Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Roda Confirmed!

yo capoeristas!!!!

date for out Christmas Roda has been changed and confirmed.
day: next tuesday, eve of Christmas eve(23th)
venue: no change, SMU
time: no change, 7pm....

so come down for a few hours of "Jingle Jogo" and "Capoeira Carolling"!!! haha!!!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Roda!

Hey Guys!

Christmas Roda at SMU.

Friday, 26th December 2008 (technically, post-Christmas Roda)
Please bring your instruments and water!

SMU,NUS, Fight G, ADOC capoeiristas of Singapore you're specially invited, but if you're looking for a fight, then you're not invited. :P

Songlist to learn for the day!:

1. Jingle Bells
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Santa Claus is coming to town
4. Winter Wonderland
5. Last Christmas I gave you my heart

Go find the lyrics for them and if you can't find them on youtube, just go to Tangs and stand are bound to hear them.

Special Song! You MUST LEARN THIS SONG! for we will sing it that day (:
Imagine - John Lennon

Love Love
Bambu & A sexy chinese guy

Alif and Aisha's Wedding! Woot!

Hello hello, in case you haven't been clued in yet, Alif and Aisha are GETTING MARRIED!

It's this Saturday, 20 December 08, 4-8pm at Cairnhill Community Club, Newton MRT.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When your feet itch and you're stuck in Office

Yeap, when my feet were itching to jump about, I was surfing youtube in my office and I found this slideshow of our Australian ZambiaCongo mates playing at Brazil...just look at the crowd......sexciting..I can't wait to get back home to ginga a bit haha - post batizado fever


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tips on Training in Capoeira

These are pointers that Mestre Luizinho raised during this Q& A session as well as tips from Formado Rocha during the Sunday workshop. If you guys can remember any other tips please post it:

1. Ginga...and ginga more....because a Capoeirista who can't Ginga can't be called a Capoeirista. No matter how nice your moves are, if you can't Ginga, you will not be able to connect the movement. When you ginga, try moving your body in a wave like motion, meaning your head will be at the highest position when you are in the starting and ending position but while you move from side to side, your head goes down low. Be creative; Just as Ballerinas express their dance with their movement, we express our art with our movements; use body sways, hand jerks, anything, to make your ginga stylo-milo and your very own. Your Ginga has to be strong such that it will not allow you to fall with a slight nudge. It has to be strong and firm yet flexible to move and change your momentum as and when you wish. This takes practice.

2. You don't have to practice 3 - 4 hours to get better. Often, practice daily for about 30 - 40 mins of intense workout. Its not the quantity but the quality. Make sure you use the right techniques during your practice. Even Mestre Luizinho practices his Ginga once in a while in front of the mirror for 30 mins at least. And ladies...this is a really good fat me.

3. The Chair. Yes the chair. Mestre says the secret to practicing alone is the Chair. How so? Just like Wing Chun has its kungfu Dummy, WE have the Chair. Place a simple chair... those with 4 legs mind you, in front of yourself. Then when you look at it from the front, it has 2 legs, from the sides 2 legs. SO how does this help? Ginga facing the chair and practice your kicks over the chair, your Rasteirhas to the chair legs, practice your ground movement by maneuvering around the chair keeping your focus. Its alot of imagery but it works. If the dummy worked for the Kung Fu ppl, the chair will to for us

4. Be fit. No matter how good your techniques are, if you are not fit, you can't use them. Capoeira after all is still a martial art and 70% of it relies on your fitness. So if you find yourself unable to proceed past a certain stage or get a certain move, go work out, workout the muscles that are involved in that move. Do not forget about your cardiovascular fitness...because alot of us were gasping for air during the roda.

5. Do LOTS OF PUSHUPS! well in the words of Rocha: " Do pushups until you're really good at it". I guess he meant doing lots and lots of them. Ok, to clear a certain misconception- Doing pushups will not build muscle mass if done at normal speeds. It will only build muscle mass when done slow and controlled. So ladies, please do more pushups and not be afraid of gaining big arms because the truth is, the faster you do your pushups, the more you tone your arms and not build them. Do normal pushups, wide pushups, queda-de-rins pushups, both sides until you are comfortable with it.

6. (I just remembered this tip) When you first start learning a move, you are gonna find yourself feeling heavy and clumsy and hard to move your body around. That is normal. Even for dancers, when they learn their first moves, they are jerky and not fluid as well. The secret is to keep training. Because once you get used to that movement, it will no longer feel heavy anymore as you have found the balance and technique required to execute it. You see, capoeira is not all about muscle strength. Its more about being able to coordinate than anything else (:
Well in the words of Mestre Geni: If you afraid of losing, you're never gonna win.

Start practicing at home and trust no time, you will surpass many of the seniors in school hehe.


Batizado Shorts!

Hello every body!

The last few days were a blast. I now have two sore spots on my neck, 4 in my lower back, sore thighs and hamstrings, and when I climb stairs, my ass hurts. Well...the pain kinda feels good. To update those of you who could not join us, we just went through a really short, but impactful and intense Batizado and Grading Ceremony. Mestre Geni, Mestre Luizinho, Instructor Principe and Formado Rocha came down to grace us with their presence. 

We started out our first day with a workshop by Instructor Principe, he gave us a back breaking sequence to practice. I don't really remember much , so guys if you do, please leave it in the comments.

For the 2nd day, the senior students trained with Mestre Luizinho while the juniors trained with Mestre Geni. For Mestre Luizinho, the sequence he taught was:

Negativa, You then switch your legs so that the leg infront goes behind and vice versa, by this time you are in a semi standing semi crouching position with 1 hand on the floor. You then look between your legs as you pass from which ever side you are to the opposite side. From here, twist your trunk so that you end up in a Bote position. From here, kick our your bend leg and Role, then come to a esquiva frontal position. From here, lean back into a Bote position, swing your arm out so that your body will swivel around into a negativa position. Then stand up and continue Ginga-ing

For the Mestre Geni sequence....the rest of you please blog it cos i dunno hahaha.

For our Grading Ceremony on Saturday, we performed a cool rendition/medley of Capoeira songs mixed with modern songs such as Kate Perry's Hot n Cold and Leona Lewis Bleeding Love. If you guys have photos, please put it up in our facebook group or here.

For Sunday's workshop, conducted by Formado Rocha...we learnt 2 really cool moves..but then i kinda pulled my neck muscles cos i didnt warm up my neck muscles. We learnt to from Au: 1) go into Queda De Rins, 2) go into a headstand and move away.  Its MUCH harder than it looks.

This is something like the 1st move:

For the headstand one...remind us to show you in class haha.

Ok some good news. Mestre Geni has officially recognized us as part of the ZambiaCongo international Group and this is a tough feat to achieve because many groups tried all over the world but failed. He was very impressed with the energy we had...and I saw him nodding his head in time to our Kate Perry Hot n Cold redition too haha. He is thinking of sending his younger son, brother of Mestre Luizinho, Contra-Mestre DANIEL BATUQUEGE ( sorry for the name error made previously and spotted by a VERY keen eyed capoeirista hahah)here to take helm and be our instructor. The paper work will take at least 4-6 months, so for the next semester you guys will have to train the basics with us again haha. 

Ok its been an EXTREMELY hectic week for me and I hope you guys who have got your Cordas enjoyed yourselves. See you all in school!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Batizado Details

Hello all,

change of timing in red guys, pls take note

I think my mail didnt get to every one, so these are the details.

Zambiacongo Capoeira Group (Singapore) 1st Batizado / Grading Ceremony 2008.
Day: Thursday & Friday
Date: 11th December & 12th December 2008
Time: 18:00 - 21:30
Location: Pasir Ris Elias Community Club
Event: Batizado Capoeira Workshop

Our Batizado Capoeira Workshop is open to all. Everyone is welcomed.
One day workshop is priced at SGD 40 onlyTwo days workshops is priced at SGD 60 only

For the members of the public, please make payments in cash term at the door

Day: Saturday
Date: 13th December 2008
Time: 15:00 - 19:00
Location: Bukit Panjang Plaza
Event: Batizado / Grading Ceremony

Day: Sunday
Date: 14th December 2008
Time: 15:00 - 19:00
Location: Sentosa Cool Deck
Event: Beach Roda / Movie Screening / After Party

Click here to register if you have not: Here!

Love love

See you all there!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Some Tips for the Roda!

Hey camaradas,

Here's some tips/reminder on how to look better inside the roda:

1)Don't be so stiff like a robot! Loosen up and flow.... this guy

2)Straighten your legs

3)Don't move only sideways like crabs - move around. Here's a good sequence that can help make that happen.

4)Some planned chereography beforehand helps :)

Hope everyone's enjoying their December break!
Study hard=Play hard,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Exam De-Stressers!

To those of you who missed dinner, well, that's 'choo baad! But here are some funny videos that were bandied about. Give your own in the comments section!


This last one has to be the best. Just try not to laugh!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vote where you would like to have dinner! Yum Yum!

Hello NUS Capo people! While miserably mugging, remember that it is still important to eat, lest you starve before your finals!

And what better way to eat than with your equally miserable friends?! After all, misery loves company!

Tentatively, the NUS Capo dinner is set on 18th November 08, Tuesday evening. Not okay with the date? Let us know! Meanwhile, do vote on the venue. You can vote for more than one place. Want to suggest another place? Let us know!

Don't worry, you can change your vote later!

Love love,

It looks like we're having it at Botak Jones on Tuesday night. Sorry, Dadi lovers (myself included), maybe next time. Since everyone is busy studying, we shall make it a hard 7.30 pm. If you come later, don't expect people to still be there! Those who have to mug can leave after they've swallowed their grub. Those who want to stay and chat and play a little roda outside Botak Jones can also do so.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Class tml!

Hello every one! there will be class tml!

It will be a short class to :

Play roda and more roda!
Send off any other exchange students and Eng wen!
It will end 745 pm, much earlier than usual due to exams

So those of you who voted better come!!

Love Love

I'll distribute Tees tml


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Vote for Tuesday class!

Dear All!

Please leave your vote in the poll whether you want tuesday class or not. If you guys want the class,hopefully I can pass the T-shirts to you all because the guy has promised me that he will send the T-shirts to me by monday with a compensation cash voucher.

Hear from you guys soon!

Results will be out on Monday night!

Love Love

How to Use Capoeira in a Street Fight

Stressed out by exam preparations? Learn how to use capoeira in a street fight!

Check out the queixada to compasso combo at the 4:00 mark. Always pretend to be tired, unless you really are! The headboard-slide-kick is classic.

This is another video by Team MAX of NUS Martial Arts. See any familiar faces?! :P

Friday, November 7, 2008

Multi-Hit Combos!

Bencao followed by martelo with the other leg!

Now you can be like your favourite video game character (once you've gotten over the drooling, ladies!)!

What are your favourite combos? Share!

Stay Sexy,

Ser Capoeira

Ser Capoeira (Mestre Marcos Gytaúna)

Aê, ê, ê, aê, ê, êa
Aê, ê, ê, aê, ê, êa

Como falar do amor (How can I speak of love)
se você não sabe que é amar (if you don’t know what it is to love)
Como falar do saber (How can I speak of knowing)
se você não sabe entender (if you don’t know how to understand)
Como falar da malícia (How can I speak of malícia)
se você não conhece a maldade (if you don’t know wickedness)
Como falar da mentira (How can I speak of lies)
se você não conhece a verdade… (if you don’t know truth…)

É por isso que eu sou (It is for this that I am)
Capoeira… (X8)

É na malícia que o negro tem… (It’s in malícia that the slave has)
É na luta da liberdade… ( It’s in the fight for freedom)
É no chicote, a cicatriz… (In the lash, a scar)
É na marca desigualdade… ( It’s in the mark of difference)
Aeeee…. aeeeaaa….

My Favourite Instrument

Hello, in line with Cabure's post, I would like to share my favourite instrument too!

My favourite instrument is the berimbau viola. Traditionally, there are three berimbaus (gunga, médio, and viola). And--if you want to split hairs--there is also the berra-boi (bigger than the gunga) and the violinha (smaller than the viola).

So generally the viola is smallest berimbau. It is true that size matters, but in the capoeira world it's backwards. Unlike the other two, the viola makes a nice metallic twang when you pluck it, like hitting a small puppy. Here is an interesting video on plucking twangers.

Yes, I remember watching Rainbow when I was young too. Unfortunately that was a dud episode which wasn't aired, or we would have been learning about capoeira a lot sooner.

Anyway, the viola is only fun to play in accompaniment to other berimbaus (which usually means an angola roda unfortunately). This is because of the freedom it has to dance in and out of the toque (rhythm).

Due to their musical roles, I imagine that if the instruments were characters in a play, the gunga would be an old man: wise, toothless and feeble. The médio would be middle-aged: greying at the temples, stuck in tradition, yet trying to change it in his own way. The viola would be a young punk: irreverently thumbing his nose--if noses had thumbs--at tradition and rules. The atabaque would be the strong silent type, stout and dependable. The pandeiros would be motherly women, perhaps sisters, but with a jealous streak. The agogô would be a crying attention-craving child. The reco-reco is the first born child that's pissed that everyone now only dotes on the Agogô.

And the funny thing is, a lot of times the people who end up playing these instruments have suitable personalities!

So the gunga starts with a base toque. There are three notes (plus some sound effects) a berimbau can make: a 'dom' (coin away from the wire), a 'ting' (coin pressed hard into the wire), and a buzz, a 'tch' (coin barely kissing the wire). The angola toque, for example, would go like this: tch-tch dom tiiiinng, tch-tch dom tiiiinng. The médio plays a contra-toque (counter rhythm), playing a 'dom' for every 'ting' the gunga plays and vice-versa. The viola says, to hell with all that, I'm getting out there, and I'm going to be sex-AY! (yes, you can see why I like it, no?) 'Look at me!', it screams. 'I'm hotter than Paris!' talking a lot without really saying anything. Occasionally, it goes back into the rhythm, but only because it feels like it, and then its out and about, tossing out the musical equivalent of the ginga and cavorting musical floreios for the crowd.

Yes, the viola is the bateria's cam-whore.

Stay Sexy,

PS: If you are wondering why, though you're trained in Western music, you have no idea what I'm talking about, it is because for me a 'legolas beat' (refer to Cabure's post) is when Orlando Bloom shoots down yet another orc.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

30th October's Class

Today's class was a bit shorter than usual but nevertheless as intensive as usual :)
We learnt a lot of new moves today which are used in Mestre Bimba's Sequencia 4 and 5.
Please refer back to the Sequencia file for the details on how to them. I'll just give a brief explanation on the new moves we have learnt (sorry no videos, can't seem to find on youtube)

Sequencia 4


This is basically a hook similar to boxing except that in capoeira, we use the "heel" of our hand to hit. The swing should come from twist of the hips and remember to stretch your arm out and follow through.


Grab behind the knees of the other player and pull. The pull should be accompanied by a step back from the forward leg. More force compared to just pulling with arm strength. (but of course while practising you need not be so fierce...)

Sequencia 5

Similar to the armada except there's no kicking, just the spin (fake Armada?). Hands are help up as in a surrender position. The other player is not supposed to attack while you are doing this (a form of freeplay).


A knee strike. As if doing a Benção but instead of kicking the leg outwards, we just use our knee to attack. The feet should be pointing downwards while the back is arch a bit backwards.

That's all for the moves in today's class, sorry for being a bit lengthy on the explanations and not being able to find videos for these moves.(If you do find some please post it in the comments)
We learnt one song today which is "O Dona Alícia não me pegue não"
Details of the song can be found in "Every Song has an Agenda..." post.

Quote of the day. "Man are for muscle...", by Alif.

I wonder what woman are for...I'll leave it to you to decide. :P
As in the roda, as in Life.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In the World of Kung Fu, Speed Determines the Winner

This is a clip from Kung Fu Hustle. It's the international English-dubbed version. I find so many great lessons in capoeira, like this post's title, in this movie.

And this is a fan vid.

Yes, I have wasted your time.
As in the roda, as in Life. :P


PS: Please leave in the comments your favourite capoeira quotes from the movie (or any movie!). Remember to add 'As in the roda, as in Life.' at the back!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Capoeira Me Chama Dá Licença Meu Senhor

This is the song EW was teaching us last Tuesday (21st Oct 2008)

Capoeira Me Chama Dá Licença Meu Senhor

Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira me chama dá licença meu senhor
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira me chama dá licença meu senhor
Capoeira me chama
E eu vou atender
Entro na roda sem medo
Com malícia e segredo
Pronto pra me defender
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira me chama dá licença meu senhor
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira me chama dá licença meu senhor

Com um pouco de molejo
Vou de encontro ao berimbau
Quem não canta bate palma
Cabaça arame e um pedaço de pau
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira me chama dá licença meu senhor
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira me chama dá licença meu senhor

Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira calls me, give me permission, my Sir
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira calls me, give me permission, my Sir
Capoeira calls me
And I go to attend
I enter the roda without fear
With malícia and (a) secret
To quickly defend [myself]
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira calls me, give me permission, my Sir
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira calls me, give me permission, my Sir

With a little molejo (magic stuffs)
I go to meet at the berimbau
Those who do not sing clap
Cabaça (gourd), arame (wire) and a piece of pau (wood for berimbau)
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira calls me, give me permission, my Sir
Iê a iê ôô
Capoeira calls me, give me permission, my Sir

Before I end this post, I would like to clarify that the song that i previously posted (23rd Oct's Class) should be Abalou Capoeira Abalou. I had amended the lyrics. So sorry for the confusion.


Friday, October 24, 2008

23rd October's Class

For those who wish to recap or missed the Thursday's class...

Sequência 3
X : Martelo, Cocorinha, Benção
Y : Banda, Armada, Negativa de angola

recap of negativa de angola

*no matter which moves you are making or even dodging, make sure you hand (elbow) is always protecting your face.

Next, floor movements!!!
Cocorinha entrando
Esquiva negativa rolé aú

wondering how to do an aú after rolé?

* when you are performing esquiva negativa rolé aú always remember to keep a lookout, especially at the blindspot before going back to ginga position or aú (after you did your rolé).

The Songs of the day~

Abalou Capoeira abalou
Abalou Capoeira abalou
Mas se abalou, diexada abalar
Abalou Capoeira abalou
Mas se abalou, deixa cair
Abalou Capoeira abalou

translation for this:
It shook Capoeira it shook
But if it shook, let it shake
It shook Capoeira it shook
But if it shook, let it fal
It shook Capoiera it shook

Meu Camarada Venha Ver A Brincadeira
Meu camarada venha ver a brincadeira
O cara planta bananeira, fica de pernas p'ro ar
Ja me falaram que essa luta é brasileira
Que se chama capoeira
Eu tambem quero jogar

Hmmm... this is what we had for today's class (oopps... its pass midnight, should be yesterday's class). this is my first post, please forgive me is there is any mistake. i'll try my best to find links to the songs so that you guys are able to listen to it and also the lyrics too.

To me, Capoeira is so similar to life but yet so different. Different in the way that, in life we have to think before we do anything. In Capoeira, it is more to reflex. What do you think?

First Post,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Every song has an agenda...

Hello meu Camaradas!

we know how to joga (play) in a Roda (circle) to the tempo of the bateria (music band) but did you know the message behind the songs that the lead singer sings?

Take for example the song that we all know, "Oi sim sim sim":

"Oi sim sim sim, Oi não não não
Oi sim sim sim, Oi não não não
Oi não não não, Oi sim sim sim
Oi sim sim sim, Oi não não não
Mas hoje tem, amanha não Mas hoje tem, amanha não
Oi sim sim sim, Oi não não não
Mas hoje tem, amanha não Olha a pisada de Lampião
Oi sim sim sim, Oi não não não"

Translated in English:
"Oh yes yes yes, oh no no no
Oh yes yes yes, oh no no no
oh no no no, Oh yes yes yes
Oh yes yes yes, oh no no no
Today you have it, tomorrow you don't Today you have it, tomorrow you don't
Oh yes yes yes, oh no no no
Today you have it, tomorrow you don't, Look at the footprints of Lampião
Oh yes yes yes, oh no no no"

Lampião was a famous bandit in history who was both ruthless and heartless. Now he is likened to a "Brazilian Robin Hood" in myths. This song would be sung by the mestre when he wants to see change in the roda; Perhaps the capoerista is going out too aggressively or the flow of the game is dying down.

Another song we would be familiar with is "Zum, zum, zum" and the message is clear: "Quero ver bater, quero ver cair"
"I want to see hitting, I want to see

Other songs like "Ô â ô â ei" & "Quebra Gereba" carries similar the similar message calling for a good & rough game.

Lastly, a song, which i hope we can learn, describes players who are too "clingy" to a certain other player and not wanting to play with different capoeiristas

"O Dona Alícia não me pegue não"

ê dona alice não me pegue não, não me pegue, não me agarre, não me pegue a mão
Ê dona alice não me pegue não
não me pegue, não me agarre, não me pegue a mão
Ê dona alice não me pegue não

Hey Ms Alice Don’t grab me, no Don’t grab me Don’t clutch me Don’t grab my hand
Hey Ms Alice Don’t grab me, no
Don’t grab me Don’t clutch me Don’t grab my hand
Hey Ms Alice Don’t grab me, no


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Breathe! With Each Strike! Shuh! Shuh! Shuh!

Well, this might not be mixed martial arts, but you must breathe nonetheless. Lots of you forget to breathe when you're upside down (Au, Bananeira) or kicking. Breeathe!

What Sean Faris' teacher doesn't say is that you breathe out when hitting. But the advice is very sound.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

18th Oct’s Class..

For those who missed this Thursday’s class, Joe was back! Yeae!!!

After some killer stretching and even-more-killer warm-up we got down to trying out a couple of new sequences.

The main focus of this class was on how to move within the Roda. You know the seniors always advice us not stick to the same position (or “angles” as they phrase it) within the roda? On how we should continuously shift or position within it?!? Well, we learnt a couple of sequences for such movement. The individual moves as such are not new to us, but the sequence in which it is coupled maybe..

Sequence 1:
Esquiva fronte. Negativa. Negativa again( this is the tricky part). Role. Au.

When your doing the second Negative, we don’t really have to pronounce each action of the Neagtiva, cos honestly this will take way too long to complete. From your first negativa position, slightly bounce on your feet, swap your legs and hands to produce the second negative.

Jus a couple of pointers.. when doing the role, you maintain yourself in a ball (you don’t need to stretch your legs) and keep yourself low. At the end of the Role, keep yourself low. This will help in the transition to Au.

Sequence 2:
Entrada, followed by Sequence 1.

We also learnt a couple of transition moves, just to move around the Roda and makes the game more aesthetically appealing! But erm, we did not know the name to it. Once I do get the names,I shall try posting videos on how to do it. (Sorry, typing down the sequence is gg to be pretty complicated, but you’ll can ask me during the next class and I’ll be more than willing to teach you’ll)

But that was pretty much it for the class!

Oh... and ya, jus rmb this, playing capoiera is like being in a relationship.. Its all about the eye contact!! (cant believe i jst typed this, nvm..)
for capoeira.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Your Nome de Guerre

In the underground period of Capoeira, capoeiristas referred to each other by--and probably were only known through--nicknames to avoid police persecution. These are referred to as apelidos (appellations) or nomes de guerre (names of war).

Technically, the capoeira teacher who baptises you (with the floor, not with water) will name you, but sometimes your style is so distinct, you earn it all on your own. So congratulations! Some of you are already earning your nomes de guerre! So, for starters:

Angeline: Ginga Baixa (Ginga Low)
Swee Lan: Palma no Chão (Hand on the Floor)
Yi Hao: Pilar (Pillar, Post)
Mona: Queixada Matador (Killer Queixada)
Amanda: Chutada Alta (High Kicker)


For your information:

Ting Kuang: Bambu (The Long One)
Pek Hong: Wolverine (Wolverine) [Kidding! But he was almost called that! His real name is Caburé, a kind of pygmy owl. I can't remember why]
Ian: Cabeça (Head) [Actually, Mestra Mara wanted to call him 'Intelligente'. The other masters wanted to call him something much less glamourous, so they settled for 'Head' instead].
Jia Min: Piaba (Death's Smile)


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This Will Slow You Down!

Some of you may have, in your gullibility, consumed a slice or two of carrot cake. Well click on it and weep, people, because one slice is 583 Calories! Yup, as a sedentary student, you only require 2000 (ladies) or 2400 (gents). That was a WHOLE MEAL you warfed down your throats! You might not feel it at first, but three years down the road when you are running after that infrequent bus 95, your heart will give up the ghost and you'll just keel over and die. Looks like you had better not skip classes anymore. You'd better go down to Sundays' Sentosa rodas as well.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Capoeira Fundamentos

A 'fundamento' is a foundation, principle or basic tenet. So as you can see, that is quite a cocky title, no? Them's fightin' words! Hah! Well, capoeira was never about humility anyway. The following is a hodge-podge of excerpts from books which I personally find unburdening. We have a few of them in our NUS Capoeira Sub-club library (bet 'cha didn't know we had one, did 'cha?). Ting Kuang will post in the comments section which ones we have. You can also get limited previews on Google Books. Perhaps you might even read them during the holidays when you're not so busy.

This is another one of those posts where someone tells you what they think Capoeira is. And you know my opinion on that matter.

1) Control Space
Almeida, Bira. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form. History, Philosophy and Practice .Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1993. pp:174-5
"One must create space with a give and take attitude, never suffocating the game with constant pressure, but attacking and defending, jumping forward and backwards, biting and soothing, coming and going, trapping and faking, moving up and down, and always trying to encircle the opponent. ... This sphere [the movements of a capoeirista] envelops the energy of the fighters and the best capoeirista controls the inner space [of the roda]. His or her opponent must be handled carefully, as if inside a bubble of gelatin that needs to be moved around intact. An abrupt movement of attack that is mistimed will shatter the harmony of the jôgo. A centrifugal movement made too fast or a startled defense could break that surface tension of the sphere, making control of the game difficult. Experienced capoeiristas will make the jôgo flow smoothly event at a fast speed while attempting to control the action."
2) Esquiva, pôrra!
Capoeira, Nestor. Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 2002. pp. 240:
As the late mestre Canjiquinha revealed to us once, “You can block the blow of a very strong man but you can’t block a truck at 100 mph.”
3) Life is tough, Groove with it
__. ibidem. pp.20
Life is a struggle?
Life is a battle?
The player sees that capoeira is teaching him to dance within and during this fight.
And the grooving of this 'dancing while fighting' has a lot to do with malícia.
4) Get over oops
__. ibidem. pp.26
If by chance you hurt somebody or get hurt by somebody, this must not bring you guilt or remorse. Capoeira, similar to life, has its danger. In order to die you simply need to be alive.
Almeida, Bira. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form. History, Philosophy and Practice. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1993. pp: (I can't find the page number. Let me know if you find it)
... If you get hit, it's your fault. If you hit someone, it's your fault."

5) The fearless do not exist.
Capoeira, Nestor. The Little Capoeira Book (revised edition). Berkeley, California: Blue Snake Books, 2003. p. 56:
Of all the proverbs, though, perhaps the best one for the beginner to keep in mind is that "valente não existe,' which can be translated as 'There's no such thing as a tough guy' or 'the fearless do not exist.' It is important for the beginner not to be fooled by the outward appearance of 'tough guys,' and to realise that we all feel fear, and that we are all--to greater and lesser extents--insecure: "The fearless do not exist."
6) Keep your cool.
Lewis, J. Lowell. Ring of Liberation: Deceptive Discourse in Brazilian Capoeira. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1992. pp 129:
During one bout, one player had snuck a kick in through the guard of his opponent, stinging him, and the offended player became angry, attempting to retaliate. The more he tried to hit the first player back, and could not, the angrier and more frustrated he became. The sneaky kicker responded with a series of mock cringes, each of which served to emphasize the other player's emotional state and telegraph to the audience the fact that he had landed a blow, which most had not seen. These cringes angered the attacking player even more, since they highlighted both the fact that he had been hit (which he could have covered up if he hadn't lost his temper) and that he was impotent to counterattack. I suddenly realised that I was witnessing the cringe being used as a weapon!
7) This is a game, make-believe.
Downey, Greg. Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. pp. 112:
Mestre Squisito, (quoted in Downey):
"Capoeiristas put their lives in a game and stage death in a playful theatrical form. "Here is a mortal attack," smiles one of the players; to which the other responds: "You struck me fatally..." negating the attack. And the game recommences. It is the game of life. It is life and not death that is interesting, that the capoeiristas seek." ... [H]owever ... the play 'bites' in capoeira can grow in intensity until they shatter the game's restraint. Playing at fighting may turn abruptly into just fighting, capoeira teachers often warn. But that danger is one reason why 'cunning' or malícia is the most admired trait in capoeira.
8) People are full of shit.
Capoeira, Nestor. A Street-Smart Song: Capoeira Philosophy and Inner Life. Berkeley, California: Blue Snake Books, 2005. pp. 104:
"Humans are medicre, mean, limited, false, full of prejudice, and full of shit. The society we live in isn't much better ... Capoeira's fundamento is the knowledge of all these things, the knowledge of this panoramic and global picture, seasoned with a strong dose of "good humour" (for lack of a better word) and "dressed" in the colours of Brazilian Afro and underground culture."
9) You have to live with them anyway
__. ibidem. pp.105:
"... Have you ever seen very young kids playing by the seashore on a beautiful day? The run. They jump. They dance as if they were crazy. They wet their feet in the breaking waves and run away from them yelling. This energy is what I call being in a "good humour".

Happy reading,

Friday, October 10, 2008

9th October's Class

What we've learnt.
recap of Martelo:

Take note of the entrada where the foot points outwards. This makes it easier for you to swing your hips to the side.

Banda/Rasteira em pé :

Here's another video which shows the whole sweep in action (and another move).

So this cool move is used to counter the Martelo. When executing try to put your weight towards the bent leg.

Other moves which we practised:
Au com Negativa (Au to negativa)
Negativa to Rolé

Also in today's class we learnt how to sing these songs:
É de couro de boi
É de couro de boi, é de couro de boi
Olha o meu Atabaque é de couro de boi

Translation (courtesy of Eng Wen):
"Look at my Atabaque,
It's [made of] the leather of the bull"

and the first part to the Zambiacongo Theme Song

"Sou Zambiacongo de Geni sou da Bahia"

I am Zambiacongo, which came from Mestre Geni who is from Bahia

"Sou Regional do Bimba Angola de Canjiquinha"

He learnt Regional from Mestre Bimba and Angola from Mestre Canjiquinha

So that's all for my first post. If there's anything to be added or rectified please post your comments (Lalitha, Tiang Tiang, EW please edit the post if required).

First post,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Capoeira Angola Videos

As people who first learn Capoeira Regional (well... IMHO, we are actually learning Capoeira Contemporanea), we have a tendency to caricaturise Capoeira Angola: we understand it as what Regional is not. Regional is high, objective, acrobatic (well, again, acrobatics is something in Capoeira Contemporanea), fast. So, Angola must be low, ludic, scrunched up and slow.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. I don't know much, but I do know it isn't just. When we delve into a body of knowledge, structure (i.e. Regional vs Angola vs Contemporanea vs Benguela vs Iuna vs...) is there to facilitate learning. But ultimately, as the postmodernists rightly claim, structure is there to be dissolved. Take everything with a pinch of salt, especially capoeira, which resists (hey hey!) being put into a box.

How you know not to trust a barber:

Actually, the rhythm that should be played in not Angola, but Santa Maria. It sounds like this:

French Capoeira Documentary with Mestre Pastinha in 1963. This was probably while Regional (and Angola, for that matter) was still being polished. Notice how the game is not very pretty. Then again, this is a documentary, so beware of editing (and the players 'acting up' for the camera.

Mestre Cobra Mansa vs Mestre Acordeon (~1990). They used magnetic VHS tapes back in those days to record things. Excuse the distortions and no music. Yes, this is violent (you can almost feel it seething, about to erupt, no?). Yes, this is Angola (or rather we should say, 'Capoeira is Capoeira'--no boxes, please.).

Samba de Roda (nothing to do with Angola--at least directly)

Woo!!! (fans self)Yes, I've noticed--that butt has a person attached to it.

Heh heh, sorry, just letting off some steam.


Guys: Yes, macho men dance. Ladies: Don't learn how to dance from straight men.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The ZambiaCongo Grading System

Dear fellow Capoeiristas,

This is quoted off the ZambiaCongo Webpage, I hope this information helps you all understand better about the belts and please do not worry, YOU WILL GET A BELT ( the beginners belt of course )

"Official Grading System
The capoeira grading system was first introduced by Master Bimba. In his academy, the students had to learn 8 basic sequences of attack and defense before they could play capoeira in the roda. Students also had to learn a sequence of throws called 'Balao' or 'Cintura desprezada', designed for the students to gain skill, agility and control over their movement. Once the student had learnt all the sequences and passed the 'exam', Master Bimba would organise a ceremony he called Batizado (Baptism) which symbolized the first time the student would play in the roda. On that special day they would receive the blue scarf, the first grading step, becoming 'aluno formado' (graduated student).

The tradition and style of Capoeira that Master Bimba created in the late1920's are the fundaments of today's Capoeira regional. Over the years, Capoeira has developed a lot, respected Masters who were students of Master Bimba and others who were followers of his teachings have adapted the techniques to further improve its efficiency and flow. The grading system has also changed to suit the ever increasing number of Capoeiristas and to ensure the level of competency and experience necessary to become a Aluno Formado, Professor or Mestre.


Beginner belt
1. Light Green

Single colour belts - beginner levels
2. Dark Green
3. Yellow
4. Blue

Binded colour belts - advanced students
5. Green and Yellow
6. Green and Blue
7. Yellow and Blue

Aluno Formado
8. Green, Yellow and Blue

9. White and Green

10. White and Yellow

11. White and Blue

12. White with blue tip

13. White

The first beginner belt (light green) represents the first time the student plays in a official group roda. The next 3 levels of beginner belts are awarded according to the improvement and experience gained throughout the year of training. Students are assessed on their individual development on all areas of Capoeira as well as keeping up with the standard of each level within the group. At this stage students may go up a level once a year or once every two years, depending on their development and involvement with the Capoeira group.

Intermediate belts (i.e. green with yellow tip, Yellow with blue tip, etc.) are awarded to students who might be exceeding at a particular level but are not experienced enough to go into the next belt.

The binded colour belts require a minimum of 3 years experience and significant improvement on technique, knowledge of the fundaments of Capoeira, music skills as well as experienced gained by visiting rodas from different groups and involvement in the Capoeira culture. Students must keep up with the standard of Zambiacongo group in Brazil and higher level students are expected to train visit Brazil and experience Capoeira over there as well.

The requirements for each belt are not as specific as learning a certain move or knowing a number of kicks. There are lot of different aspects in Capoeira which need time to be developed and that varies from person to person. During the week leading up to the grading day there will be many workshops hosted by guest masters and teachers. We encourage everyone to participate in the week of the grading regardless of what level experience you have. The most important thing when learning Capoeira is to be involved with the art and absorb as much as you can, everything else will follow naturally. There will be more about the grading on the newsletters to come. If you have any questions about Capoeira please don't hesitate to ask you teacher or email it to us. Asking questions is also a great learning tool!

See you in the roda,
Professor Caracol"

Love Love

Friday, October 3, 2008

Let's Worship THESE People!

After a year or two in capoeira (or any human endeavour for that matter), you will encounter someone who will tell you what capoeira is. And really, one fine day, you'll have to decide for yourself what it is.

But today, I'm going to tell you what it is.

In capoeira there will always be people who have been in it longer than you. They are more knowledgeable; they can do fancy things. Because they are obviously superior, we should kowtow at their feet and respect--nay, worship--them. We should idolise and pedestalise (yes, I made that word up--that's what Arts majors do) them. They can do no wrong, for they are superior in capoeira, and are therefore superior human beings. If they are upset, it must be because we, as inferior human beings, are at fault. We must be to blame.

Yes, it's quite ridiculous when it's written down, isn't it? But I bet it didn't seem so when it was a latent background semi-formed thought.

Do you worship these people?

Impressive crazy skills, no doubt, but a skill is a skill is a skill. Just because you want to learn it doesn't make a master of that skill worship-worthy; it just means that you ought not to upset that person if you want him to teach you.

And you'd be surprised how full of sh*t people can be, in any human endeavour. Does a Ph.D make your professor a better human being? No. Even if it's legit, all it means is that he's spent more time studying than you. You don't look up to him because of his title. You're nice to him because he controls your grades. And just maybe, if you're lucky, he's a nice human being who cares about your growth in his discipline, and he does things beyond what is necessary to help you.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we should judge people by how useful they are. We should use people depending on how useful they are, certainly (come on, admit it!), but perhaps we should judge people's humanity by how much they acknowledge it in others.

umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu,

2nd October's Class

You learnt:

Au Batido:

Er, I know the video calls it 'Bananeira' (Banana tree), and it is correct. The 'Au Batido' that you learnt is switching the legs while doing the Bananeira. This is the first step to learning the handstand bananeira. It is also the first step to learning how to kick while in a handstand.

The name of the game is control. Instead of kicking your legs up, you *shift* your weight onto your hands. This way, your legs can still be low to the ground (at first) and you have low risk of falling over, while still learning how to control your weight on your hands.

NO KICK UP! (Your feet can be low.)
SHIFT onto your hands.
CONTROL-grip the floor.

Some of you have forgotten queixada.

Do take note that:
1) you TWIST your upper body FIRST
2) when you kick, you PULL YOUR ARMS AGAINST the kick.

The other guys learnt Au Batido (yes, this movement is also called 'Au Batido' (broken Au) among other things):

Note that the one you learnt has a different starting position.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Capoeira History 101

Hassan found this video. It's not about Capoeira history, but looks like, as a man says, a 'nice animation'.

I stumbled upon this related video. It's a charcoal drawing of the slavery era of capoeira. It's a very interesting medium because it can convey/evoke so much in so little and in so many other ways than a -AACK!- 'documentary'. In my humble opinion, this is not so much a lesson in historical fact than it is how capoeiristas engage with, reconstruct (because no one alive today really lived through those times), and invoke the past, a lesson in how they feel the past inflects capoeira's present. Ah, nevermind. When we get a history major, we'll get him to type an entire blogpost on historicity (NOT to be confused with 'history').

The lyrics (performed by Mestre Toni Vargas) for the first part can be found here.

I haven't found an English translation, and it's beyond my meagre smattering, so you'll just have to settle with downloading it into your ringtone.

BUT if you need a visual interpretation, I think this video does a pretty good job. It's in-your-face (the video), but that's probably because reality is tough. Fact: People do bad things to each other. So brace yourself; this isn't going to be pretty.

Stay humane,

P.S. - some of you may have accidentally learnt 'S-dobrado'. It means 'double S'. You can search for examples of the move on Youtube, but you should never learn Capoeira from the Net. Seriously. I mean it. Stop it now.

P.P.S. - Here's my translation of the lyrics (take with a pinch of salt):

Slave ship
Floating tomb
My motherland is distant
Pain and desperation

Chorus: Slave ship

Separated on a wandering ship
Sailing, yearning
Africa is distant
Hear my song

chorus: Slave ship

Mother that lost her child
King that lost his queen
People that lost their spirit
While wasting away

Friday, September 26, 2008

25th September's Class

You learnt:

Sequência 1
--please refer to your .pdf file.--

New Bit
Players are in ginga da façada (alternating).
Player 1: cocorinha entrando, ginga parallela, esquiva frontal, bote
Player 2: cocorinha entrando, ginga parallela, esquiva frontal, bote

Bote ("Boat"--previously we called this 'little coil' because we didn't know its name):

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Saturday BBQ

Hey guys!

Sorry the the late update, been really busy. Anyways, the saturday BBQ was Great! A big thank you to Aisha and Aliph for the wonderful food and helping us to get the location. A big thank you to the girls who came early and helped skewer and prepare the food. I'm sure every on enjoyed the food, even I did...both the well cooked ones and the overly well cooked ones. A big thank you to myself for starting the fire hahaha.

It was great to see the rest of the family from HQ and SMU. Though our numbers in total were not very large, we had loads of fun. Here are some of the pictures, the rest are in the facebook group (:.

Love Love

Learn Some REAL Capoeira!

Feeling stressed from schoolwork?

Need to smash something expensive?

Feel the need? The need for SPEED?

Play Capoeira Fighter 3! Challenge your friends! Do sick moves you never would have dreamed of!

PS: Oh, and tell us who your favourite character + combos is in the comments section!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

23rd September's Class

Okay, some of you might have accidentally picked up the Meia Lua de Compasso:

Although this guy is trying to kill hobbits, you should be trying to hit human-sized targets.

Everything else was realising that you're actually aiming for something with your other kicks (Martelo, Queixada, Meia Lua de Frente).

Us people who pretend better tried to kill kicking pads with:

Martelo do chão (Martelo from the Ground), which is like a Chapeu de Couro (Hat of Leather, or Leather Hat), but from Esquiva Frontal. Below is Chapeu de Couro:

Au Chibata: There are two types: one where you end up in parallela and the other where you end up in negativa. This is the upright version.

Tricky Meia Lua de Compassos

Gancho (Hook) from faked Martelo. Youtube only has the Gancho, sans feint.


I caution: do not actually hit with the armada of the parafuso, or you are going to crash painfully into the floor!

Yeah, it does seem like learning Capoeira from Youtube, no? Hahaha! Anyway, one last thing for berimbau players:

It's not exactly a 32 string piano (or however many strings a piano has) with an Orlando Bloom 'Legolas beat', but it's still pretty cool. I never knew you could play it like that! His name is Naná Vasconcelos. You can find other psychedelic videos of him on Youtube. Stoke up your bong pipe and prepare to get stoned!

Stay Sexy (and don't do what I did in the roda today),

Friday, September 19, 2008

Capoeira in MMA

Courtesy of one of our members.

This is from the movie Never Back Down, which goes to show that Capoeira is not above making fun of itself. :) The lesson in the movie to breeeaaathe (shaa shaa shaa!) is very important. Don't forget to breathe when you are doing handstand bananeiras and the like. :)

Another angle:

Not Le La Lae Lae La AGAIN?!?

Aren't you tired of hearing the same songs OVER AND OVER again?!?!? Want to show the seniors "who the real maestro--not to be confused with 'mestre'--is"?! (to those in the know, that was a classic line from 'Only the Strong')

Then submit your song-post in the comments section! It could be a webpage with the lyrics (hopefully with audio file), a streaming video (just tell us from when to when on the timescale), a roda in which the song is sung, perhaps even just a chorus typed phonetically because you don't know the song title.

The condition (yes, there's always one, isn't there?) is that you must master the soloist's part. We'll try to help you if we can (or pretend to if we can't). Then we'll forcefeed everyone else the coro ('chorus') and wala! Instant Maestro/a!

NB: This is not homework (sweet Betsy, the last thing capoeira is is wooooorrrrk, but if you've found a song that you like and would like to share it, please do. Don't worry, this will be a recurring blogpost we'll move up once in a while, so you can find (or stumble upon) a song at your own pace.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Move Grooves of the Day!

Hey every body!

Today was GREAT! well you guys learned these moves:


Another shot of the Armada:

You all also learnt Meia Lua de Frente and Armada Combo. Which is part of the Mestre Bimba Sequences, sequence 1. Go check the pdf file i sent to you guys for details of the sequence.

You all were introduced today to a new move called Queda de Rins ('Fall on Kidneys'--that's why your elbow must be tucked into your side!), check our chimps moves link for the picture and the moves.

You also learnt that 'esquerda' means left, while 'direita' means right.

Lastly, you learnt a move of which I do not know the name. We'll temporarily christen it 'Little Coil'. From Negativa de Angola, pull your tripping leg back until you are in Quebra de Ginga (the 'Break of the Swing'). Then bring your front foot back and go down, supporting yourself on your back foot and your front arm. Back arm protects your face, front leg wraps around your back leg. It's like a Negativa de Angola, but with your front leg wrapped around your back one.
For the seniors, I cant find anything on the net that resembles what we learnt. But we should make our own notes and draw our own diagrams (because one doesn't need to know what a move is called to know how to do it):
Feta (?fingir?) de Au, Queda de Rins, swap over to other side Queda de Rins.

Love Love

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Its Mugging Time!

Hello Every body!

Its Mugging Time! Yey! Time to hit those books after hitting Capoeira sessions. Well for those of you who are stressed I highly recommend South Park/Simpsons/ Family Guy/ American Dad to de-stress. This is a study tip site (:

Ok, if you have headaches or neck aches from diving in those books; this is a rejuvenating massage:

Or! You could try Hypnotherapy to relieve stress! I've tried it and boy does it do wonders hehehe. Ok now, I know you're studying really hard, but do the two polls on the side bar regarding Tuesday Sessions please pretty please!

For those who have not replied me in the mail regarding your T-shirts and committee and BBQ, hurry up and do so!

Love Love 
Bambu (:

-ps, I have hamsters to adopt, 2 babies right now hurry and reply me if you want them

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Joined Capoeira Because...

Come on, we've all had strange, almost whimsical reasons to join capoeira. Well, it's CONFESSION TIME!

Leave your reasons in the 'Comments' section.

- Hijacking this post: CHECK YOUR MAIL ALL OF YOU!! (:

Friday, September 12, 2008

11th September's Class

You learnt:

Negativa de Angola (Angolan Negation)

Notice that after the negativa de angola you can rolé? This allows you to move, attack, escape. Erm, nevermind, you'll learn it later.

This is also the negativa de angola. You learnt to enter using the negativa de angola. Mestre Brasilia shows how you can use it to escape an attack with style!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Scandinavian Malícia

Who knew they practised Capoeira in Norway too?

Malícia is loosely translated as guile, cunning, deception, streetsmarts. It's what you develop as a 'side-effect' of playing the game of capoeira. You learn to read--at least when you are playing capoeira--other people, whether they're committing or faking, what they intend to do, how they'll react to your [faked] actions.

Have you seen other examples of the legendary malícia in action? Post them up in the comments section! They could be links or even anecdotes!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Launch of Facebook!

Hey guys,

I just launched our facebook account to store photos because the blog is very inept at storing them. Add yourselves to our account and you guys can go STUDY each of the photos taken so far in detail hehe.

Our facebook account uses the name and email: Capoeira Nus ,

Love Love

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sentosa Roda!!

Hello every body!

Sorry for the late post. I couldn't find my camera cable! I borrowed my hall mate's one and thanks to her, here are the photos (:

Well the weather wasn't too sunny but the temperature was just right, not too hot, not too cold. We had our dear dear Ying Wen ( the gal in blue ) and our handsome sentosa guide Alvin and Adrian join us. We had alot of fun practicing the quixadas, melua defrentes, esquivas and aus.

I learnt something important that day. When we play in the roda, or when we enter the roda, we have to not only look out for our opponent but we have to also scan the surroundings for any objects that might cross our path in the roda. I failed to check the roda and its surroundings before I entered and when I Au-ed in, my legs landed on a charging toddler. My my...that poor girl. I'll bet she will grow up to have a fear of Au-s and capoeira ( or I might have knocked her IQ up to that of Einstein!)

Just my 5 cents worth (:

Love Love

Sunday, September 7, 2008


just a random thought at 5am.

most of us can play the instruments of the bataria to a certain extent. and most of us knows that to play the instrument and sing at the same time requires another whole lot of concentration, and mentaly partitioning.

to put things into perspective, bear with the analogyies below.

to pick up any instrument and shake it, hit it or whatever it is you do to produce sound is like:
-a level 1 module, simple, introduction and easy to smoke your way through
-playing a PC game on tutorial mode....less enemies to slaughter, and generally they're slow and weak and seemingly has the urge to jump in front of your attacks.

to pick up an instrument and play it in the correct rhythm is like:
- a level 2 or 3 module. no longer straight forward, but requires some adaptation and personal response
-playing the same PC game in beginer or intermediate difficulty level...suddenly u need to concentrate more, move more and it get more interesting for youself as enemy suddenly no longer jump to you to get slaughtered.

but to pick up an instrument, play the correct rhythm and singa at the same time is like:
-a level 5 module when u're a freshmen...totally lost most of the time
-palying the same PC game at HELL mode!!! suddenly very ones coming to slaughter you and u don't know how to handle the influx of info....

however, it can be trained up via a very simple way.... COUNT OUT LOUD when u allows you to practice multitasking and traings your mind to work both your mouth and hands together. the more u do so, the soon the playing becomes an auto-pilot kinda thing and u can focus more on singing new songs or singing your own songs while playing.

so if u've not gotten anything i've written above, just remember, COUNT OUT LOUD!!!! nothing to be embarass about.

Pek /Cabure

Friday, September 5, 2008

'TumTum, Pup, Tum'

Originally uploaded by Dr. GORI ( PJr.)

i'm here to introduce my favorite instrument in the Bataria(ie the band that plays the music you 'jogo' to in the roda consisting of the berimbau, atabaque and pandeiro)

the Atabaque...haha!!!

anyway, for those who are new to capoeira, the Atabaque is basically a drum. Though not the protagonist of the Bataria( that of course goes to the Berimbau, curve bow with a string and a roundround gourd), it is still a important part of the main trio. And together with the Pandeiro(ie tamborine) it helps to reinforce the rhythm played by the Berimbau, giving the songs more depth and acoustical substance....

personally, i find the Atabaque the easiest instrument to pick up. it has 2 basic tones.

-Tone A produces the ''tum tum tum'' sound by hitting the edge of the drum surface with our fingers closed and hands partially cupped. The contact points are the fleshy bits of the palm just below our fingers and the tip section of our finger. Tone A should not be flat and should resonate, and is achieve by hitting and lifting, ie not to let the hand rest on the drum after the hit. those who play the piano or other conventional instruments, its a Staccato hit

-Tone B produces the ''pup pup pup'' sound by slapping the center of the drum surface with fingers open. The contact points for this tone is the entire hand. Tone B should be a loud and flat sound that does not echo or resonate hence the hand is left resting on the drum surface through out the entire count( more on counting and rhythm below) again those who play the piano or other conventional instruments,its a Legato hit

as for counting and rhythm. its actually a 3 bit rhythm. however having said so, we hit the drum 4 times*confusingconfusing* hahaha!! allow me to explain, we count the rhythm as '1,2,3...4...1,2,3...4...1,2,3...4...'. Hit 1 and Hit 2 are half counts of Tone A, ie done fast consecutively,while Hit 3 is a full count of Tone B and Hit 4 is a full counts of Tone A. so......what you get is something that sounds like,
''Tumtum,Pup...Tum... Tumtum,Pup...Tum... Tumtum,Pup...Tum...''

alright before i make this too confusing,click HERE for a simple demo, hopefully it will clarify my attempts to explain playing the Atabaque above....hahaha!!!

on a last note,
-to produce a nice sound on the Atabaque, ones arm, ie shoulder, elbows, wrist, and fingers must always remain RELAX!!!! If the arm is tense, the sound produced is very soft and dead.
-always count out the rhythm(ie actually say out loud the "1,2,3...4...1,2,3...4...1,2,3...4...'' when you play. this not only helps you in keeping the rhythm constant, but it allows you to practice for the future when you no longer need to count out the rhythm, but want to sing to the chorus while playing the Atabaque.
-click HERE to link to another article about playing the Atabaque that includes links to other more uncommon rhythms that one might encounter.

well, i guess this is enough said...the more you play, the more you'll improve and before you know it, you'll be able to not just play the rhythm, and flourishes(improvisation the break from the regular 4 count rhythm buy still stick to the 3 bit rhythm).

p.s. dear fellow snrs, forgive me for the longwinded post with all the explanation and translation. its a intro. post for capoeiristas-to-be la...hahahaha!!!

4th Sep's Class

You learnt:

Queixada. 'Queixo' is 'chin'. Dá means 'to give'. So you could understand 'queixada' is 'giving it to the chin', which is what you're aiming for anyway.

Cadeira. 'Cadeira' means 'chair'. Carpentry techniques weren't always what they are today. In the old days, such low chairs were made of bone and sinew.

Cocorinha Entrada. 'Entrance with the Cocorinha'. 'Cocorinha' means 'defecation'. Unlike the Queixada, this is emphatically not what you are aiming for.. It's hard to find a video of this because many groups call it different names, and some don't have a name for it. The closest thing so far is 'Jinga 4' in this video. If you find something with better pedagogical utility, let us know in the comments.

Lastly, you learnt these songs:
Quem vem la, sou eu
Audio here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Who in the world is Mestre Luizinho?!

Well......He's our Mestre! He's that cool chap who guide's us. Although he is based in Australia, he comes over every quarter to give us free workshops to make sure all of us are in shape (:

This is some information about him I got from the ZC main website:

Luizinho Barravento was born in Salvador - Bahia - Brazil on the 26th of March 1974. Luiz has been involved with Capoeira since the age of three. He began in 1977 with his father and teacher Mestre Geni. He has travelled around Brazil and South America doing displays to promote Capoeira Zambiacongo. He studied physical education from 1993 - 1995 but deferred his studies and travelled to Australia to extend Capoeira Zambiacongo.

Luizinho Barravento opened the first Australian Zambiacongo Capoeira School at the Gold Coast, Queensland in January 1996. In 2000, he became a Mestrando (level below Master). This was the year Luiz also took a group of 10 Zambiacongo Students to travel Brazil and his home state of Bahia, allowing his students to gain even more knowledge and experience with the history of Capoeira.

Luiz has followed in the footsteps of his father and contributed to the growth of Zambiacongo and not just only in Brazil. The group is growing immensely and he has established schools in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Kingscliff and Darwin.

In 2002 Luizinho was graded as a Master in Capoeira by his father Master Geni. That same year Luizinho made the top 10 in the World Capoeira Championship organised by Group Muzenza in Curitiba - Brasil.

Mestre Luizinho is currently running academy on Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

And with that is the workshop he gave us in 2007:

Now for Part 2

Yup! Thats a really short introduction of him and you HAVE to meet him cause he just exudes positive vibes...he literally glows with it haha.

Love love