The sounds of hypnotic drums, strings, and tambourines play while participants face off in a deliberation of calculated tumbling, evasive crouching, and powerful kicking. Welcome to the arena of CAPOEIRA!
Playing Tekken on PS2 used to be my favorite past-time and one of my undefeated characters is Christie Monteiro. With her cool Capoeira fighting moves, I easily got hooked to playing her character every so often; and from then on I became a huge fan of her fighting technique. Much more after seeing one of the group contenders in Showtime incorporated Capoeira into their dance routine, I become more fascinated with the idea of getting myself taught by an expert of such; IF there’s any in CdO.
Said to originate from the oppressed African people in Brazil who used it for survival, Capoeira (pronounced kapwera) has become a legitimate method of self defense and an athletic game; it is also one of Brazil’s popular cultural past times – ranked second only to football. In Manila, the Afro-Brazilian art is taught by Andre Felipe de Moraes of the Escola Brasiliera de Capoeira, known to his students as Professor “Batata.”
Capoeira mixes many aspects in one sport: fighting, dancing, sport, music, focus – even aerobics, which stimulate more my interest in learning the art.
All throughout the class, traditional music is played accompanied by traditional Capoeira instruments to help the capoeiristas find their rhythm, timing, and concentration. The sequences feature numerous acrobatic moves, balancing acts, kicks and evading tactics that build up to the most important (and longest!) part of the class where two people come face to face and spar in the middle of a circle of cheering Capoeiristas.
The results, swear most Capoeiristas, are amazing. In Brazil the sport is more popular among women because they like the physical benefits that come with the practice: toned arms and legs as well as a more defined back and abdominals.
I checked some of those Capoeira moves and my favorite calls for the name Ginga (pronounced jeenga) which is the basic step and the route of all Capoeira moves. An aerobics class’ version of ‘marching in place,’ this basic action keeps one mobile while thinking of the next move.
Photo Credits: Bing™ and AviantArt
Supplementary info: Wikipedia