It has been said that one of the secrets to getting along with the locals in a new destination is to find something that you have in common with them. East Indians love Cricket, American Football in America, Hockey in Canada; This is the way to enter into a conversation and break down barriers in any foreign situation.
Capoeira (pronounced cap-o-wear-a) is the one of the physical languages of Brazil. It is a mixture of dancing, fighting, play acting, and communication for millions of people in Brazil, and millions more around the world.
The myth around Capoeira centers around ingenious slaves who would work like hard for the master, and practice their deadly art by disguise and trickery.Read more about the origin here.
Today the art form has taken over the world, with Capoeira being taught practically everywhere.
“There are classes in India, Thailand, Australia, Japan, all over Europe, and Africa, and the United States; and the form is even being combined with newer martial arts.” According to Larry Batista, the owner of one Long Island kickboxing studio.
When you go to Brazil, and you’re ready to speak the local dialogue of Capoeira, here are some hints to help you get ready:Dance, Dance, Dance. Brazilians are known for their dancing prowess. It’s in everything they do. Just watch any Brazilian football player, and look in awe as they dance around players while controlling the ball. If you hope to get in any physical conversation with a Brazilian, you should learn to loosen up those hips, move around with grace, and spin around with energy and purpose.
If you’re too shy at first to do it in public, then throw on a samba CD, and practice at home. Practice in front of a mirror. See what your body is doing.
Grow in your skin, and shimmy and shake like you mean it.
Capoeira is one of the best workouts that you can do for your body. Every muscle is used. If you’re going to be jumping into a joda (Capoeira game) any time soon, you’re going to have to get your fat assets in shape.
Do some cardio
Look at Youtube, and learn how to Ginga (watch out for that furniture).Do some push ups, sit ups; go outside and try to do a hand stand or a cartwheel. Don’t hurt yourself, but the reality is that these are the basic words in the Capoeira language. Performing a nice beautiful Au (Capoeira cartwheel) is just like saying hello – or goodbye, depending on when you “say” it. You might want to buy some capoeira music. There are plenty of beautiful Capoeira songs out there for your listening pleasure. For extra credit, you might want to look online for a translation of the Capoeira song.
The Capoeira game opens up so much when you start to understand the songs that are being sung. Some songs might make light of the situation, while others give lessons that can be taken in all of life. Once you understand a bit of the portuguese language, you will be able to converse both verbally and physically, and the Brazilian Capoeiristas (Capoeira Practitioner) will embrace you.
Go to a class, and deepen your knowledge of Capoeira. Capoeira not only has a deep history, it also has numerous moves, dodges, attacks, and takedowns that can only be learned under the watchful eye of an experienced Capoeirista. You might be able to learn the basics out of a book or online, but the real conversation, the ebb and flow, the evade and attack, the intricate dance fight, can only be learned face to face.
If you can do all that, and still have the desire, will, and drive to continue on your Capoeira journey, then one day when you’re in Brazil, you will enter the roda (Capoeira circle) and strike up an instant Capoeira conversation with a Brazilian.