Rodas Gone Wild!!!! (only $9.99)

I have been hearing some CRAZY capoeira stories lately. None of the stories took place in the Bay Area and none of which involved any schools in the Bay Area (thank God). These stories were about games and capoeira events that were completely out of hand. They were about students playing dirty capoeira and disrespecting mestres. These are Rodas Gone Wild. When I hear stories like that, my skin crawls. I feel that these fights are all about ego and have nothing to do with capoeira. I know there is fighting in capoeira and have seen many bloody battles in my time. Most advanced students can sit around half of the evening talking of fights and scuffles that they have been part of in the past. Fights will always happen in this game but what counts is the energy behind these fights. In fact, in the past, capoeira in the Bay Area has had quite the reputation but I feel that the things have been changing around here.

I feel like capoeira in the Bay Area has gone through several changes in the few decades that it has been here. In the past, open rodas would get pretty crazy. Games would turn into fist fights and instructors and mestres would openly not get along. It really came to a point where most groups just kept to themselves. There would be occasional visitors but to have someone from another group visit your class was a special occurrence. It was hard to visit other schools because there was not a whole lot of trust and games would just get out of hand.

I feel that things are changing. The students that have started a decade ago are now Instructors and Professores and for the most part, these students have maintained a camaraderie with other students from other schools that were coming up with them. How we interact with each other has changed. There is less value in ‘kicking someones ass’ and more value in having challenging and constructive game. We want to have games that involve placing kicks and marking rasteiras and tesoras but we no longer take these interactions personally. We play hard games, fast games but no longer have a hit out on each other. We play with a smile (and really mean it). I wouldn’t say that the schools in the Bay Area are about to exchange BFF necklaces but the energy is much more tolerant and the games are a lot more interesting to watch and to play.

Now for some classic ‘roda’s gone wild’ videos…..

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