For the past week I have been training in capoeira here in Auckland. To be specific I have been training Capoeira Mandinga Aotearoa with Mestre Brabo.
Figuring out what capoeira is will be difficult because the people who practised it in the beginning (black slaves from Africa in Brazil) and those who practise it here and now are very different people. And if I haven’t mentioned before, form no matter how traditional is changed by the people who practise. But this doesn’t affect authenticity only purpose from training, in other words what does capoeira give to the black slaves from Africa in brazil 100 years ago that is also given to the people who live in Auckland today? This is the big question I will be investigating over the next few weeks.
What I can say is that after all my running and crawling and jumping with the parkour guys in Wellington I felt I would be able to keep up. But the fitness is different, parkour was hard because it was explosive and you used the momentum of your last technique to advance your next. Capoeira is hard because it’s slow, very low to the ground and everything is balanced and continuous. It is so fluid you have no space for breaks and it feels like it could keep going forever (I sweat so much in class).
Tonight’s class a question was brought up about capoeira and its ultimate goal. The purpose of the training of capoeira is to learn the movement, rhythm and song of the game. The purpose of the game it to entrap your opponent using indirect intention while being in full control of your own movement and ultimately dominate theirs. It’s doesn’t have to end with a takedown or strong kick but it is obvious if you are the stronger player.
The game is called a roda (meaning circle) and consists of musicians (next week I will talk about the instruments), spectators (they form the other half of the circle) and two players in the middle. The players meet under the musicians and their movement is influenced by the rhythm of the music.
My first week has left me a little bit frizzled as I realise that a month will not cut it if I want to have a good understanding of the many layers of capoeira but Brabo reassures me that with many layers the practitioner to free to participate on any level. This is what makes it so appealing I think.
Well that’s all for now I have some Portuguese to learn (sigh)
http://www.capoeira.org.nz/about-our-capoeira/ this is the link for the capoeira website here in New Zealand, with better information on what the times are and what capoeira is.
And this is my page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Hike/129697297044343