Thursday, July 29, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
"Capoeira é luta é dança, Capoeira é arte é magia..."
Capoeira is a fight, is a dance
Capoeira is an art, is magic
This post is specially for those who doubt the effectiveness of Capoeira as a martial art.
Ps: Most of us here remember the scene in Ong Bak where Tony Jaa beats the capoeira fighter with Muay Thai. This time though, we get to see Lateef Crowder kick some ass - even if it's just a punching bag :P
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The t-shirt's finally out so you can start collecting (by which I mean buying) them from tomorrow onwards.
Vintage previous generation club t-shirts are still up for sale as well so grab them before they're gone!
Here's the Mandei Benzer song
Tocava meu berimbau, quando o arame se quebrou.
era sinal e coisa ruim, mais eu nao quis acreditar,
toda vez que eu tocava o berimau, o arame voltava a se quebrar.
eu levei meu berimbau, numa cadela pra benzer,
e pedir para sao bento do mal vim me proteger,
mandei benzer, mandei benzer meu berimbau na capela
eu pedir pra sao bento, benzer
eu pedir pra sao bento, guardar
eu pedir pra sao bento, benzer
o meu berimbau eu vou tocar
Brian, armour singlet
Thursday, July 15, 2010
- Mestra Cigana
Was talking to Ying Wen after training on Tue night, and the topic turned to why there isn't a lot of girls in Zambiacongo sub-clubs - whether HQ, NUS, SMU or ITE, despite it being such a great way to keep fit (Read: lose weight ;p ). A curious thing indeed.. I used to accept it as a given- there's just few girls playing capoeira in general.. but talking to Mestre Luiz, I discovered there are more girls than guys in Zambiacongo Australia. Can't help analyzing this 'phenomenon' in my mind, and here's the result.
Common excuses why girls don't do capoeira, why -in my view- they shouldn't be excuses:
1. Capoeira is a martial arts, and hence it is un-feminine, harsh, unsuitable for girls.
Well, I think capoeira is actually one of the few martial arts very suitable for girls since it balances the 'fight' part with the 'play' and 'dance' elements. In fact, what attracts me to it is also how graceful and lithe female capoeiristas are.. certainly a lot more feminine compared to a female karateka or judoka. OK, I'm biased towards capoeira, but I strongly maintain that capoeira is one of the few martial arts that give females (and males, for that matter) a chance to develop their own playing style, which can be as feminine or masculine as they'd like it to be.
2. Capoeira is a martial arts, and hence girls -and guys,of course- will get hurt, though somehow it's less ok for girls to get hurt...
Hmmm.. having taken a martelo to the face once, plus several other minor hits and near-misses, yeah sure the danger is there. Thing is, capoeira being a non-contact sport, plus taking into account Zambiacongo philosophy, I believe the possibility of getting hurt is minimized compared to other martial arts. Maybe one danger is that we are playing with music, with energy, and when the axe goes up the play becomes fast and furious and the intimidating kicks start coming in. Simple solution that might sound silly: either don't play when you feel the jogo is too aggressive, or play with seniors that you know will watch out for you (and is pro enough to stop their kicks halfway haha.. )
3. Girls cannot do the 'moves' anyway.
There's just so many subtleties and misconceptions hidden in this one sentence that my thoughts are jumbled up here... First, what are the 'moves', mind you? I think a lot of us girls are intimidated seeing male capoeiristas do parafuso, macaco, au sem mao (though I'm not complaining.. Who will complain seeing hot guys do cool moves? ;p ), and do not believe a decent game can still be developed using ground movements and basic movements. I'll leave the more experienced seniors to comment on this, but well, techniques like rasteiras and bloqueios can be an option to develop a beautiful, malicia-filled game without flying around.. (Just my 2 cents' worth..)
Secondly, for those girls who want to do the 'moves' and think we are too weak for those.. Well, the only way is to train.. Haha.. Read that, pound-for-pound, male muscle has the same strength as female muscle, so technically, we're not 'weaker' but 'have less muscle'. Thing is, I used to wonder whether I'd develop bulging muscles if I train with push-ups, wall handstands.. so I read around, and apparently female muscles develop differently than male's, so no need to fear oranges sprouting from your biceps yet!
Ying Wen said something true for me: "I think for girls a lot of time the problem is not just lack of strength, but lack of guts. Girls are more afraid to do the moves." I don't know how true this is for other girls, but personally, I have to train step-by-little-step till I'm confident with each step even for an actually-not-so-dangerous thing like handstand and au.. And though I'm jealous with how the beginner guys are progressing faster, now I learn just to enjoy feeling physically and mentally stronger after each little achievement =)
Mestre said,"When you go into a roda, make sure afterwards people remember you." I admit that I'm still pessimistic and insecure about me as a female capoeirista ever achieving that.. but my version would be, "When I go into a roda, make sure afterwards people think, 'oh she must have trained pretty hard to get here.. she's serious about capoeira."
Long way to go!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
There will be a group roda this Sunday at East Coast Park @ the Skate Park. The location is just beside our booth at the NYC Extreme Sports event.
Location: East Coast Skate Park
Time: 4pm - 6pm
*That means we are ready by 345 pm and start gingaing at 4pm sharp!!
On the side note, our booth will need help to man it. We really need help especially from 12pm - 4pm so reply to this email or sms our handphone at 9342 6911. Booth duty will involve sitting down, looking at bikini babes, skateboarding kids and a short performance! Drinks included (i think)
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Capoeira Pokreti (Movements)
Oh, and please don't injure yourself.
Crouching Capoeirista, Hidden Rasteira
I hope you don't change the password because of the UNAUTHORISED post. I just read a little of something and thought you might find it interesting.
It's a treatise (yep, 26 pages IS a treatise) on the parallels between the philosophy of capoeira and Nietzchean Will to Power.
Let me say that:
1) you don't have to be a philosophy major to get this, and
2) you don't have to agree with it just because it was (possibly) written by a mestre or because it is in Portuguese. This isn't T.R.U.T.H.; it's just capoeira from someone's perspective, why he thinks he does what he does.
The entire PDF can be found here:
Title: Capoeira: A Philosophy of the Body by Camille Dumoulié
You can convert the text using Google Translate or, if you can understand a little Portuguese, Lingro.
Okay, enough gum-flapping. The part I'd like to share is on page 6.
Segundo plano de resistência : uma poética do espaço.
2. Um espaço de fuga contra o espaço dos blocos.
Na origem do pensamento grego, existe o círculo e a esfera, enclausurados em sua perfeição estática. Na origem da capoeira, existe a roda, esse espaço ritual e circular do qual brotam e se espalham os movimentos giratórios dos corpos que traçam no ar círculos abertos e dinâmicos. Lançados repentinamente, como que de improviso, os gestos parecem seguir as linhas de uma rigorosa geometria da qual hipérboles e arabescos invisíveis atravessam o espaço. Repetem e novamente lançam ao infinito as linhas de fuga traçadas pelos antigos escravos. Na roda, o dançarino encontra-se no centro de linhas de forças que percorrem todos os lugares heterogêneos. A continuidade das linhas de fuga atravessa o espaço quadriculado dos blocos : blocos raciais, sociais, urbanos, sem falar dos imundos « blocos » do pretenso carnaval de Salvador ou dos blockaus de resistência do exército alemão, durante a secunda guerra mundial, que se chamam casamatas
And this is my translation. Do be forgiving.
The second plan of resistance: a poetics of space.
2. A space of flight against a blocked-up space
In the origin of Greek thought, there exist the circle and the sphere, cloistered in their static perfection. In the origin of capoeira, there exists a roda, this space--ritual and circular--which germinates and reflects the spinning movements of bodies that trace in the air open and dynamic circles. Suddenly released, as if improvised, the gentures seem to follow lines of a rigorous geometry of invisible hyperboles and arabesques across the space. They repeat yet newly trace the infinite lines of flight drawn by the old slaves. In the roda, the dancer meets in the centre of the lines of force that travel all the heterogeneous spaces. A continuity of lines of flight cross the grided blocked space of Greek thought: blocks of race, society, citizenry, not to mention the filthy blocks of pretentious carnaval of Salvador or of the blockades of resistance of the German army during the Second World War that is called 'casamatas' in Portuguese.
"Wha...?" Some of you might be thinking. I'm pretty sure the poetry is inherent in the text, and not through some bastardisation through my translation. But you'll just have to take my word for it. :D
It seems like the (wo)man is making for a point that African (Brazilian) philosophy is not written in text (like Greek/Western thought), but is written in the bodies of its practitioners, and it offers a new way of understanding space, one that, contrary to the static immutability of Greek (i.e. 'White') space, is dynamic and alive.
"Huh?" you say? "Bro, I just want to play capoeira." Well then, please read the next post, friend!
Crouching capoeirista, hidden rasteira