The Basics ...
Capoeira VS. Other Martial Arts ...
Nevertheless, Capoeira is an invigorating martial art with many practical applications that can be utilized for self-defense. Potent methods include the use of powerful kicks, counter-attacks, takedowns, evasive techniques, and other versatile movements.
With that, Capoeira is best to take up if you’re looking for a more holistic experience when practicing a martial arts discipline. You’ll learn to fight, sing, dance, and become an active participant in a realm brimming with rich history, culture, diversity and axé, or positive energy. Doesn’t that sound fun?
The Beginnings ...
As fate would have it, someone popped in a DVD of The Protector (2005) and it was then and there that I watched a dreaded Lateef Crowder pull off a classic Capoeira fight sequence against the film’s main star, the relatively unknown-in-the-US-at-the-time Muay Thai practitioner, Tony Jaa.
Though he would go on to be defeated, this short scene would ultimately spark my interests in learning more about the Brazilian martial art form, and martial arts in general.
Fast-forward about 2 years later and I had been working as a Site Manager for an after-school homework, tutoring, and enrichment program at a middle school in Compton, California. As part of a short-term enrichment activity our company had, to both my surprise and delight, arranged for a Capoeira Instructor to teach my students once a week.
The roda—my first live roda—was awe-inspiring to say the least. They did flips, handstands, a bunch of fast kicks, and sung highly energetic Capoeira songs at the top of their longs.
What I found most intriguing was their energy. They were obviously extremely passionate about their craft and seemed to be overflowing with positivity and optimism. My interest in Capoeira had come full circle and it was then that I decided to get more hands on by taking part in a few classes.
The Next Chapter ...
And by June of 2010, I participated in my first Capoeira Batizado—a graduation ceremony for Capoeiristas—and received my first belt, a green belt.
The Capoeira Belt Test
The Capoeira Naming Ceremony
My friend, on the other hand, was introduced as ‘Bato’, which means webbed feet. Unluckily for him, he just so happened to be wearing those popular hiking shoes that are fitted to your feet during the roda. I still tease him about his name until this day!
The Capoeira Belting Ceremony
In June of 2011, at 24yrs. old, I received my green belt and was officially inducted into the Capoeira world via Capoeira Batuque: Culver City under Mestre Amen Santos. It was a proud moment of my life and I was ecstatic to have my family, friends, and training partners with me.
Capoeira Around the World ...
In 2 months, I’ll move to Shanghai and continue working as an English teacher at a new organization. I’ll be closer to training centers where I can practice Capoeira, and I also hope to continue learning Jiu-Jitsu. I can’t wait to delve back into Capoeira, and when I do, I just hope I’ll have a new story to tell.
If you’ve never considered learning Capoeira, go ahead and give it a try--take it from me, it will change your life! Salve!