Diasporic and transnational internationalization: The case of Brazilian martial arts

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Angela da Rocha
Felipe Esteves
Renato Cotta de Mello
Jorge Ferreira da Silva


Brazilian diasporas overseas has received little academic interest. Nevertheless, estimates suggest that around three million Brazilians currently live in other countries. The present study looks at a specific type of diaspora: small entrepreneurs from the Brazilian martial arts sector. The study adopts the case study method of research. The unit of analysis is comprised by the martial arts (capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu). Data analysis used secondary and primary data from interviews. Cross-case analysis searched for similarities and differences in the internationalization processes of the two martial arts, using several analytical devices, such as chronologies, timelines, matrices, and pattern matching analysis. Evidences suggest that the concept of diasporic internationalization fits better capoeira than Brazilian jiu-jitsu. However, Brazilian jiu-jitsu shows an initial combination of diasporic and transnational characteristics, but more recently became fully transnational. Brazilian jiu-jitsu became a truly global business, formally organized and professionally managed. Capoeira, however, is still seen as non-commercial and as the preservation and practice of an ancient art. Such ethos, combined with the origin of its members in lower economic classes and their restricted access to capital turns internationalization into an often less profitable activity.


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Rocha, A. da, Esteves, F., Mello, R. C. de, & Silva, J. F. da. (2015). Diasporic and transnational internationalization: The case of Brazilian martial arts. Brazilian Administration Review, 12(4), 403-420. https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-7692bar2015150042

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