Monday, July 20, 2009

Combined Martial Arts Display

Hi guys,

once again we've been invited to take part in a play combining the 9 other martial art-form. The objective is to amplify the individual art-form's philosophy and application via choreography and displays to spectators who would otherwise lack awareness of the various art.

Here's a flashback of what went on for last year's display.

No doubt that this year won't be any short of the last so spread the word guys! Capoeira is gonna show how it goes head to head with the other martial arts!

More info:


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Reach for the skies!!

Hi guys!

I've thought of a new and painful torture for most of us (especially for us guys) to improve our flexibility, and it's called stretching. Here's a few pointers how we can conduct ourselves us we execute the punishment of attempted leg-splits and toe-touching in class or the privacy of our homes.

1. Stretch daily. Make it consistent: be it just waking from bed or sitting in front of the TV - there's always an opportunity to stretch; the question is, "Do i want to?"

2. Vary the types of stretches and maintain the position at least 30 secs. Let's build flexibility throughout the entire body.

3. Maintain a straight back for a deeper stretch. Do not round your back or hunch. Stretch safely: do not snap to reach further.

4. Breathe as you hold the stretching position. Control the breathing: inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Your muscles need the oxygen to endure the stress.

5. A ballet barre helps. It helps you stretch and also allows you to figure out your weight and balance distribution.

6. Patience and discipline. Rome wasn't built in a day and you can't do splits just simply after a week or a month of stretching unless your jean-claude van demme tied to a coconut tree.

Hope you guys can think up of a 'stretch schedule' and keep to it. And i hope you guys anticipate the next stretch-filled activities in class. :)


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Joy of Capoeira" - Mestre Cajiquinha

"I am the joy of capoeira,
In capoeira I am the joy"
~Mestre Cajiquinha


I came across an e-book titled "Joy of Capoeira" which records an interview with the legendary Mestre Cajiquinha who popularised Capoeira Angola. I'm just halfway into reading it but i just thought i'd share a few paragraphs with you guys to ponder over:

Capoeira is fight, sport, a plaything…
For Canjiquinha, capoeira is preferably playfulness. Even better if there is an audience
watching. In the roda, doing ginga in front of his partner, he often plays a joke (giving the
volta ao mundo around himself). The opponent/friend follows the rules of this
playfulness to the letter. Any initiation of an attack will be neutralized by a backwards
chapa. The game is planned – inherited from the double-dealings and simulated combats
in the rings of free-fighting, vale-tudo, and Greco-roman fighting that the mestre
practiced in the 1950s and 60s.
A new joke. He stops, lifts his eyes. The audience applauds. Canjiquinha is the king.
Canjiquinha is a happy boy. (I only want honor when I’m alive because after I’m dead it
doesn’t interest me). He generously repays the applause by unrolling his spool of
varieties: capoeira, puxada de rede, maculelê, samba duro, samango, bolero, muzenza,
self-defense, jokes, Vicente Celestino. Doing things that God would doubt that he could
do. More applause, more things: unforgettable moments to last one’s whole life.
But, every volta ao mundo around oneself has its risks. The opponent is not always
cooperative. The result: a movement given just for flourish is curbed by a very well
performed arm-lock, as a punishment – a warning that capoeira is a serious thing. The
rule of playfulness was broken. Canjiquinha protests and makes a huge fuss. He defends
himself by saying that fight capoeira is for enemies and that, in the roda, it’s for playing
with one’s friends and companions.

IN THE OLD DAYS – Capoeira was more beautiful, it was danced.
TODAY – It is more violent. It is commercial.
EXPLANATION – There was no karate, there was no judo.
COMMENTARY – I was a contra-mestre of Pastinha, in 1950. That Japanese guy came
to take pictures. We would stand still. He was there making marks, marking the positions.
Later, karate appeared here in Bahia. Then, capoeira’s popularity decreased, decreased.
Then, the youngest capoeiristas sought to make violence. So that capoeira could be
shown to be more violent than karate. Capoeira stayed in this aggression. Because of this,
it grew too much. Because if it had stayed that beautiful to-and-fro game, then karate
would have won out. You see that five years ago all anyone talked about was karate.
But today, all everyone talks about is capoeira.

Do you think this change was necessary?
Is violence necessary in capoeira?
“No. Here’s the thing: If you’re inside the academy, training with your colleague, there is
no violence. You can even train fast. Now, if you’re playing in the street, and the guy
resorts to violence, then you have to resort to violence as well. An academy teaches you
to play capoeira, it doesn’t teach you to fight. Now, in the street you have to resort to
what you know if the person disrespects you. Sometimes, you’re alone… you have to
resort to what you know, right?"

I'll keep on reading and share with you any other pearls of wisdom i can find :) Hopefully i can pick your brains as well as the previous resident Capoeirista Philosopher.