A BRAZILIAN martial arts group has received funding from Sport England to encourage young people in Acton to get active.

Axe Capoeira UK are offering eight classes for £16 for 11 to 25-year-olds wanting to try out the art form, which combines self-defence, music and acrobatics.

The classes at Reynolds Sports Centre, in the grounds of Acton High School, are led by instructor Marcus Cabeca.

He said: “The objective of the school is to promote Capoeira as a Brazilian art form in London and the UK.

"Not many people know it still so when I go into schools I can see a lot kids are still not aware of it.”

He said the strength of Capoeira was its versatility. “You don’t just learn combat technique," he said.

"There is the flow. You play the game. You have the acrobatics. I think that appeals to a lot to young people.”

He said his classes aimed to promote healthiness and multiculturalism and also targeted creative expression and self discipline.

Mr Cabeca added: “The parents love it because of how much Capoeira can help them with self-confidence and focus. They can see better results at school because they get more confidence.

"They are more confident to speak in public because in Capoeira you have to do the singing."

Classes are held on Wednesdays and Fridays from 7pm.

Young people aged 11-25 pay £2 per class for eight classes.

The group said commitment to classes would be rewarded with funding towards Capoeira uniform costs.

Sport England provided funding for the scheme through their Sportivate programme, and the initiative is also supported by Ealing Council.

For more info, see www.axecapoeirauk.com