Graduation ceremony: Bermuda’s Capoeira Camara students with their instructor Ivan Outerbridge in Montreal.
Graduation ceremony: Bermuda’s Capoeira Camara students with their instructor Ivan Outerbridge in Montreal.
Eight local capoeira ­martial arts students ­represented Bermuda in Montreal in a changing of belts graduation ceremony.

The members of the Capoeira Camara group, ­including one youth ­member (13-years-old), spent three days of intense training, workshops and performances at the annual batizado e Troca Corda.

The performance is a showcase done by the ­students of capoeira featuring Afro Brazilian Dances such as Maracatu, Samba De Coco, Maculele and, of course, capoeira. This year 75 people attended from Winnipeg, Bermuda, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Brazil.

Two local 'capoeiraistas' graduated to their next belt level - Angie 'Café' Singh to amarelo (yellow - the third belt) and Otero ­'Tuberao' Smith to amarelo/laranga (yellow/orange - the fourth belt).

Erek 'Vagalume' Fox, Shaquan 'Ohla de Tigre' Williams, Rachel 'Juaniha' Dill, Jonathan 'Ratinho' Dill and Supervised ­Instructor Ivan 'Meio Kilo' Outerbridge participated in the workshops.

Developed in Brazil over 400 years ago, Capoeira is a form of martial art that combines self-defense with music and acrobatics. It is believed that Capoeira developed in the streets of Brazil after the Abolition of 1888 by former slaves. These East and West Africans and native Brazilians could not find work ­because they were illiterate and only possessed skills related to slavery.

Instructor Ivan Outerbridge said: "Love of music united these cultures and it was not long before the roots of capoeira were planted. Music inspired dancing, comraderie ­inspired play, aggression ­inspired self-defense.

"At first glance, capoeira looks like a choreographed dance between two people because it is played to ­music and the game is a seamless combination of circular movements. To those who train, capoeira is a game of questions and answers, call and response. It is a dialogue between two players where movements such as kicks, esquivas, and floreios, represent the words of the language. The challenge lies not only in the ability to form fluid sentences with these ­movements, but to form them in such a way that they respond to the "sentences" being formed by your opponent."

Capoeira has been in Bermuda since 2000 and has slowly been growing ever since. With the new ­introduction of youth and ­beginner classes Mr. Outerbridge is looking to grow the class even more in preparation for their ­batizado here in Bermuda next November. With more than 24 years of martial arts experience in Bermuda, Mr. Outerbridge has become very passionate about capoeira, which he holds the rank of laranga/azul (orange /blue), the 6th belt out of 15 and enjoys spreading part of the rich Brazilian culture.

Over the years, he has studied Ninjitsu, Arnis (stick & Knife fighting), and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and Sanuces Jujitsu under Kyoshi Arnold Allen.

For more information on classes contact Ivan 'Meio Kilo' Outerbridge at 232-6261 or their website www.capoeirabermuda.bm Classes are at Victor Scott School.