Capoeira is for Afrikan Liberation.
Our philosophy is that Capoeira is an Afrikan combat art by and for Afrikan people for the express purpose of Afrikan Liberation. Some sayings and aphorisms derived from combat experience are included below:
Biribiara wɔ ne mmerɛ - "Everything has its time"
Yɛ deɛ ɛfata berɛ a ɛfata - "Do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time."
Nyansa nyinaa ne osuahunu - "All wisdom is experience."
Yɛnni nkonim wɔ ntokwa mu nkɔdi nkoguo wɔ abrabɔ mu - "We don't win in the fight only to go lose in life."
Sɔneɛ nyɛ a, nsuo nso nyɛ. - "If the filter isn't good, the water also isn't good."
Nkonimdie firi fie. - "Victory is from home."
Àbá t'ó dára l'èyí tí a lè mú ṣẹ. - "The good idea is the one that we manifest into reality."
Asako nnya nipa, nipa na ɛgya asako. - "Capoeira doesn't leave a person, it is the person who leaves Capoeira."
Nneɛma nyinaa yɛ adeɛ baako - "Everything is one thing."
Akɔdaa yɛ deɛ mpanimfoɔ yɛ a, na ɔhunu deɛ mpanimfoɔ hunu - "When a child does what the elders do, he/she sees what the elders see."
Deɛ ɔgyina baabi a ne nananom gyinaeɛ na ɔhunu deɛ ne nananom hunuiɛ. Deɛ ɔkɔ baabi a ne nananom kyerɛeɛ na ɔhunu deɛ anka wɔpɛ sɛ wɔhunu - "One who stands where his/her ancestors stood sees what his/her ancestors saw. One who goes where his ancetors showed sees what they wanted to see."
Asɛm kyɛ a, nyansa ba ho. - "If an issue lasts for a long time, wisdom comes to it."
Ayɛ-bi-pɛn tumi ka ho asɛm - One who has done something before can speak about it.
Ayɛ-bi-pɛn ne Ayɛ-bi-daa nsɛ - The one who has done something before and the one who has done something everyday are not alike.
Obi ahoɔden kyerɛ n'ahoɔmmerɛ - "One's strength shows one's weakness"
Nyansa sen ahoɔden - "Wisdom is superior to strength"
Asɛm ba a, na yɛbu bɛ; asɛm mmaeɛ a, yɛmmu bɛ. - "When an issue arises, we cite a proverb; when an issue hasn't arisen, we don't cite a proverb"
Asako yɛ adufra - ''Kipura is chemistry."
Bɔ obi nanso mma no mmɔ wo - "Strike someone, but don't allow him/her to strike you"
Mo ṣe é rí ò jọ mo máa ń ṣe é l'ójoojúmọ́! - "'I've done it once before' ain't like 'I be doin' it everyday!'"
Deɛ wowɔ obuo ma no no, womma no mmɔ wo koraa - "The person you respect, you don't allow to strike you at all."
Nyame danseni yɛ ahonim - "Nyame's witness is self-knowledge"
Wobɛhyɛ obi nkuran a, kyerɛ no deɛ ɛtumi si - "Inspiration is showing people possibilities."
Xam sa bopp moo gëna nu wax la ko - "Self-knowledge is better than being told about oneself."
Ẹni t'ó jìn sí kòtò kọ́ ará yòókù l'ọ́gbọ́n - "A person who falls into a hole teaches everyone else wisdom."
A kìí ṣọ́ orí olórí kí àwòdi á gbé t'ẹni lọ - "We don't guard the head of someone else for the hawk to carry one's own away."
Botaeɛ na ɛbɛkyerɛ nsunsuansoɔ - "Goals will determine the outcome"
Ndox du fatte yóon am - "Water does not forget its path."
Anomaa antu a, ɔbua da - "If the bird doesn't fly, it goes to sleep without eating."
Abɔfra a ɔkɔ asuo na ɔbɔ ahina - "It is the child who goes to the river who breaks the pot."
Agyan a yɛanto no mmɔ botaeɛ - "The arrow that is not shot does not hit its target."
Wonya sika a, di bi. Wonya ntoma pa a, fira bi. Wonya nsa pa a, nom bi; Onipa nkyɛ wɔ wiase. - "If you get money, spend some. If you get good cloth, wear some. If you get a good drink, drink some; The human being does not stay long in the world."
Kosua se: mete sɛ tumi, wosɔ me mu yie a, memmɔ, woansɔ me mu yie a, mɛbɔ fam. - "The egg says: I am like power, if you hold me too tightly I should break, if you don't hold me tightly enough, I'll fall on the ground."
Menam kwan so rekɔ Kumase maduru Takorade yɛ deɛ ɛwɔ he? Wonka kwan mu a, baabi a worekorɔ no, ɛhɔ ara na wobɛduru - "What in the world is I'm on my way to Kumase I've arrived at Takorade? If you don't get caught up along the way, the place that you are going is the place where you will arrive."
Asako tumi yɛ akyerekyere anaasɛ asanesane - "Capoeira can be tying up (constraint) or untying (freedom)."
Asako yɛ abɛbuo - "Capoeira is the citation of proverbs"
Berɛ dane a, dane wo ho - "When time turns (changes), turn (change) yourself"
Nsi yankulu; tâmbi biampa - "Old earth; new steps" (i.e., old materials, new ideas)
Obiara yɛ deɛ ɛhia no - "Everyone does what he/she must do."
Onyame amma asomfena biribiara a, ɔmaa no ahodanedane - "If the Creator didn't give the swallow anything He/She gave it agility."
Yɛ den, nanso, yɛ bɛtɛɛ - "Be hard, but, be soft"
Gye wo ho di nanso nnye wo ho nni - "Believe in yourself, but don't believe in yourself."
Hinhim te sɛ afofantɔ, wɔ te sɛ ɔwɔwa - "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"
Obi nsene nwowa mpammorɔ di - "No one exceeds the bees In attacking someone."
Deɛ ɛyɛ titire yɛ titire ɛberɛ biara; deɛ aka no sesa. - "That which is important is important all the time; the rest changes."
Yɛmfa yɛn nan mmienu nsusu asuo - "We don't measure the depth of the water with both feet."
Dadeɛ bɛnamm a, ɛfiri ɔboɔ - "If iron is going to be sharp, it is due to the stone."
Dadeɛ, yɛse no boɔ so, na yɛnse no nku so. - Iron, we sharpen on a stone but not on shea-butter. (Use appropriate tools for the job).
Ọ̀bẹ kìí mú k'ó lè gbẹ́ èèku ara rẹ̀ - "A knife is never so sharp that it can cut its own handle."
Ntokwa fono wo a, na wo werɛ firi akeka - "When you the fight exasperates you, you forget biting techniques."
Obi nhyira ne tamfoɔ - "No one blesses his enemy."
Obi sɔ ne gya hye wo a, wosɔ wo deɛ hyɛ ne turum'. - "If someone lights a fire and burns you, you light your fire and shove it into his/her @$$."
Deɛ ɔbɛyɛ wo biara no, ɛnyɛ atuu bam, nti firi hɔ kɛkɛ - "Whatever he/she will do to you, it's not going to be a warm hug, so move from harm's way."
Ɔtamfoɔ mpene wo - "The enemy does not agree with you."
Ɔtamfoɔ kyerɛ kwan a, ɛnyɛ kwan pa - "When the enemy shows the way, it's not a good path."
Deɛ ɔtwitwa amene suro ayayada. - "One who cuts throats is scared to sleep on his/her back."
Mmosea twa wo nan ase a, ɛfiri fie. - "If a pebble cuts the bottom of your foot, it is from your own home."
Aboaa bi bɛka wo a, ɛfiri wo ntoma mu - "If an insect will bite you, it's from inside of your own cloth."
Ɔman bɛbɔ a, ɛfiri fie - "The ruin of a nation begins in its homes."
Ɔfatwafo akatua ne owuo - "The payment for a sell-out is death."
Aban bɛbɔ a, ɛfiri ne yam' - "If a fortress will fall, it's from inside."
Pɛ-asɛm-hwɛ nanso mpɛ-asɛm-nhwɛ - "Be curious (in the sense of wanting to gain experience) but don't be curious (in the sense of wanting to see what it's like to be beaten up)"
Wato n'anankoti asuane n'afunum - "He/she threw a chapa de costa and split his/her own underbelly."
Ankɔbea ho hia - "The homeguard is necessary"
Yɛsoma banyansafoɔ na ɛnyɛ anammɔn-tenten - "We send the wise child and not the long-legged one."
Ɔkokwan biara a gye sɛ obi yɛ deɛ wo nso woreyɛ anaa deɛ wopɛ sɛ ɔyɛ ansa na ɛyɛ adwuma nyɛ kokwan pa - "A fighting method that is dependent on the opponent doing what you are doing or what you want him/her to do before it is effective isn't a good fighting method."
Asako yɛ ɔpensiane; asakofoɔ baanu hyia a, deɛ ɔdi nkonim nko ara na na ɔreyɛ asako. Deɛ ɔdi nkoguo no, sɛ ɔdane ne ho sɛ deɛbɛn ara, nkoguo no kyerɛ sɛ na ɛnyɛ asako na ɔreyɛ no o! - "Capoeira is invincible; when two capoeiristas meet, the one who is victorious is the only one who was doing Capoeira. The one who loses, no matter how much he/she turns his/her body, the defeat signifies that it was not Capoeira that he/she was doing!"
Ɛtɔ apenten a, ma wo ho nnwo na ma w'adwene nna hɔ kann - "In the event of difficulties, stay cool and allow your thoughts to be clear"
Wonni ɛna na sɛ wokɔto sɛ obi retu ne ba fo no, fa bi kɔto wo bɔtɔ mu. - "If you don't have a mother and you go encounter someone who is advising her child, take some and put it in your pocket."
Deɛ wahinti awu no, wontutu mmirika nkɔ n'ayiase - "The one who dies from stumbling, you don't run to go to his/her funeral."
Deɛ ɔnim sɛ obiara ntumi mmɔ no, ɔno ara na obiara tumi bɔ no; deɛ ɔnim sɛ obiara tumi bɔ no na obiara ntumi mmɔ no da. Deɛ wonim sɛ ɛtumi ba nko ara na wosi ho kwan. - "The one who thinks that no one can beat him is the one who anyone can beat; the one who knows that anyone could beat him is the one who is never beaten. Only that which you know is possible will you take measures to prevent from happening."
Ɛba a, mɛsi ho kwan; ɛtoto a, mɛsane; deɛ ɛwɔ he na wowɔ afa? Mewɔ ɛba a, mɛsi ho kwan afa - "If it comes, I will block its way; if it gets entangled I will loosen it; which one are you on the side of? I'm on the side of if it comes, I will block its way."
Ɔdwene sɛ wobɛto wo nan atia no a, bɔ no twɛdeɛ; ɔdwene sɛ wobɛbɔ no twɛdeɛ nso a, to wo nan tia no - "When he/she thinks that you will kick, hand strike; when he/she thinks that you will hand strike, kick him/her"
Wopɛ sɛ wokɔ fam a, ma no nnwene soro; wopɛ sɛ wokɔ soro a, ma no nnwene fam - "When you want to go low, make him/her think high; when you want to go high, make him/her think low."
Yɛsoma banyansafoɔ, na ɛnyɛ anammɔn tenten - "We send the wise child on errands, not the one with long legs."
Wo nananom wu gya wo mpanin kasa a, wonnyae nkɔka mmɔfra kasa - "When your ancestors bequeath you the dignified language of elders, you don't leave it to go speak the language of children."
Nnɛɛmmaafoɔ se tete asoɛe yɛnsoɛ hɔ bio. Na adɛn nti na yɛntu tete-muka mmiɛnsa mu baako na ɛnka mmienu? - "Children of today say, we shouldn't do things in the ways of Our Ancestors anymore (literally, the resting place of the Ancestors, we don't rest there anymore). So why is it that they don't take out one of the three stones used to hold up the cooking pot and just leave two?"
Ɔkyɛm tete a, ɛka ne mmeramu. - "When the shield wears out, its framework remains."
Kalunga ne osuahunu no ne farebaeɛ - "Kalunga is the source of all experience"
Ɔko mu nyansa nyinaa firi osuahunu - "All wisdom of fighting comes from experience"
Nkwaseasɛm mu wɔ nyansa; nyansa mu nso wɔ nkwaseasɛm - "There is some wisdom in foolishness; there is also some foolishness in wisdom."
Ahunu-bi-pɛn sen Menhunuu-bi-da - "Having-seen-some-before is better than I've-never-seen-some-before."
Ohun t'ojú ń wá l'ojú á rí" - "What the eye is looking for is what it will see."
Akɔdaa pɛ adeɛ kɔkɔɔ ahwɛ a, yɛkyerɛ no dammaram ahahan - "When a child wants something red to look at, we show him/her a dammaram leaf"
Adi-wo-hukan se meda me ho so - "The one who has anticipated your actions ahead of time says I have prepared myself."
Obi nnyina akono nnwene kyɛm. - "No one stops at the battle front to weave a shield."
Ɛnnɛ, mɛdi nkonim daakye. - "Today, I will be victorious in the future."
Pempamsie - "Sew and keep"
Obi si wo kwan a, saa berɛ na wobɛhunu deɛ wobɛyɛ berɛ a obi si wo kwan - "When someone blocks your way is when you will know what you will do when someone blocks your way"
Ebi ntɔ wo da a, na woka sɛ biribi nni baabi - "If you haven't experienced it you say it's not real/serious."
Yɛnka nni w'akyi a na woka sɛ agorɔ yɛ dɛ - "If they are not playing the funeral drums in a procession behind you, you say the performance is sweet"
Kurotwiamansa ako atɔ ama wansane bo adwo - "The leopard has fought and fallen putting the bush buck at ease."
Owuo kita adeɛ a, nkwa ntumi nnye - "When death grabs hold of something, life cannot take it."
Berɛ a ɛwɔ sɛ yɛyɛ biribi ama yɛn nsa aka yɛn botaeɛ na ɛhia…ɛnyɛ yɛnyɛ wei ɛberɛ biara anaasɛ mma yɛnyɛ koraa - "What is necessary is when to do something to obtain our goal...it's not 'do this all the time or don't do this at all'"
Yɛmfa deɛ wawu suman nka sɛ "ma me nkwa ne akwahosan - "We don't take some who has died's amulet as say to it 'give me life and health'"
'Nim saa anka' nni kan da; obi nhu nanka, nnya nanka nka sɛ 'mehunuiɛ a, anka'. - "Knowing better never comes first; someone doesn't see a puff adder, leave a puff adder alone and then say 'If I had only seen it, then...'"
Susu biribi na biribi ansusu wo - "Measure (estimate) something so that something doesn't measure (estimate) you."
Wobɛte asako aseɛ a, sua akobɔfoko - "If you want to understand Capoeira, learn guerrilla warfare"
Obi nnim adekyee mu nsɛm - "No one knows the issues of the dawning day."
It is not possible to understand Kipura (Capoeira) without a deep understanding of Bantu Kôngo cosmology worldview, in particular the Dikenga cosmogram. For more on this, please read the resources below: