Capoeira is everything the mouth eats. -- Mestre Pastinha
My latest freelance assignment is writing an article about capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates self-defense maneuvers. To give my readership a better view of the dance I decided to sit in on a capoeira class. I met with a capoeira instructor to get an interview. The class had five students. We practiced outside the dance studio on the dewy grass.
We started with Ginga, the most basic movement of Capoeira. All Capoeira movements derrive from this dance-like fighting position.
The most important concept to remeber in Capoeira is keep your movements fluid.
Followed into Cocorinha and Negativa. In Negativa You can drop into the Negativa from the Ginga You have one leg bent and your weight should be balanced on its football. The other leg is stretched with the toes pointing to the side. Out of a degree of difficulty (1 being easy/5 being hard as hell)This movement was hard as hell.
After embaraasing myself, being unable to follow the pattern of movements. The instrutor took me aside and gave me a personal lesson. I have never been coordinated.
We executed Au, a cartwheel and moved into Armada, the standard standing spin kick.
Oh My Neck, My Back ...
Two hours into the class, sweating more than anyone else, legs feeling like I've squatted 200 lbs, biceps twitching, I called it quits. I observed my classmates in wonder. Though this was my first class, they have been coming to class three days a week for the past five weeks.
What Can One Expect From a Capoeira Class?
"Be prepared to work out! Capoeira is a very physical activity. Since we play capoeira in bare feet mostly, we suggest using sports tape to prevent blisters. The normal class structure starts with warm-ups, stretching, strength work, partner drills according to level, more ab work and we finish off with either music or a quick roda." --Bantus Capoeira Malaysia