Sunday, June 15, 2008

So I had an event yesturday...

Before I start, I'm sorry for not updating. With school and work my involvement with capoeira has been diminishing, it's quite obvious in my game. But with that I continue.

So I had an event yesterday in Arlignton, Virgina and I realized why I love capoeira - Capoeira is everything. Capoeira is the joke yet the serious conversation. It is the inner child yet the grown adult. The friend or foe. In a roda, as a beginner, it is the foe. I remember going to my first couple events watching people play and saying "Wow, I'm not that good, I can't possibly keep up." Eventually it wasn't until earlier this year when I finally got over it at a UMBC event. I over came my foe, and made it my friend. Now made the roda my friend, I have in turn made friends myself, and I found that out last night. I realized that Graduado Selo, Jay, Maria, Caju, Justin, and a bunch of others are my capoeirista friends - the people I'll be looking forward to meeting. Before yesturday, I knew I had my UMBC buddies, but I've been with them for a while and that was because of the group. I didn't really know anyone outside very well.

G. Selo, Jay, Caju are those people that everyone knows but last night I really hung out with them and felt like I was more than a fellow capoeirista. I know now it's turning into a more personal post but capoeria is a personal thing in the end. Capoeira is the axe of life. It ties into life better than anything will ever teach.

How's that for not posting for a while?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Capoeira-Related New Year's Resolutions

So here are things I want to accomplish this year that are capoeira related:

1) To workout/exercise at least once a day
2) Pick up Brazilian Portuguese?
3) Go to a minimum of one non-training event once per semester if in school, and once a month once summer break hits. (Open rodas count)
4) Get various movements down:
  • a perfect Au Batido
  • Macaco
  • Au sem Mao? (that's a maybe)
  • a prefect Bananeira
(I'll add more as that come up my mind)
5) Learn a flippin' song!

That is about it, and I hope through all of this, Capoeira will be more my life than last year. Also I hope to add more to this site over the year, I want to tape and get ready a movement by late February (sorry, but with school coming up, I have to put slacking into account).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday November 4th Batizado!

This all you should need to know. Grupo Ondas is a great group, I recommend you going.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What I've learned from Capoeira so far.

When I say I live a very “musically oriented life,” I am not lying. Besides the hours I put playing my piano, I can relate everything to music. Always having the urge to dance, I love almost all types of dance-able music. But, in the February of 2006, I found something that I had no idea was more than just a song and dance, I had found Capoeira the Afro-Brazilian martial art that looks just like a dance. For a couple months I went on thinking that Capoeira was just something cool to do, but after a year I never knew it could mean so much.

Before, I thought Capoeira was just something fun to do, just to be cool, do a kick, a flip, and call it a day. But, when I went to watch a class I immediately saw that this was something more. Capoeira is a dance, a song, a conversation between two capoeiristas, and I thought this would be something fun to get me in shape. So, I went to my first class ready to take on a challenge that I never knew was going to change my life.

I immediately realized from the first class that it was a lot harder than I thought. The first thing the teacher asked was, “Can you do a cartwheel?” I thought it would be simple, I mean, kids do it all the time, so why couldn’t I? Well, I found out that I couldn’t do one to save my life. After repeating the embarrassing cartwheel over and over, we started to do kicks. I was able to do these better, but I still felt foolish because I didn’t know what I was doing. After practicing our kicks and cartwheels, we got into a circle; my teacher explained that this circle was called a roda, and it is where people play Capoeira. I saw two people enter the “roda” and I saw how similar it is to a conversation.

The conversation in the game is dictated by the rhythm of the “berimbau”, a stringed instrument, which sets the mood of the game. The faster the rhythm, the faster you go, and either your moves can be flashy or more aggressive. The slower the rhythm, the slower you play which makes you hold your moves long, and making it so fun to play. Along with the berimbau there is a drum that gives a beat to the whole game, and is accompanied by the spectators who clap along to the rhythm. A song is sung about the times of slavery and the time period in which Capoeira was created in Brazil.

I felt like the more I involved myself in Capoeira, the more I realized that life is just like the berimbau and the drums. Also with the people clapping along with the instruments; I just have to go with what the rhythm is.

One problem I’ve always struggled with is that I am an introvert. In Capoeira, there is something called open roda (which means a game open to anyone that wants to play), where everyone knows everyone else. It’s so easy to get to know new people because you all have Capoeira in common. I remember the first open roda I went to because I was so nervous to play. But someone invited me to play with them, and it helped to break the ice. During the break people came up to me we got to know each other. Soon, I realized that it was that easy to do. Just a simple “Hi” and the conversation flows. Just like the game.

I had learned the moves, the music, and the people. Then, it hit me! This isn’t just a sport, it’s just like life. Life is just one big roda and that I just have to keep playing, Capoeira has been a big help in my life, and I will never stop practicing Capoeira. It has become a part of me.

The atabaque is my heart, life is my berimbau, and everyone is clapping to the rhythm.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The berimbau is to a capoeirista as a katana is to a samauri.

The berimbau is the soul of capoeira. The basic parts of it is:
+ Vêrga
, the wooden body
+ Cabaça, the gourd resonator (3 types: Gunga[Biggest], Médio[Medium], Viola[Small])
+ Arame, the wire
+ Baqueta, the stick used to strike the arame
+ Dobrão, the coin/stone used on the berimbau
+ Caxixi, the shaker

I included an amazing website of all the toques, or rhythms, of capoeira, so make sure to listen to them and practice!

One thing I looked for all over google for were the flourishes for the berimbau which I had absolutely no luck with. So here are some that I picked up:
(Key: O = Open | X = Buzz | C = Closed)
1) XXOOXO // can be followed up by #2

I was told once that Viola Cabaça were mostly flourishes and was only sometimes playing the actual rhythm for what it was.

Play them at various speeds and within rythms, #1 is used on this site's song many times so listen for what it sounds like, also these are on the Virtual Capoeira site that I posted so make sure to check them out.

If you find others in your playings post comments with them.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Serious Writers Block

So, I've been thinking what to post on this site which would be unique to this site and it's pretty hard. I've been at The Capoeira Blog (link is on the side menu) and I don't want to copy what he has here in my own words. So tell me, comment me, what do you want to hear? Want to see cool youTube vids? Okay! Want me to post sequences? Will do! Tell me, what do you want?