Archive for visiting capoeira rodas

I Encontro Internacional da A.C.A.P.O.E.I.R.A

Posted in Photos, Updates! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2009 by testcapo

Immediately after our batizado,  Mestre Preguiça, Mestre Di Mola, Prof. Indio and Prof. Baiano jumped on the plane to go to Vitoria, Brazil to Mestre Capixaba’s (A.C.A.P.O.E.I.R.A) international encounter. Tons of capoeiristas made it out to this event to not only play capoeira with some of the top mestres and professors but also to celebrate Mestre Preguiça’s 50 years of capoeira. This year Mestre Capixaba made the celebration of his 50 years a centerpiece of the event. Congratulations Mestre!

Thanks to Prof. Indio we have pics and video footage of the event. You can check out his website at http://guanabara.ca/ for more information on his school in Canada. Thanks Prof. Indio!

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

Posted in Capoeira Etiquette, Capoeira nuggets with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2008 by testcapo

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.

Capoeira Tourism PART 1

Posted in Capoeira nuggets with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by testcapo

My sister and I have done a lot of traveling together. She lives in Italy and we have gone to a lot of countries in Europe and I always seem to find a capoeira class or roda. When Palhaço and I take a trip down to LA or maybe visit my family in Chicago, thats right, we find a roda or capoeira class. Sometimes we hear the berimbau playing in the distance or we go online and try to see what is going on in the city we are visiting. 

This is what my sister lovingly calls capoeira tourism.

The truth of the matter is that there is nothing more exciting then discovering an open roda in a foreign place or scouting out a capoeira class in unknown terrain. Historically, I have found that capoeiristas overall can be incredibly open and really cool people when they embark on a visitor in their group. (That is, of course, if the visitor brings an equally positive energy.) In my experience, my capoeira brethren have welcomed me into their rodas and classes with open arms. In only a few cases I have gotten a little bit of an ‘icy’ introduction but after 15 minutes of playing and contributing to music, everyone warms up. 

Whats even better is, after playing capoeira, you have now made yourself some new friends in this foriegn land. After exchanging the typical questions of, “who do you train with?”, “how long have you been training”, and so on, maybe even playing some capoeira 6 degrees of separation, your new friends want to show you around town and give you some insiders advice on what to do and where to go. It’s quite fun!

Aside from making friends and expanding your capoeira rolodex, you also learn a lot about capoeira. When you visit other rodas you learn how to have deeper interactions with capoeiristas because often times the styles are different. You also find out that, well, not everyone is welcome to your presence. (Especially with the women.) But you learn how to work around that. 

Ultimately, practicing capoeira tourism is not only fun but you really grow as a capoeirista. Some of my fondest memories and biggest learning experiences come from visiting capoeira groups all over the map.

We have an opportunity to do some capoeira tourism in the next couple of weeks. Omulu Guanabara’s LA group will be hosting their batizado on November 15th with workshops taught by Mestre Di Mola and Mestre Preguiça on that Thursday and Friday. For our students reading this blog, this is our same group so you will not be forced completely out of your comfort zone, but it is still a different crop of people making the experience equally exciting. We will be driving down with a couple of cars so if you are interested, drop us an email.

Also, there will be a part 2 of my writing on capoeira tourism. There, I will give some tips on how to persue capoeira tourism that have worked for me. I will also give some examples of things that I have seen during my time in capoeira that DEFINITELY do not work and will, more times than not, have you end up getting your ass handed to you.