Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It was practiced by enslaved Africans in Brazil at the beginning of the 16th century. It is known for its acrobatic and complex maneuvers, often involving hands on the ground and inverted kicks. It emphasizes flowing movements rather than fixed stances; the ginga, a rocking step, is usually the focal point of the technique.
During the 16th century, the Portuguese bought, sold, traded, and transported African peoples. Brazil, with its vast territory, received almost 40% of these African people via the Atlantic slave trade. The early history of capoeira is recorded by historians such as Dr. Desch-Obi. Originally, the ancestor tradition originated from Kingdom of Kongo and was called N'golo/Engolo (known as Angola today); a type of ritual dance that used several elements of kicking, headbutting, slap boxing, walking on one's hands, deception, evasion etc. The purpose was also religious as it both provided a link to the afterlife (which was the opposite of the living world) and enabled a person to channel their ancestors into their dance.
Playing capoeira is both a game and a method of practicing the application of capoeira movements in simulated combat. It can be played anywhere, but it's usually done in a roda. During the game most capoeira moves are used, but capoeiristas usually avoid using punches or elbow strikes unless it's a very aggressive game.
Many Brazilian mixed martial arts fighters have a capoeira background, either training often or having tried it before. Some of them include Anderson Silva, who is a yellow belt, trained in capoeira at a young age, then again when he was a UFC fighter.
According to wikipedia.org