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  Topic: What makes a great capoeirista?
  2008-03-11 10:38:39
Hey Guys, I found this post on a Capoeira blog and thought to share it here with you. Good read....

In coming up with a way to describe what makes a great capoeirista, we have something witty, yet easily memorable: C.A.P.O.E.I.R.A. (I thought about shortening it to C.A.P.O. but that reminded me of the mafia, so I decided to fuhgeddabudit.)

So here you are, friends, the eight qualities that make a great capoeirista.

A great capoeirista must be:

Creative: I think the creative aspect is one of the top three things that draws me to capoeira. The capoeira game is beautiful, and beauty is best expressed through our creative side. A capoeirista must be creative (I�m not saying you need to be an artist or playwrite, mind you) in order to fully appreciate what capoeira can offer. Your mestre can only teach you so many sequences and movements; you need to be able to put them together in the roda.

Athletic: This is a no-brainer, really. And I don�t mean that you need to have a superhero-like body. Even if you�re �unathletic� before you start doing capoeira, there is no way that you can be a serious capoeirista and not get into somewhat better shape (whether that means becoming more flexible, losing the beer belly, gaining more stamina, etc.). The end result, as you become an actual capoeirista (and a great one at that) is athleticism.

Playful: Another one of the top three things I love most about capoeira: it fits right in with my crazy desire to never �grow up.� You really can�t take yourself too seriously and be a capoeirista. I mean, look at us, in our goofy white pants, jumping all around and �rolling on the floor,� grinning the entire time (well, most of the time). And don�t forget the concept of malicia that is so integral to the capoeira game (Hey, kids, what do you do with games? That�s right, you �play� them!).

Outgoing: To excell in the art and world of capoeira, you must be able to interact with people and open yourself up to new experiences. Some of the best capoeiristas I�ve met have been the most charming and open people I�ve ever known. The camaraderie among capoeiristas is incredible.

Energetic: Duh! How could there be any rodas without the energy generated by a bunch of hyperactive capoeiristas? If you can stand in a roda without clapping and at least attempting to sing (a few sounds or mumbles here and there is fine if you don�t know the lyrics, it�s the thought that counts), you�re not a capoeirista.

Intuitive: This is a quality that is a bit more subtle than the other, but maybe the most important of all. Capoeira, much to the surprise of many onlookers, is not a choreographed performance. Capoeiristas must be able to think many steps ahead, interpret what the other player is doing or going to do, get inside their opponent�s head, and have lightning fast instincts, in order to really play well.

Respectful: There are many levels of respect in capoeira (for those who deserve it, and some really might not). There is respect for mestres, respect for higher cords, respect for lower cords, respect for capoeiristas of different abilities, respect for other groups, etc. There is almost nothing worse (to me, and to decent people everywhere, I imagine) than a disrespectful person, and this doesn�t stop where the roda begins. For example, whenever a jogo ends up turning into a violent game or throwing match, if the capoeiristas are able to get up, smile, and hug each other at the end (especially if they are in different groups), that is respect.

Amicable: Remember the example that I just gave of hugs at the end of a violent game? That shows great deal of respect, but it�s also indicative of the overwhelming sense of friendship that exudes from capoeira. The smiles I see on the faces of capoeiristas in photographs always makes me proud to be part of the family. Even if I live in Massachusetts and you live in Brazil, we�re all friends in the world of capoeira.

Any given capoeirista may demonstrate one of these qualitities more than another, but I believe that every capoeirista (in order to be considered an �outstanding� or �well rounded� capoeirista) must exemplify all of them at least a little.


  2008-03-11 23:57:56
One the most impressive things I've seen is capoeiristas who have preserverance and patience.

These qualities are kinda of 'great' in themselves...
  2008-03-12 03:52:31
Hey Matt,

Where do you hail from?

If not Capoeira Mandinga where does your capoeira come from?

  2008-03-12 09:08:22
Hey Grilo,

I live in Wanganui bro, but Im from Whanganrei. Im still a roda-pepi and our group here consists of mainly begginers. We had a begginers block course last October(ish) that gave me my first taste of Capoeira and I have been an addict since then hence my random posts here from other Capoeira sites.

The post above is from a regional capoeirista and alot of the posts on the site are regional based but still a good read. Check it out:

Im not an official member of CMA but once Wanganui gets our rep set up our crew will sign up.

Chur brutha
  2008-03-14 13:25:40
I would have to ask in general... what makes a capoeirista a capoeirista?
What I mean is, what makes a practitioner of capoeira an actual capoeirista? Is there a difference between one who takes part in the art, and one who is a capoeirista?

Those qualities above might be essences for a great capoeirista, but what basic fundamentals go into making a person a capoeirista?

  Avid Reader
  2008-03-14 16:43:12
i read in Nestor Capoeira's book "a street smart song" that taking part in the "art" of capoeira is not enough to be called a capoeirista, you have to live it, breath it, know it, be it, love it, hate it, need it....and not for just a little while, but for life....in everything you do, in every essence of your being. in his opinion, there are VERY FEW currently playing that can or should be called a capoeirista.
  on looker
  2008-03-14 19:41:13
mandingueiro do you like snakes? have you ever opened the chamber of secrets?
  2008-03-17 09:57:20
yeah I've often wondered when a practitioner of capoeira is an actual capoeirista.

During my work place procrastinating capoeira web surfs I found this blurb from Nestor Capoeira. In The Little Capoeira Book, Nestor Capoeira explains that there are three levels of the capoeira game. As he says,

These three levels occur simultaneously. However, in any given individual, due to his or her personality, knowledge of the game and level of maturity, one of the three aspects will manifest itself more strongly than the others.

The First Level - The first of these three levels involves the physical aspect of capoeira. The practice and mastery of movement and form. This is when highly trained warrior/dancers put on an impressive display of skill and coordination. Nestor Capoeira says, �At this level, it is important to be physically fit, to have efficient and well-placed kicks, to be quick and have good reflexes.�

The Second Level - This is when you start to become aware of capoeira in its entirety. You move past the technical and physical, and pay closer attention to the philosophy and history, the call of the berimbau and traditional songs, and the intricacies of malicia.

Here, the capoeirista feels at home in the roda. He feels the rhythm of the berimbau and understands that it is speaking to him. He realizes that capoeira is more than flashy kicks and tough takedowns. He begins to experiment with malicia, he starts to become the sneaky malandro. He learns about the traditions, the culture, and the mestres of old. This is when he starts to look like an expert in the eyes of onlookers, but he realizes that he is merely a beginner.

The Third Level - Nestor Capoeira writes that the third level is achieved when you�ve grown, matured, aged, and lived in capoeira. Here there is no �you and capoeira.� Here, you live capoeira. You are capoeira. The third level was there since you stepped into your first roda, but you could never fully understand it until you matured in capoeira. Nestor Capoeira calls it understanding �the mystery and the deceitfulness of the game of life.� The third and final level is a mastery of capoeira.
  2008-03-19 01:38:19
I like the natural confectionery snakes.... they are real nice but after eating a whole packet in a small amount of time they tend to be a bit less satisfying lol the crocodiles are by far superior though.
As for a real snake... I have never seen one cos I have lived in Aotearoa all my life and we are lucky to not have any snakes here...yet.
Although, eels are fairly creepy to slither past you feet when swimming in a river....But of course, they taste great when cooked well and better fresh if you ask me.Though, if i had the opportunity I would probably eat a snake to see what they taste like.

And no, if you are asking in relevance to the Harry potter series, I have never opened some mystical chamber of magical spells. and nor have I opened a book from J. K. Rowling.
However I did find out from thinking that patience is of utmost essence to understanding.

It's probably random to point out how Nestor capoeira's words in the other paragraphs could be quoted to the context of religion.

Oh wait, is that streaming from a different topic there? That's on the other forums yeah?

Speaking of similar/different topics, What makes a great Martial Artist?

  2008-03-26 15:50:47
Hey mandingueiro,

After the encounter, and watching how the mestres interact with others within and without the roda, and also watching and observing how some of my teachers at school-who themselves are great martial arts practioners carry themselves, i would say that it is the lack of duality between the art they practise and themselves.

its like in the jet lee movie "hero" where he plays an assassin attempting to kill "King Qin" who unifies the warring nations of what is now called china. theres a part where they talk about the sword and the swordsmen.

and how when a swordsmen has mastered the sword, then it is no longer a sword he carries, but an idea he/she lives. maybe the same with capoeira or any martial art. but more particularly with capoeira, because theres a distinct character and flavour to a person who jogo's. but perhaps in capoeira, because the "sword" is the body we inhabit there is more space for different interpretations. for me, a master inhabits there tool completely, without fear, with full self knowledge-strengths or weaknesses and also carries respect for the latent master within others.

teraki eel is delicious, especially when served with hot miso and slivers of spring onion.
  2008-04-30 14:21:34
wassup yo!

can i tip toe back in this thread and break ya off somethin for nothin that might make sense to nuffin but a jelly bean baby!!!

I been watchin ya Matt...and i know that you know that I know you been watchin me too...so how bout you com ova here and bend ova,and gimme wana those great big rabo de arraias you been woopin up?

and as for you Fets,i dunno bout you,but i got one-a-those majic box dat got them spinny movie things we musta swapped why summer last?

now they dont make a sound on the gramaphone but do make a good lookin glass when i need a razor cut boy!!

guess you be wanted dem back then huh?


  2008-04-30 19:44:03
[sits down and starts reading his urban dictionary]
  2008-05-01 18:06:10
"I have never opened some mystical chamber of magical spells. and nor have I opened a book from J. K. Rowling."

this cracked me up :D
  2008-05-07 11:05:47
  2008-05-07 13:25:07
What makes someone who plays Capoeira a Capoeirista?

Both Mestre Arcodeon and Nestor Capoeira refer to people who play capoeira as capoeirista in their books. Nestor says this all the way through The Little Capoeira book and so does Arcodeon through his book Capoeira a Brazilian art form. Jas pointed out that in Nestor�s book a street smart song that someone who plays capoeira isn�t necessarily a capoeirista; however he contradicts himself in his other books. So what does this mean? I think it means that there is no answer to this question and that like other aspects of capoeira it is open to interpretation.

When will we see you in the roda agian Putumuju? Wednesdays brutha.
  2023-02-01 17:20:38
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