In the Another Note novel, it is confirmed that Capoeira is the fight style L learned, because he was impressed after seeing Naomi Misora use it.
  • In the hit martial arts cartoon Xiaolin Showdown, one of the main protagonists, Raimundo, practices capoeira throughout the series.
  • In the series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Zack, the Black Ranger, uses a martial art style that includes dance, something he refers to as "Hip Hop Kido".
  • While he does not specialize in capoeira per se World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar John Hennigan of the ECW Brand uses a number of breakdance kicks reminiscent of the capoeira style.
  • The episode "The Headband" in Avatar: The Last Airbender features a dance party in the last few minutes of the episode. The dance performed by Aang and Katara incorporates many Capoeira moves and techniques.


  • Batman is said to be trained in all "127 major martial arts". The DC Ultimate Guide to the character mentions Capoeira by name as one of these, as well as the Greg Rucka novelization to the "No Man's Land" story arc. Other characters in Batman's canon are also seen using capoeira like movements, including, notably, the most recent Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, although it is noted that she has no dominant style. Her natural ability of reading movement, however, and her resulting dodges are very similar to capoeira principals.
  • The afforementioned characters from One Piece, Death Note, and Tenjho Tenge all originate as comic book characters. These characters are Sanji, L and Naomi Misora (In "Another Note: the Los Angeles BB Murder Case" only), and Bob respectively.


  • Several pop and rock artists, such as Soulfly, Sepultura, Ben Harper, Leftfield and Gjallarhorn have published albums containing one or more tunes featuring the berimbau.
  • The automobile company Mazda uses a capoeira song, Zum Zum Zum, in their advertisements.
  • Pop singer Ricky Martin trained Capoeira under the group Capoeira Abolicao in Miami, Fl. He has showcased the art in many television interviews, worldwide.
  • The song "The Garden" on turntablist Cut Chemist's 2006 album "The Audience's Listening" is a remix of capoeira music, featuring a berimbau, singing in Portuguese and a traditional capoeira beat.
  • The music video of The Obvious Child by Paul Simon features Capoeira at the beginning 0:00 and end 4:03. This was the first single from The Rhythm of the Saints, released in 1990. [4]
  • The 2006 music video of Mas Que Nada by Black-Eyed Peas and Sergio Mendes features, among various Brazilian dance forms, several scenes of capoeiristas (Mestrando Cocada & Professor Marcinho) playing.
  • Basshunter's video Vifta Med Handerna ("Throw Your Hands Up") has clips of Capoeira fighting moves.
  • Capoeira-related terminology, such as ginga and roda, are included in the lyrics to Nelly Furtado's song "Explode," from her Folklore album.
  • In Christina Aguilera's music video Dirrty, capoeira can be clearly seen roughly 3:55 into the video.
  • A short scene of capoeira can be seen approximately 2:31 into Santana and Wyclef Jean's video for Maria Maria.
  • The Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury includes capoeira rhythm, a berimbau, and capoeira chant in her song "Levada Brasileira", on the Bale Mulato album.
  • A capoeira roda is featured in Aaliyah's music video "4 Page Letter" about 3:04 into the video.
  • A scene showing capoeira is shown in the music video for Fall Out Boy's song, "I Don't Care".
  • There are scenes of capoeira clearly evident throughout the video for Another Levels song "Freak Me".


  • Breakdancing, developed in the 1970s, has many analogous moves. Indeed, many Brazilians had immigrated to the US, and particularly to New York, by that time, and would practice capoeira in the streets where it was able to influence this new dance form. However, the original breakdancers of the early 1970s based their style primarily on actors in Asian kung fu films, rather than capoeira.
  • The Southern California hardcore metal scene also uses capoeira as an evolution of the early 1980s "slam dancing". With many of the basic traditions of the "roda" and "volta-ao-mundo", the participants engage in capoeira at 144-180+ beats per minute. Notably the fans that follow bands such as "Bleeding Through" and "Audora", dance in this manner. This style is also known as "playing the clown," because the fans appear to look like clowns in relation to more legitimate and inventive forms of hardcore music and subculture.
  • Cantonese pop star Denise Ho hired Instructor Berimbau of Grupo Axé Capoeira to teach her and choreograph a piece for a large show in Hong Kong.
  • Mestre Amen was also involved in many of Janet Jackson's videos from the Rhythm Nation album.

Video games[]

Capoeira has found its way into a number of Video games, giving the sport introductory access to untold millions of teenagers and young adults.

  • Blanka from Street Fighter II was assumed to use Capoeira as his fighting style. Elena, who would appear in Street Fighter III many years later, however, was confirmed to be the first character in the Street Fighter universe to use Capoeira.
  • In the games King of Fighters: Maximum Impact and King of Fighters 2006, the character Soiree Meira uses capoeira as his fighting style.
  • One of the earliest video games to make use of capoeira was the 1993 Sega Genesis 2D-fighting game Eternal Champions. In this game, the Atlantian warrior Trident applied the technique in combination with several genre-typical supernatural attacks. As with all characters in the game, Trident's biography in the "Information" menu offered a brief description and history of the fighting style.
  • Three capoeiristas, Eddy Gordo, Tiger Jackson and Christie Monteiro fight in the popular games Tekken 3, Tekken 4,Tekken 5 and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection.
  • Lisa "la Mariposa" from Dead or Alive 4 is a female lucha libre wrestler practising the capoeira style.
  • Chris Bowman from the video game Urban Reign practices capoeira.
  • In the game The Bouncer, Volt's rival, Echidna, uses capoeira as her fighting style.
  • In the early Fatal Fury video games, the characters Richard Meyer and Bob Wilson used capoeira.
  • The Neo-Geo game Rage of the Dragons features a Brazilian girl named Pupa, who practices capoeira regional.
  • In the massively multiplayer RPG World of Warcraft, troll males perform capoeira moves as a non-combatitive dance emote.
  • In addition to characters, several capoeira kicks have appeared in several wrestling games, including the WWE Smackdown! series.
  • In the competitive dancing game Bust a Groove for the PlayStation, a pair of aliens named 'Capoeira' are featured as a boss, incorporating the dance into their routine.
  • In the video game The King of Fighters XI, a Japanese female fighter named Momoko uses capoeira combine with Psychic Powers. This is uncharacteristic because the Psycho Soldier team all practice Chinese Martial Arts.
  • In the video game Legacy of Kain: Defiance, the male vampire hunters use capoeira for their fighting style.
  • The Japanese name of the Pokémon Hitmontop is カポエラー (Kapoera), which fits perfectly its fighting style and moves.
  • The Digital Devil Saga games depict the character Gale performing martial arts similar to Capoeira in some of his physical attacks.
  • Capoeira Fighter is a free 2d fighting game with half characters capoeiristas
  • Martial Arts: Capoeira RPG action game created by Twelve Interactive for PC , Wii , PS2 and nitendo ds
  • In the game Saints Row 2, the fighting style for the Sons of Samedi looks similar to Capoeira
  • Capoeira Legends: Path to Freedom is a 3d action game created by brazilian developer Donsoft Entertainment for PC. With a pace a bit more strategic, the game received colsultancy by Escola de Capoeira Água de Beber of Mestre Vuê.


  1. "Joselito 'Amen' Santo". The Internet Movie Database (1990). Retrieved on 22 June 2009.
  2. Black & Tan Videos
  3. Elliot, Sean. "Exclusive Interview: DOUG JONES RETURNS TO THE BPRD FOR 'HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY'". iFMagazine (17 January 2008). Retrieved on 22 June 2009.
  4. Simon, Paul. "The Obvious Child". MTV (7 July 2005). Retrieved on 31 January 2008.

uk:Капоейра у масовій культурі