Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Joga bonito que eu quero ver"

Hi camaradas!

A question that got my mind jumbled in a knot was asked:
"How should you play/react when the other capoeirista in the roda with you is getting 'rough'?"

Disclaimer - i'm merely an aluno that is approaching this question with an answer that i myself would most likely apply given that situation. Therefore, any disagreement to my SOP is duly justified. (feel like i'm giving away my 'gameplan' but... waddaheck haha)

It's a really tricky question because so many factors may be considered before you take your next action against your opponent (which branches further into further mindmapping... so on so forth!):
1) "What's my level of playing relative to my parter?"

2) "Is this play in line with the tempo & ground-rules of the roda?"

3) "Do i want to play along?"

1a) Is my opponent my mestre/ instructor/ senior-of-several-grades-higher? You're most probably in good hands because a mestre could have already identified your level of play & may just be mischievious to want to 'shake you up' a bit or test if you're going to apply what's been taught. And they seldom send juniors flying haha. (Can't say the same for Mestre-to-seniors game haha)
1b) Is my opponent my junior/ same level? You have been placed on level ground; you have as much (if not more) experience as your partner and it falls on you to attempt to engage (if not steer) the game to be a beautiful one. You will be learning, as well as teaching, with the next few actions you make against your partner.
1c) Is my opponent a stranger? 'A box of chocolates' or 'a can of worms', It is best to stay cautious and read the game... As my seniors have told me when i was still brand new to Capoeira, a more experienced Capoeirista would probably compra you out soon after if they feel your still green to opening 'a can of worms' haha.

2) Define "rough"play? Would it be considered "rough" if the leader of the roda gives instruction that its 'jogo de dentro' and the berimbau is slamming 'regional' toques at lightning speed? Or is your partner going in the direction of 'regional' direction when the berimbau is sounding at a regularly paced 'banguela' toque? It is part of going with the flow of conduct with the roda that makes the game beautiful as well.

3) Do i want to play along? The ultimate 'answer a question with a question' solution: what do u want? Are u on the brink of having your heart jump out of ur chest and ur gonna decided to leave the 'roughing' for another compra later? Or are u as Axe-intoxicated that you want to have a go at it too (doing it beautifully, of course)? Remember that the decision falls on you. e.g. if tired: volta mundo to catch your breath, play defensive (also allows u to watch,learn,counter-attack)...etc. The most important thing i personally feel is "Don't lose your head" (both mentally and physically haha).

To close my answer, remember that what happens in the roda stays in the roda, and that anything within the roda goes, because the second u step into the roda, you're already in the game... and that game is life :) (so deep i myself don't get it... LOL)

Title for this post is a portion taken from the song "Donna Maria":

"Joga bonito que eu quero ver, jogo bonito que eu aprende"
"Play beautifully because i want to see, play beautifully because i want to learn"

Of the 4 videos you have seen above, which of the 4 appeals to you? Which strikes you as "beautiful"?

Capoeira is an art and it is up to an individual to find what it means to them personally. Do consider though, that an art is not fully appreciated until the artiste has held this gem in his hands and has viewed its multi-faceted sides before favoring the preferred direction to honing the art, just as a jeweller handling raw precious stones, not having done so would be like subjecting yourself to Plato's Allegory of the cave or Aesop's Frog in the well, and a waste of a potentially valuable jewel that would be.

Capoeira can be summed up to be: Acrobatic, martial art, dance, performance, music, philospohy, history & culture. It's probably one of these aspects of capoeira that've attracted us to this artform in the first place. Ironically, it's probably one of these same aspects that shunned would-be newcomers to Capoeira. E.g. someone coming in w the expectation of learning a 'dance' gets put off by Capoeira's 'fight' nature, or someone coming in w the expectation of learning a 'fight' gets put off by Capoeira's 'dance' nature. Yet, WE know that with a little further probing, a dancer would see the 'Dance' and the fighter would see the 'Fight' in Capoeira.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.



shiela said...

oh wow.. fitting allegory of handling a gemstone n thinking how to cut it..

wise words, morcego =)

tho it's a new thing for me to link the phrase 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' to capoeira haha.. in my axe-tinted glasses, hv always thought it's one of those things tt ppl universally find beautiful ><

Bom Garoto said...

thx for an awesome monday morning read Morcego!

KY said...

thanks Morcego :) appreciate the post

Rosinha! said...

I like how you ended the post with different perspectives of viewing capoeira, especially how it transforms from when you first approach it to when you're in the middle of learning capoeira. You noted an interesting point - that it becomes something you've always been looking for (a fighter eventually seeing the 'fight' in capoeira), even when you didn't see it the first time.

it's like archaeology. sometimes you don't know what you'll end up digging, but when you discover an artifact, or even see the beauty in the act of digging itself, that's your gift..

nice post, bryan! i like it muito!

Crouching Capoeirista said...

When I got roughed up, the question I find myself asking is 'will I survive?' and if that is a yes, 'do you think it'll be fun?' and if that is a yes, there's nothing left to do but be sexy. ;) Never lose your cool.

Someone did this to me before: he pretended to be upset, which made me upset, and I lost my cool and then he got me.

I did this to someone: we both lost it and I got smacked and called for a volta. The next round quickly descended into a slapping festival and I landed two before I called for a volta again. Man, was my friend pissed!

So there you go. Stay sexy. It's okay to hit and be hit. Just don't let it 'in'. Shake your friend's tree if you can.

Bryan said...

"I find myself asking is 'will I survive?' and if that is a yes, 'do you think it'll be fun?' and if that is a yes, there's nothing left to do but be sexy."

Sweet words EW :D

Wow my word verification for this comment is: "roade" (lame..i noe sry...selective seeing)