Capoeira was devoloped by by African slaves in Brazil sometime during the 16th or 17th century. Although an exact date is impossible to determine due to the lack of written records. During this time Capoeira was illegal due to the Portugese not wanting thier slaves to know how to defend themselves. However, even after slavery in Brazil ended Capoeira was still illegal, this being due to a lot of the freed slaves who practiced Capoeira being forced into unconventional or criminal lines of work due to lack of economic oppertunity. Eventualy Capoeira was legitimised under Mestre Bimba, and was eventually made legal.