Capoeira

So, earlier (as in about 4 months ago) I wrote about going to a karate class for a karate style that was slightly different from the style I studied for three years before moving to Edinburgh. Turns out that style didn’t work for me. Not the martial art itself, but the teaching style of the school. Totally based on competition, but what I want to learn is self defense and how to be in tune with my body.

In class on Thursday, I was talking to a girl about how I used to do karate. For several weeks now that phrase “used to do” has been haunting me. Karate was part of my soul, it was like the first blossom opening in the spring of my mind. It’s not something I can cut off; I need it to be myself. But all of my research for another karate school turned up fruitless. So as I was telling this girl in my class about it, she said I should come with her to capoeira class.

I first saw capoeira when I was…15 maybe? I had no idea what it was, but it looked cool. In college I saw more of it, and deliberated at length whether I should join the capoeira club. But I didn’t. I made excuses about being busy.

Now, my schedule is very much in my own hands, and especially since I only have two more weeks of classes, next week and the first week of May (after Easter break), and this whole summer all I’m obligated to do is write a feature length film, I’ve been thinking I’ll need something regular, fun, and active on the side to get my brain to function in a different way. Capoeira is the answer (I hope).

I went to the class tonight and it was really fun. I was amazed at how much knowing karate already helped me – at the very least to trust my body. Some of the kicks are similar, and the concepts of balance are the same. What was even more amazing is how my Jillian Michaels workout videos that I’ve been doing on and off for the past two years prepared me. I already loved Jillian Michaels, now I’m superlatively grateful, especially for how much strength she’s chiseled into my legs. Upper body…still need to work on that. But I feel like capoeira is definitely doable, and will be a lot of fun.

For those who may not know much about capoeira, it’s a Brazilian martial art that is combined with song, so it looks like dancing combined with gymnastics with some kicking (if you are awesome at it. Currently I just look like I’m swaying and ducking awkwardly). Most often practiced with a group standing in a circle with two “players” in the middle. The group sings and claps a rhythm and there are cool instruments, too. I don’t know much about them so I’ll let this picture educate you:

And that’s what I’ve got about capoeira so far. I enjoy it. Karate will be my first love and the next time I move, I will commence looking for a karate school again. But if I don’t find one, I’ll be happy with capoeira. At the very least, it will teach me new ways to move my body, I’ll make new friends, and all of that feeds back into better writing. 🙂

 

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