Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting that sway: GINGA

Hey, it was great seeing all you guys trying out Capoeira and I am very greatly encouraged to see all of you trying out the new movements so here is just a review post to recap what my station taught last night: the GINGA.

As you already know, the Ginga is the basic movement of which Capoeiristas use to deliver kicks, sweeps, dodges or just other types of movement. The word ‘Ginga’ translates into the meaning of ‘to sway’, so what we wanna see is a smooth swaying motion from left to right. How do we get that effect? The trick is in the transferring of your weight from right to left; here’s a little exercise you can do:

-Stand and position your feet so that the space between them is slightly larger than your shoulder-width

-Bend your legs such that the angle formed with the inside of your knees is a little more than 90 degrees

-Position your upper body such that you lean forward a little but remember to keep your back straight the whole time.

-Now just sway from left to right; shift your weight supported on your right leg to your left and back again and just keep going. This exercise is to allow you to feel the swaying motion and achieve that smoothness. Plus it will provide some strengthening to your thigh muscles and hamstrings for stability.

I think all of you have a general idea of how to do a ‘Ginga’, so all that is left for you is to find some space in your house or rearrange your furniture and just keep practicing your ‘Ginga’ because if you guys really want to improve, you gotta practice on your own at home as well. Here are several tips you should take note of when doing the ‘Ginga’ on your own.

-Always bend your knees more, I know it’s tiring and as you keep doing the ‘Ginga’ you will start bending less and less. Make a conscious effort to maintain that slightly more than 90 degrees angle with your knees at all times. This will help you get that ‘sway’ and maintain the same height while doing your ‘Ginga’.

-Always keep your hands up to protect your face and sides

-Always look at your ‘opponents’ eyes, but if you’re practicing alone then just look straight ahead

-As your legs are moving about, refrain from ‘hopping’ or ‘bouncing’ about. What we want is a smooth motion. It’s perfectly fine if your feet are sliding against the floor.

-Lean forward slightly but maintain a straight back to protect your spine, I cannot stress this enough. Your lower back will start to ache, but it’s natural because you are constantly tightening your lower back muscle to keep your spine straight and this is causing the ache. It’s good! Because you are strengthening your back muscles

I hope you guys will practice the ‘Ginga’ at home and try out the exercises and take note of the tips that I have provided. I look forward to see you guys improve and then we can teach you even more stuff! Have fun and train safe!

- Cabeça

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