Capoeira Capoeira

 

For the last few years I am doing capoeira. I am not very good at it and because of my work and other reasons I was never a regular.
This month I started capoeira again after a 5 month break and on the first training I remembered why I love it so much. Capoeira is not only about martial arts and fighting, it is so much more. To be honest when people hear I train capoeira they start laughing and for at least 10 minutes they make fun of me. I try to show them my point of view but if it does not work I just let it go. So let me write my point of view on Capoeira for you.
I knew about capoeira for a long time and always wanted to try it. The way I learned about capoeira was the same as for most of my fellow capoeiristas : I watched “Only the strong” with Mark Dacascos.  The movie show not only that capoeira makes you strong but also shows that that the main point of capoeira is not fighting but to controll your body and release your anger and frustration with dance, training, battle, music and singing. I mentioned this five aspects because they are showing what capoeira is to me.
let me brake them down for you.

Dance

If you are like me you were born without a rhythm. I am not a dancer and I can not follow the beat. For me i need to know the sequence and I have to count the steps. In capoeira the dance is actually the battle. If you want to have fun with your “opponent” you need to listen to the music which will inspire you to have a great game. For me this is something that I still need to master but I am getting better.  So basically I am improving my self and fighting my nature.

Training

This one is simple : Capoeira is very flashy.  What I mean is that if you are watching people do capoeira you are impressed. Capoeiristas are acrobats, so it means that the training are intensive and not simple as other martial arts. To make it simple a lot of moves are done in a way that your hands are on the ground and legs in the air. If you do not bealive me just remember Eddie from Tekken. So the good parts is that your body is getting stronger and at the same time you are improving your flexibility. Other benefit is that you are fighting your fears. On my first training I was afraid to do a handstand, but now this is a normal thing for me because with training I conquered my fears.

Battle

To go into the capoeira circle  and have a game with a fellow  capoeirista you need to have courage cause you see 20 people looking at you and you feel naked. You need to know the moves, listen to the music and still try to be better then your opponent. To make it harder the whole point is about communication and you have to try not to hit and hurt your opponent. So they way you “win” is to show your dominance. So as you see it is very scary to do.
With time you realise one thing : It is not about winning but about having fun and communicating wit the opponent or to say it better your friend.  If you have watched a lot of martial arts movies they always use the phrase : ” To get to know your opponent and yourself you need to exchange fists”. This is true also for capoeira. After the game you feel connected to the person and you are really thanking him or her for the game. Even if he or she did wipe the floor with you.

Music

Part of capoeira is to play the instruments. Again for me this is hard. As I said before I do not have rhythm and I am struggling still. The thing is I am getting better and I am starting to get a sense of it. The part about music is also that when you play you have a feeling of togetherness and control. To explain when you play the main instrument you are sort of in control. You set the mood, the tempo and even the game with the song you play and sing.  If you are not playing the main instrument you are following it and adjusting so you are part of the energy that it provides and in Capoeira everything is about the energy.

Singing

This is possibly the hardest part. Not physically but mentally. For someone like me this for the most terrifying part. You are standing there and people are waiting for you to sing. You have to know the words and you have to follow the music and sometimes even decide on the proper song. So by itself it is hard to do but it gets even more complicated. You have to know the meaning of the song, cause it influences the game. So for instance if people are playing aggressively and you are leading the music and song you responsibility is to somehow tell them to chill and enjoy the game but you an not stop the music. So at that point you sing a song about togetherness and friendship so that people hear it and realise :   We are ruining the energy for all the others so we must chill. I still do not know a lot of songs and fighting with the rhythm but this is a motivator for me. If I will get better at it I will share the energy and people will enjoy the game more.

 

Feel the energy

So to sum up it is all about the energy. You learn to express yourself in a different way and share it with people. Usually it is a nice experience and after every capoeira training and after entering the roda (the circle where you play with your friend) you feel good. You expressed your self, people enjoyed it with you and you had fun. To give you an example here is a small situation that I had in capoeira. We had a presentation in the main square and I entered to play with my friend. He trains for a lot of years and he is really good. Me on the other hand not so much. During the game he was besting me all the time but I was making fun. At one point he untied a lace of my shoe and at that moment I decided to take them off and act as now i will play seriously. I have threw the shoes outside of the circle. We played for 2 more minutes and he was still besting me but I had fun. When we was done he came to me and told me : “Thanks for the game man. I haven’t have fun like this for some time now”.  So he was better, controlling the game but still he loved the energy i gave him and it made us connect on a different level and this is what it is about.

So to finish I would say just this : ” If you ever see a capoeira circle in the street just enter and play”. You do not have to know how to play. Watch for a few minutes and enter. You will not get hurt because everybody is careful and in 2 seconds can see you level. We will even teach you a move during that game. And most important you will bring new positive energy that will make us all fell better then before.

 

 

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