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Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, sports, and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with some very limited Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly kicks and quick leg sweeps, with some ground and aerial acrobatics, knee, take-downs, elbows, punches and headbutts. In the 16th century Portugal had one of the biggest colonial empires of the world, but it lacked people to actually colonize it. In Brazil the Portuguese colonists, like many European colonists, opted to use slavery to supply this shortage of workers. Colonists tried to enslave Brazilian natives in the beginning, but this quickly proved too difficult for many reasons, including the familiarity natives had with the land. The solution was importing slaves from Africa. In its first century the main economic activity in the colony was the production and processing of sugarcane. Portuguese colonists used to create large sugarcane farms called engenhos, farms which extensively used enslaved workers. Slaves, living in inhuman and humiliating conditions, were forced to work hard and often suffered physical punishment for any small misbehaviour. Even though slaves outnumbered the Portuguese colonists, the lack of weapons, the colonial law, the disagreement between slaves coming from different African cultures and their complete lack of knowledge about the land and its surroundings would usually discourage the idea of a rebellion. In this environment Capoeira began to develop. More than a fighting style, it was created as a hope of survival, a tool with which an escaped slave, completely unequipped, could survive in the hostile, unknown land and face the hunt of the capitaes-do-mato, colonial agents in charge of finding escapees, always armed and mounted.