Feel The Ritmo (Rhythm)
“The flame of this beautiful art is now in your hands. You can dampen it, you can burn yourself or your brothers and sisters, or, afraid of its heat, you can let go of it. I hope that you take good care of your Capoeira and kindle this fire alive and powerful, enlightening your life.”
– Mestre Accordeon
Eu sou Capoeira (I am Capoeira). Capoeira is a very special martial art and practice near and dear to my heart. The background of its historical origins alone, fascinate and empower me to continue to practice regardless of what level of ability my physical body is in. Once you realize that each person’s Capoeira is individual to the person who has taken hold of its fundamentals, you take ownership of your physical ability to play the game on your own level and not the level of the opponent that you play against.
Capoeira is about respect and family. Fellow Capoeirsitas are our brothers and sisters in this family. Capoeira is an art composed of balance, a delicate rhythm of dancing and fighting, a rhythm and flow joined together simultaneously in to one fundamental movement and goal. It’s a conversation between brothers, sisters, and friends. Capoeira is heritage and culture.
In Capoeira, every word in the conversation begins and ends with a signature greeting, a fundamental movement called the Ginga. It is vital that every practicing Capoeirista finds their signature Ginga, because it becomes their rhythm and balance for the jogo (the game) in which we play in the roda (circle). The roda is the center piece of the Capoeiristas conversation when they play the jogo de Capoeira!
Below is a of video of some of my Capoeira practice, when I am unable to make it to our group training sessions. I mainly focus on my fundamentals when I practice solo. Especially working on my Ginga!
Descriptions of the Movements Seen in the Video (Wikipedia):
The ginga (pronounced jinga; literally: rocking back and forth; to swing) is the fundamental movement in capoeira.Capoeira Angola and capoeira regional have distinctive forms of this movement. In Angola, ginga is a very free and individualistic, while in regional the ginga has a more structured look. In most Regional schools, the ginga is learned the same way until the aluno advances to a certain level and begins to develop their own style of using it. Both are accomplished by maintaining both feet approximately shoulder-width apart and then moving one foot backwards and then back to the base, describing a triangular ‘step’ on the ground.
Ginga movement is done to prepare the body for other movements such as evading, feinting and even delivering attacks. The ginga keeps a capoeirista in constant motion, making them a frustrating target for a forward-advancng opponent,. It also provides a synchronization of the arm movement in such a way as to either avoid and slip under attacks. The torso and legs are usually low to assist in evading high kicks and balance. As there is not a static position to the ginga its speed is usually determined by the toque or rhythm that is played by the bateria. The Ginga is also capoeira’s most recognized movement. Very few martial arts employ a constant rhythmic movement that matches the ginga.
A series of side to side feints done with the torso to deceive the opponent, throw off their timing, and make it harder for them to track the centerline. In a similar manner as a speedskater, the bodyweight is shifted from one leg to the other in a slight lateral hopping/sliding motion while the arms move in a similar fashion as they do during the ginga. The balança is usually done from the forward ginga and is also known as the Cavalo. As with other movements in capoeira, all types of kicks, handstrikes, or headbutts can be executed unexpectedly from the movement.
One of the simplest defense movements. With the feet flat on the ground the player squats with the knees to the chest so as to close the body and covers the side of the torso and head with one hand while the other is flat and to the side for support.
Another variation of this involves squatting with the balls of the feet on the ground and arms crossed in front and above the face.
The Capoeira Journey Never Ends…
Another fundamental aspect of my Capoeira Journey outside of my training classes with my Professor has been the precious experiences and gems(tips) I have gathered from fellow more advanced Capoeiristas in my group and members of other groups as well, because we are all one big family with a common goal. The individuals listed below have encouraged and motivated my journey in some way.
My Capoeira Familia ~ Capoeira Passo a Frente
“Everyone has their time. You’re doing well.” ~Aldanie ~ Macaquinho ~ Capoeira Passo a Frente
“If you ever need help with practicing any movements outside of class, let me know. Here’s a reminder to keep training (gives bracelet with ‘Eu Sou Capoeira’ written on it)” ~Regata ~ Capoeira Passo a Frente
“Everything begins and ends with Ginga, work on your Ginga. Use Ginga and movements like Balança to buy yourself time in roda, if you are having trouble thinking of the next attack movement you want to execute.” ~ Canhoa ~ Capoeira Maculele
“You have your Capoeirista nombre….Sorriso…nice..I agree….Now you get to play the Jogo with a sense of purpose !!! ….You owe me a roda.” …. “I expect to see you pulling off this move pretty soon.” ~ Feijao ~ Grupo Capoeira Axe ~ Virgin Islands
~ Obrigada todos ~ Beijos~ Axe’ ~