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Saudade Article #2 - Brazilian Sports

Posted on 18 January 2017

Brazilian sports sambatribe blog

In our first post about dealing with the feeling of saudade, we talked about how keeping up with Brazilian culture is a great way to stay connected with Brazil and minimize that sentiment of longing and nostalgia. This time, I will talk to you about staying in touch with Brazil through sports!

Brazilians like to stay active and fit and sports are a big part of Brazilian lifestyle. And not all is about soccer, as some may think. In fact, Brazilians are particularly passionate about a few disciplines that are 100% Brazilian inventions. And you can practice all of them right here in the US!

1. Test your ball skills in a footvolley court

One could argue that there is no sport more Brazilian than footvolley. Born on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s, it blends soccer skills with beach volleyball in an amazing spectacle of acrobatics and ball control. It’s usually played with two players aside, and the court is a bit larger and net a bit lower than beach volleyball’s.

Many top soccer players, like Romario and Ronaldinho, are footvolley fanatics and actually credit the sport for helping them improve their soccer skills. Footvolley is a fast-growing sport in America and if you want to try it or at least watch the next tournament near you, feel free to contact our friends from or the Pro Footvolley Tour.

2. Challenge your body (and soul) by learning capoeira

A Brazilian martial art with its roots originating in Africa, capoeira combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. It is considered by many as much more than a martial art; rather, it is viewed as a way of life. Capoeira is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques.

To learn capoeira in the US, look for an accredited capoeira school near you. Belonging to a capoeira school is also a great way to meet Brazilians and other Brazil enthusiasts.

3. Learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is also a martial art, a combat sport system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. It is famous for allowing smaller people to submit larger opponents based on pure technique and leverage. It is so tactical that is often thought of as a “chess game on a mat”.

Developed by the Gracie family in Rio de Janeiro, in the 1930s, it has gained world-wide popularity in the last couple of decades, especially with the growth of mixed martial arts (MMA). Widespread in Brazil, much like capoeira, it is now part of the country’s heritage. To get started, find a BJJ school near you and make sure the teaching philosophy at the particular school is right for you.

You can find videos of the three modalities above, and more, on our Inspiration page.

Do you have any additional tips on the sports above? Anything else I have missed? Leave your comments below!

Post by Sambatribe's founder Andre W.

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