New students to capoeira often wonder exactly what they are getting into. Here is a brief explanation from Contra Mestre Mariano….
CAPOEIRA AS THEORY:
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form and dance that involves music, ritual and movement. Capoeira was created by African slaves, in Brazil, approximately 400 years ago. Music was an integral part of the discipline because it taught rhythm. Played in a ritual roda (circle), the prehistoric berimbau stringed bow instrument sets the pace and swing of the capoeira jogo (game). Today Capoeira is Brazil’s second national sport and is gaining popularity throughout the world. It can be done by anyone of any age or size.
There are three main aspects of capoeira music, movement and discipline. Without these three things the art form is not complete. The significance of music to capoeira is that it creates the atmosphere to play the game. Through learning about the different instruments and songs people gain emotional discipline, mental acuity and become unified as a group. This unification increases a sense of acceptance and understanding with the world around you.
While the music sets the tone for the game the movement is what brings it alive. Through structured movements and sequences, students learn coordination, balance and gain strength. Along with structure there is also an aspect of self-expression where each player develops their own style of play. During each class students will be challenged both physically and mentally. After overcoming each obstacle they will increase their self-esteem with a sense of accomplishment.
As in any sport discipline plays a major role by attributing to the conduct of the game. With discipline players learn to respect their teacher and other players. In capoeira, discipline is very important to learn patience, control the movements and follow the rules of the game.
The music, movements and discipline learned through capoeira will be carried by students into other aspects of their lives. Challenges, language skills, courage, self-esteem, and friendships are all parts of life, and must be integrated when learning capoeira. Capoeira can be a life changing experience and the benefits will be noticed long in to the future.
Capoeira Batuque Santa Barbara