Capoeira Tourism….Part 2 (some words of advice)

Okay. Yesterday I went on and on about how great traveling around and playing with other groups is. And this is true, but visiting other groups requires a little know how.

First and foremost, go with a couple of friends that can back you up. You never know what can happen in these rodas and so you need to have assurance that someone can buy you out.

Second, go with good energy and make friends and ALWAYS ask the instructor permission to play. For example, a few years ago, we went down to LA and visited another group’s class and played in the roda. When we do this, we ALWAYS make sure to introduce ourselves to the instructors and high cords of the group. We make sure that our presence is okay. We offer to play music (always offer, however, as I have mentioned in the past, typically, the capoeiristas want to have you play versus being locked up on music. But as our mothers always say, “it’s the thought that counts!”) In the roda, the energy was good. Their students challenged us but not out of spite but in the good spirit of capoeira. We had a great time.

BUT, there was a friend of ours that also trained capoeira with us back in the day and he met up with us at this roda. He is a gifted capoeirista but for some reason came into the space with a chip on his shoulder. He wasn’t friendly and made no effort to talk to the other students. Needless to say, he was not as welcomed in the roda. The capoeira school’s high cords went after him and were out for blood. I don’t blame them. We are guests and we should be gracious guests when going into someone else’s house.

Third, DO NOT be the first one in the roda unless you absolutely have to. Sit back, watch some games and try to figure out how people are playing and what they are about. 

Fourth, a word of advise to the ladies, be careful. I some cases you may come across the alpha female trying to hold things down and show who’s boss. (I can say this as a women that has been confronted several times by other female alphas). In most cases they will only go after intermediate or high cords but low cords should be careful as well. Watch the roda and try to see if anyone like that fits the bill. If you do see someone playing like that and if you end up playing them, open up your game and show them that you are just here to have fun. If they challenge you, challenge back but ALWAYS keeps the integrity of your game. NEVER reduce yourself to slapping and straight fighting. Thats just ugly. 

So to all capoeiristas reading this blog, visit some rodas. The more interaction we have between groups increases the community bridges between us all.


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