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Capoeira fighting for recognition as a sport

The Asian Federation of Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, is being launched by month end, to be headquartered in Macau

The Asian Federation of Capoeira will be officially launched on October 27, and headquartered in Macau.
Speaking to Business Daily, Edilson Almeida – a.k.a. Master Eddie Murphy, one of the fiercest representatives and advocates of the Brazilian practice – said the Federation is a culmination of many years of work and promotion of a martial art practice that evolved within the African populations transported to Brazil.
According to the founding President of the recently created Federation established nearly a month ago the aims are to enable the “qualification” of people engaged in the teaching of capoeira in Asia, as well as the “professionalisation” of the practice.
The countries and localities comprising the Federation are Macau, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, and Singapore.
Mr. Murphy, who has been practicing the martial art since the age of ten, for 40 years, also hopes the Federation will enable it to seek “sponsors” for organising championships, invite masters from Brazil to train teachers in Asia, and invest in the promotion of the sport.
“Because capoeira is a sport,” claims the master, adding that although it is strongly linked to culture, it is above all a physical activity that should be recognised as such.
“The main problem we face is the fact that capoeira is not yet recognised as a sport in Brazil, and neither can benefit from it abroad,” he told us.
In addition, he said that it has a fundamental relationship with the Portuguese language, citing the terms and songs belonging to the routine of the practice. So it is also a way to “educate through the sport.”
Mr. Murphy explained that in the nine years in which he has been practicing and teaching in Macau, he has never received subsidies from the Macau SAR Government or the Brazilian Consulate in Hong Kong.
“We know that the Macau [SAR] Government funds all types of sports. The moment we win the fight to recognise it as a sport [in Brazil], we can perhaps benefit from that here as well,” he said.