Archive for March, 2008

Capoeira Etiquette (Part 2)

Posted in Capoeira Etiquette with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2008 by testcapo

The Mestres at Instructora Cotonete’s Batizado in July, 2006

OK. Here is an easy one. This rule may not apply to all groups but it is always better to play it safe than sorry. Let’s talk about how you greet mestres when you are at your batizado or one of your school’s workshops. Here is the rule: When you enter the space, the first people that you have to greet are the mestres. AND!!! You need to greet them in the order of their level. For example, during our workshops we usually have Grand Mestre João Grande, Mestre Preguiça and Mestre Di Mola and we need to greet them in that order. Grand Mestre João Grande gets greeted first because he is the oldest and highest regarded mestre, then Mestre Preguiça because he is the next generation and student of Mestre Bimba, then Mestre Di Mola, whom is third generation, student of Mestre Camisa whom was a student of Mestre Bimba.

Disclaimer: This is what Mestre Di Mola has taught us. It may not be observed everywhere however, it can only look good if you enter a room and greet the Mestres according to these rules.

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Capoeira Ettiquette (Part 1)

Posted in Capoeira Etiquette with tags , , , , on March 15, 2008 by testcapo

Have you ever been in a roda where everything appears to be going well. The energy seems good, everyone is having a good time, and then……BAM! someone is getting slapped up. What just happened? Why is that poor guy getting worked out there? Well, chances are that guy probably broke some sort of capoeira code.

The code that I talk about is the code that we caporeirstas use when we go to open rodas or visit another school’s roda. There are a lot of unspoken rules to the game. Sometimes mestres/instructors are so kind to share those rules with their students, but there are a lot of rules and many of these rules go untaught. To make things more complicated, these rules tend to vary depending on what region you are in. So with that said, this will be part 1 of a multiple part series on capoeira ettiquette. These are the things we have been taught by our mestres and what we have observed over the many years of playing in different rodas in Brazil, Europe and throughout the US.

Andorinha visiting a roda in NYC

Tip #1

How to visit an open roda….

Visiting rodas is a simple thing however we have witnessed so many students get themselves in trouble because they were oblivious to the ettiqutte. When visiting the roda you MUST ALWAYS identify the mestre or instructor leading the roda and find a way to awkknowlege them and ask permission to enter the roda. If you can’t figure out who this person is, ask. Once this person is identified, find a way to get permission to play. If they are playing the berimbau, often times this comes in the form of the visiting student giving them a nod and the leader will give them a nod of approval.

OK. You got the go ahead to play. Cool, but not so fast. There are a couple more rules that you need to follow before you get too comfortable.
Now that you got the in it is time for you to observe what is happening in the roda! What is the energy like, who is playing and what is the atmosphere of this roda? Is it really aggressive with only the big dogs playing or does it seem more relaxed with a mixed group of levels. If you are a beginner or even an intermediate student think twice about entering the roda if only really advanced students are playing. Even if you think you can hang, chances are you will kill the energy and folks will be thinking that you may be a little too confident.

Despite the energy, your next step is to offer to jump on the instruments. If you are not so good with the berimbau, stay away but offer to play the other instruments. Often times than not, the students will tell you to go play in the roda. Don’t take offense, you are the visitor and they want to see you play. You are merely offering to play instruments to show that you want to add to the energy of the roda and that your intentions are not to take advantage.

So you got permission to play, you checked out the energy and have decided that this roda is appropriate for you and you offer up your assistance to play instruments. You are now ready to play a little capoeira. I will leave you with the final rule, if they are buying the roda be careful where you buy from. Some schools buy at the berimbau and some buy from anywhere within the roda. Make sure to do whatever that school does. If they buy at the berimbau, then so are you. I have witnessed mestres stopping rodas because a visiting student bought wrong. You definitely don’t want that person to be you.

Oldie but goodie

Posted in Capoeira Songs with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2008 by testcapo

Old School pic of Mestre Carlos

Palhaço and Mestre Carlos used to sing this song a lot back in the day. In fact, I think some of our final video footage with Mestre Carlos is with him singing this song. This song is great sang when the roda is going at a medium to high tempo because it really adds energy.

Capoeira é ligeira
Capoeira prá estrangeiro, meu irmão
É mato
Capoeira brasileira, meu compadre
É de matar
Capoeira prá estrangeiro, meu irmão
É mato
Capoeira brasileira, meu compadre
É de matar Berimbau tá chamando
olha a roda formando
vá se benzendo para entrar
o toque é de Angola
São Bento pequeno, Cavalaria, Iúna
a mandinga do jogo
o molejo da esquiva
é prá não cochilar
Capoeira é ligeira, ela é brasileira, ela é de matar
Capoeira é ligeira, ela é brasileira, ela é de matar Capoeira prá estrangeiro, meu irmão
É mato
Capoeira brasileira, meu compadre
É de matar
Capoeira prá estrangeiro, meu irmão
É mato
Capoeira brasileira, meu compadre
É de matar

Olha o Rabo de Arraia
olha aí a Ponteira
e a Meia-lua prá matar
o Mortal e o aú
o Macaco e a rasteira
e o Arrastão prá derrubar
Galopante façeiro
vai se preparando para voar
Capoeira é ligeira, ela é brasileira, ela é de matar
Capoeira é ligeira, ela é brasileira, ela é de matar

Capoeira prá estrangeiro, meu irmão
É mato
Capoeira brasileira, meu compadre
É de matar
Capoeira prá estrangeiro, meu irmão
É mato
Capoeira brasileira, meu compadre
É de matar

Capoeira for strangers, my brother?
Is jungle
Brazilian Capoeira, my comrade
Is deadly
Capoeira for strangers, my brother?
Is jungle
Brazilian Capoeira, my comrade
Is deadly The berimbau is calling
Look at the roda being formed
Get a blessing before entering
The rhythm is Angola
São Bento pequeno, Cavalaria, Iúna
The magic of the game
the swiftness of the dodge
Is to not lull
Capoeira is swift, she is Brazilian, she is deadly
Capoeira is swift, she is Brazilian, she is deadly Capoeira for strangers, my brother?
Is jungle
Brazilian Capoeira, my comrade
Is deadly
Capoeira for strangers, my brother?
Is jungle
Brazilian Capoeira, my comrade
Is deadly

Look, a Rabo de Arraia
Look there a Ponteira
And a deadly Meia-lua
a salto and a cartwheel
A Macaco and a sweep
and an Arrastão to bring down
Galopante to the face
Getting ready to fly
Capoeira is swift, she is Brazilian, she is deadly
Capoeira is swift, she is Brazilian, she is deadly

Capoeira for strangers, my brother?
Is jungle
Brazilian Capoeira, my comrade
Is deadly
Capoeira for strangers, my brother?
Is jungle
Brazilian Capoeira, my comrade
Is deadly

Sending people off ‘capoeira style’

Posted in Capoeira Songs with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2008 by testcapo

Ever wonder what the words were to that song that we sing for students when they leave for long travel or move out of town? This song is usually accompanied with everyone taking turns playing the departing student. And no, we typically don’t go light on them. It’s all love, right????

Boa Viagem
Adeus
Boa viagem
Adeus, adeus
Boa viagem
Eu vou
Boa viagem
Eu vou, eu vou
Boa viagem
Eu vou- me embora
Boa viagem
Eu vou agora
Boa viagem
Eu vou com Deus
Boa viagem
E com Nossa Senhora
Boa viagem
Chegou a hora
Boa viagem
Adeus…
Boa viagem
Good bye
Good trip
Good bye, good bye
Good trip
I go
Good trip
I go, I go
Good trip
I’m gonna leave
Good trip
I go now
Good trip
I go with God
Good trip
And with Our Lady
Good trip
The hour has arrived
Good trip
Good bye…
Good trip

A bananeira caiu

Posted in Capoeira Songs with tags on March 6, 2008 by testcapo

Here is a song that is sang in the roda. Get to know the chorus, if you are feeling crazy, learn the entire song.

Mas o facão bateu em baixo
A bananeira caiu
Mas o facão bateu em baixo
A bananeira caiu
Cai, cai, cai bananeira
A bananeira caiu
Cai, cai, cai, cai, cai bananeira
A bananeira caiu

But the knife hit below
The banana-tree fell
But the knife hit below
The banana-tree fell
Fall, fall, fall banana-tree
The banana-tree fell
Fall, fall, fall, fall, fall, banana-tree
The banana-tree fell

Brunch and Berimbaus!!!

Posted in Updates! with tags , , , on March 6, 2008 by testcapo

Based on a lot of requests we are going to host Brunch and Berimbaus (great title, i know) this Sunday at 10:30. We will do a potluck brunch and then work on capoeira music. Please bring a dish, your berimbau if you have one or any other capoeira instrument. Also, if you have any songs that you would like to learn, please email that to us ahead of time so we can get that prepared. I am also going to ask that you bring a $5-$10 donation for the music class. If you are tight on cash don’t worry about it. This money will be used for kicking pads and what not for the class.

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We have a blog!!

Posted in Updates! on March 3, 2008 by testcapo

Hello all!

We are really excited to have this site up and going! The purpose of this site is to update our students on events and activities of this group. Keep on checking in with this site for videos, songs and updates!!