Monday, March 30, 2009

March 26th Class

Yeah back from a week's hiatus. So on this day we learned a move similar to meia lua de compasso called....well I think it's called Rabo de Arraia. It's similar but with a few differences.
Firstly, it is executed from your ginga position, there's no need for an entrada.
Next, turn around and look under your armpits.
Make sure your kicking leg is as straight as you can make it to should feel a great sensational stretchy feeling.
One hand is planted on the floor instead of two (for compasso).
While kicking , as usual kicking leg straight while for the other leg, keep it bent, no need to straighten as that would result in a compasso.
This kick is most effective when done fast (other martial arts like Taekwondo must be thinking duh...) and is supposed to target the lower body. Here's a video

That's all for this short recap...
As in Roda, as in life

Thursday, March 12, 2009

12 March's Class

Wow what a class it was today. We had not one but 2 Birthday Roda's.
Happy Birthday to Youcef (I thought it was Eusoff XD) and Wei Lin. Here's my Bencao to you :)

Ok for the post proper, we learnt variations of the martelo today.
More specifically, Martelo-do-Chão which means Martelo from the floor.

The first one starts with an esquiva and uses 2 hands to support the kick.
It goes something like this but from an esquiva position.

another take

The second variation, the one more popularly used in a roda starts from an esquiva frontal.
If your right leg is forward, stretch your left arm diagonally forwards and plant it on the floor and vice versa.
Give a good hop from your back leg and kick a martelo using the front leg with your planted hand working as support. Note that the weight should be on your planted hand.
Land back in a cebra position then back to ginga.
To my dismay a search on youtube for Martelo-do-Chão returned me JJ Lin's Cao Cao music videos.....
well the closest I got to was this

The last one is a sequence of moves whereby instead of kicking the martelo do chao, we fake it and land the leg behind the other person's leg. Pull back your leg like 0:06 in this awesome video
but no need to put the hands on the floor.

Ok so that's all for this week's edition of Last Thursday's Class.
As in the roda, as in life,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dancing in Chains

The master artist dances in chains. - Goethe
That would have been a sententious quote to christen this post. Some of you would have been in awe, while others would be wondering, yi kong si mi l@n...? My professor--a man of great learning--unfortunately misquoted it. It doesn't exist. Which doesn't say much for Ph.D's, does it?

But anyway, one day when you are old and tired, when your tendons are calcified and your heart weak, you too will be quoting this to spritely capoeiristas. I can only speak from experience, but I feel the most mature capoeiristas have, for lack of a better word, 'tact'.

It's like a conversation: when we're young, we use simple declarative statements. 'This is a ball,' 'I feel sad,' and so on. As we mature, we learn subtler nuances in our language, and learn how to have entire conversations without saying anything at all! Questions, answers, statements can mean either one thing or the other, or perhaps both simultaneously, or even nothing at all. It all works because a lot of what we say is left unsaid, in body gesture, tonality, choice of words and their connotations, sentence structure and so forth.

Say someone starts with a 'How are...' and instead of the expected 'you', ends with a 'things with your ex?' What seemed like a friendly salutation suddenly looms with the adumbration of Don Juan over here muscling in on territory you haven't quite gotten over.

Reeling back in to capoeira, when I see what I feel to be a mature game, I see players suggesting attacks and possible (but non-commital) defences to said suggested (but never carried out) attacks. Almost everything has to be second-guessed. A lift of the leg could be a defence, an attack, a step, or just something needing to be scratched. Just vague gestures and wispy ambivalances dissolving into the air.

An analogy can only get one so far, and when it starts to break down, it's time to discard it. So we'll do so here, because I don't think I can say anything else about 'tact'.

So what has this got to so with the (mis)quote? Is capoeira an art? Other martial arts don't mention any stinkin' chains!

Well, I'd say that this is just how capoeira is. And yes, it is a medium through which one expresses oneself. Or rather, one is the medium through which Capoeira expresses itself. Whatever.

Bruce Lee (who flunked out of Philosophy, if I'm not mistaken) once said,
"Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself. It is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky so I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly enough; that, my friend, is very hard to do."
So don't get me wrong, I'm not dumping on the deficits of other martial arts. I'm just saying that in capoeira, one honestly doesn't know what one is going to say until one says it.

Amendment: Bruce Lee actually flunked out of Drama, while taking some courses in Philosophy. Hmm...

Things You've Always Wanted to Shout in the Roda

Beleza! (ber-LEH-zah!)
Beautiful! (literally, 'Beauty!')

O meu Deus!
Oh my God!

Compra o jogo! (or just 'Compra!')
Buy the game!

Canta, pôrras!
Sing, ₣u₵₭ers! (literally, 'Sing, sperms!' [though I believe the proper plural of 'sperm' is spermatazoa. Is that right, Life Science majors?])

Posso comprar?
May I play?

Jogue mais devagar, por favor. (jo-gee-yu mah-ice jee-va-gar, por favor)
Play slower, please.

Nós podemos jogar mais rápido, se você prefere (nos poh-day-mos jogar mah-ice ha-pee-do, say vo-say pre-fur-ray)
We can play faster, if you prefer.

Apenas! (ah-peh-nas!)
Close! Almost!

Escute o berimbau, pôrra! (Es-KU-chee o berimbau, por-ha!)
Listen to the berimbau, ₣u₵₭er!

Calma! Cabeça frio! (Kah-beh-sa free-yo!)
Be calm! Be cool! (literally, 'a cold head')

Atrás de você! (or just 'Atrás!')
Behind you! (right before you martelo your opponent in the backside)

Olhe! (O-le-yeh!)
Look! (same tactic as above)

Não é me! (now air me!)
It wasn't me! (banging on the bathroom floor)

O que pôrra é essa? (oh-kay por-ha air es-sa?)
What the ₣u₵₭ is this? (literally, 'What sperm is this?')

Não se preocupado, sou muito gentil. (now say preocu-pah-doh, so muito gen-chil)
Don't be worried, I'm very gentle. (at the foot of the berimbau, just before you Au in and wipe the floor with his ass)

Coloque-lo! (Koh-loh-kay-lo!)
Put it in! (as in, inside his defences, though I'm sure resourceful people like you can find other situations in which it would be apropos)

Você é muito quente (kayn-chee) quando joga. Gostoso.
You are very hot when you play. Me like.

Anything else you wanted to say but didn't know how?

Some of you may feel that the last few lines may be unwarranted for this post. But come on, you know you've wanted to say them!

Mais Uma Volta by Joaninha

Hey guys,

check out this excellent read. Mais Uma Volta, Joaniha

have u all heard of CCLS(ie Capoeira Coloured Lense Syndrome) hahahaha!!!! if not GO AND READ IT NOW!!!!!! well worth it. Applauses to Joaninha of


Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Pimp my Notice Board/ Tzng my wall"

Hi guys!

Our Hassan has brought up an issue that has been "gathering dust" since last Sem haha... are we aware that we own a notice board just outside MPSH 1? It's next to Nan Wa Pai's notice board.
Therefore, seeing how open house is just around the corner, and that we want passer-bys to be aware that capoeira is still alive and kicking in NUS, any ideas for how we can do up our board?

Haha we've been through quite a bit with each other already - Chingay, OK-TO-Live, Outdoor Roda, Batizado; so i believe we can do much more justice to our wall than just "" :)

axe meu camaradas