Since I started this blog, I have talked about the history of Capoeira and its downfall. Now it is time to get into the mainstream and how you can use the moves and the principle of capoeira in your daily life. A lot of the moves of capoeira can be incorporated (in theory) into daily life. We will start with the ginga. This move is essential to the game of Capoeira! The point is to be in constant motion…never give your opponent a still target. If you look at any of the movies I have on my side bar you will see most of the capoeiristas move from side to side swinging one leg behind them as they move (or sway). This keeps their aggressor guessing which way they will go. Now…lets flip this and use it for life. When we go through life there are always obstacles or people that we have to avoid to keep progressing through life. So when you know that you are about to be influenced (in a bad way) or put in a position that is not favorable, remember the ginga. Maneuver your way out of those bad situations and set yourself up for some personal gain. Just some food for thought!
I am blessed to be under the teaching of Mestre Celso. He taught my profesor, so I get to see his skills through him. He is the oldest active living Capoeira master and still very quick. Here is a short video of him…enjoy!
Now to the reemergence of capoeira! The art stayed dormant til around 1937 when Mestre Bimba (seen as 1 of the fathers of modern capoeira) was invited to demonstrate capoeira in from of the president of Brazil at that time, Getulio Vargas. Apparently the president was impressed because he gave Mestre Bimba permission to open the first capoeira school in Brazil. Since that time capoeira has spread like wildfire! Mestre Bimba’s teachings made a tremendous contribution to the capoeira community. Then in 1942 the other father of capoeira, Mestre Pastinha opened the first school in Angola. Capoeira continues to be widely practices in Brazil and world wide by all walks of life. It is no longer dominated by Afro-Brazilians, capoeira transcends racial and gender boundaries!
Mestre Bimba Mestre Pastinha
Since I am going back intime to give you some history of Capoeira, I decided to find a video of one of the original Capoeira masters. His name is Mestre Bimba and while on that search I also came across a video of another master, Mestre Mirim. I thought these two videos would be entertaining. Enjoy!
OK, last time asked if anyone knew of any other forms of expression that were seen as rebellious and not necessarily outlawed but banned by most media. Well I have a few answers for that…Gangster Rap and some Hard Rock. Both of these are forms of expression and for one reason or another they have at one time or another been banned. So that infamous saying “history repeats itself” is true. Ok now back to business, we are on to part three of the history and a truly hope this is more educational and interesting than boring…hopefully. Well last time we were talking about the banishment of Capoeira and its strength to reemerge. Capoeira continued to be practiced but due to the tension, it went underground. The roda (pronounced “hodas”, the circle in which Capoeira is played) was often held with plenty of ways to escape if the police discovered the illegal games. There was even a special rhythm that was added to the music to warn the players that the police were coming. To go further in concealing Capoeira the practitioners (capoeiristas) were given nicknames to hide their true identities. This tradition still lives on and when a person is baptized into capoeira they are given a nickname. My nickname or apelido is Paixao (pronounced Pash-ou), it was given to me by my professor Americano. Sorry for the sidetrack…well the persecution of capoeira continued and it was entirely wiped out by 1918. But do not fret, remember capoeira has deep roots, its strength and passion will not die so stay tuned for reemergence of capoeira…
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I hope this is useful for someone.