Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Capoeira is often seen in films but you can try the martial art in Aberdeen

If you like the sound of a class that combines self-defence, acrobatics, dance and music, then you should give capoeira a go.

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that mixes acrobatics, dance and music.
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that mixes acrobatics, dance and music. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

From Batman and Black Panther to Ocean’s Twelve and Mission Impossible, capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that has featured in some of the biggest movies.

And if you’ve ever fancied yourself as a bit of an action hero then you’re in luck as there are capoeira classes for all ages and abilities in Aberdeen.

Combining self-defence, acrobatics, dance, music and song, Julia Wouters and her husband Mestre Baiano says their capoeira classes which run in Inchgarth Community Centre, Froghall Community Centre and at Fittie Community Hall, are for everyone to try.

Capoeira instructors Julia Wouters and Mestre Baiano, with their son Hugo in Duthie Park, Aberdeen.
Julia and Mestre, pictured with their son Hugo, hold capoeira classes in Aberdeen including at Duthie Park during the summer. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

“I really love the movement and the music,” says Julia.

“Capoeira is an art so it combines a lot of things like acrobatics, music, the rhythm but also the history that comes with it.”

Capoeira is a martial art for everyone

Originally from Switzerland, Julia says capoeira changed her life when she discovered it at the age of 19.

“I’m a shy person but with capoeira you put yourself out there so I think it really encouraged me and helped my confidence,” says Julia.

“The beauty with capoeira is that it doesn’t matter who you are or what your abilities are so for me, it was the first place that I felt I could be myself and that I was fine the way I was.”

Students at capoeira class in Aberdeen.
Capoeira has so many physical and mental benefits plus it’s very sociable too. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Helps strength and flexibility

As well as boosting her confidence and self-esteem, capoeira, which is ‘played’ in a circle called a roda, has also improved Julia’s strength and coordination.

“It’s so good for your strength, coordination and also flexibility,” says Julia.

“But the thing I really love about capoeira is that everyone brings different strengths to the practice for example someone might be very strong but not flexible and another person might be quite flexible but not strong so everyone plays differently.”

Students doing handstands at the martial arts class held at Duthie Park, Aberdeen.
Capoeira is for all ages and abilities. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Music is a big part of capoeira

Describing it as a martial art disguised as a dance, Julia says music also plays a really important part of the discipline.

“We always finish the class with music so we have instruments that we brought over from Brazil and we sing as well,” says Julia.

It was also capoeira that led Julia, 30, to meet her husband Mestre, 40, a capoeira master who is originally from Brazil.

“We met in France at a capoeira event,” explains Julia.

“Capoeira is huge in Brazil so he’s done capoeira for most of his life.”

Amelia Szczesniak, Julia and Hugo, Mestre, Catarina Bourlinova and Silvia Soares
The capoeira crew pictured from left are Amelia Szczesniak, Julia and Hugo, Mestre, Catarina Bourlinova and Silvia Soares. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Capoeira classes in Aberdeen

After meeting in France, the couple brought their love of capoeira to Aberdeen where Julia was studying.

“I came to Aberdeen to do my PhD in marine biology at the University of Aberdeen,” says Julia.

“Mestre moved over with me and we’ve been here almost seven years now.

“We started capoeira classes as soon as we moved over here.”

Students singing and playing music at the end of a capoeira class in Aberdeen.
Each class finishes on a high with some singing and music playing. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Inclusive martial art class

From children and teenagers to mums with babies and those with learning disabilities, Julia says their classes are for absolutely everyone.

“We have a 10-month old baby boy called Hugo and we always bring him to our classes,” says Julia.

“We’re very open for people to come with their kids.

“We also want to make sure that people can come if they have learning disabilities.

“Recently, we held a class for people with Down’s Syndrome and we would love to do more classes like that as capoeira is so good for inclusion.”

Mestre teaching the martial art class.
Mestre, pictured front, is a capoeira master from Brazil. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Opportunity to learn a new language

Together with the physical and mental benefits that come from capoeira, Julia says it also offers the chance to learn a different language.

“Capoeira is the best way to learn Portuguese and I’m an example of that,” says Julia.

“We sing songs in Portuguese so that’s how people can learn Portuguese.”

Looking to the future, Julia, who works as a scientist, and Mestre, who works as a delivery driver, hope to inspire more people to give capoeira a go.

“Brazil is the birth country of capoeira so it’s big over there,” says Julia.

Mestre loves showing people the art of capoeira. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

“It’s also really popular in France but in Scotland not many people have heard of it so we would like to encourage more people to try it.

“It’s a great way to meet new people and learn a lot about a new culture that is very different from the Scottish culture.”

Julia and Mestre’s capoeira classes take place at Inchgarth Community Centre every Monday at 4.30pm for children and also every Saturday at 10.30am for youths and adults.

During a capoeira class at Aberdeen's Duthie Park.
Capoeira works all the muscles. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

They also run a children’s class every Tuesday at Fittie Community Hall at 5pm and an adult class at Froghall Community Centre every Tuesday at 7pm.

Anyone who is interested is advised to get in touch before coming along via email or by phoning 07563 002500.

For more information check out the Aberdeen Capoeira Celeiro de Bamba Facebook page and their website

Wellbeing diary with Julia Wouters

Julia and Mestre, pictured with their son Hugo.
Julia and Mestre, pictured with their son Hugo, say that parents are welcome to the class with their children. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

What are your three top tips for health and wellbeing? 

A good sleep (although difficult with a baby!), eating loads of fruit and vegetables and moving every day.

How do you like to de-stress? 

By going for a walk or by seeing or FaceTiming friends or family. I also do some physical exercise like capoeira or listen to an audiobook. I also enjoy making crafts.

Do you incorporate healthy eating into your diet?

I try to. For breakfast I’ll have overnight oats and for lunch I’ll have a typical Brazilian lunch of rice, black/brown beans, vegetables and meat. For dinner I’ll have something like pasta, pizza, fish, salad, soup, noodles or a curry. Eating a variety of foods and cooking as much as possible from scratch is key I think.

Can you recommend any good health/wellbeing podcasts, books or films?

In terms of podcasts, I love ‘How to Fail with Elizabeth Day’. I also love the ‘Maisie Hill Experience podcast and Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee.

In terms of books I would recommend ‘Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Dr Julie Smith as well as ‘Period Power’ by Maisie Hill and ‘Powerful: Be the Expert in Your Own Life’ by Maisie Hill.

The other books I would recommend are the ‘Glucose Revolution’ by Jessie Inchauspe and ‘Gut’ by Giulia Enders.

Do you have any daily practices that help with your mental wellbeing? 

I try to go outside everyday and I make sure I get some human interaction everyday too. I also drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and try not to go to bed late.