Provocative Capoeira -Brazil Part 6


This is the sixth blog in a serie of blogs about our experiences in Brazil, where we spent 5 weeks this year. The reason for our trip was capoeira. My partner teaches capoeira in the Hague. His capoeira name is Vitamina. He represents Grupo Engenho, a Brazilian capoeira group, in the Netherlands.

Play capoeira
Everyone invited me to play capoeira. I must admit that it was quite intimidating to see 9 year olds playing capoeira with already 6 years of experience. How would I fit in? How could I move and defend myself in the roda (the circle of people in which you play capoeira)? No way, I thought, I will keep myself on the down low, but they didn’t let me. Since I came all the way from the Netherlands to learn how to play capoeira I was CHALLENGED to play. Challengend by especially one person. One guy who gave me a very nasty LOOK. A look which told me that he knew that I was nervous and scared to play. My argument of being tired didn’t count. He continued giving me this look. Ieksssss! I felt provoked by his words and attitude and decided to overcome my fear of playing.

Samba de Roda
After the capoeira roda the teacher often gave a sign to create a samba de roda. The circle became smaller and one couple could do their samba dance while the others were singing, clapping and watching. You could replace someone in the circle just by pushing or teasing the person away from the circle. That was fun to watch, but, yes, also in the samba de roda I was challenged to dance. Before I could think or say ‘no’ I was already standing in the circle trying to dance the samba. It seems that people in capoeira are fearless. Or at least they learned to be fearless!

Speak up at Birthday de Roda
With my provocative coaching background I was triggered by the way people interact within capoeira. The invitations to play in the roda, dancing in the samba de roda and speak up after a birthday celebration. All very provocative to me! There was a speech from Mestre Grandao and everyone got a chance to say something to the birthday guy. At some point Mestre Grandao looked at me and asked in a playfull way: so would you like to say something? What? Me giving speeches in Portuguese? Not after 3 weeks. Give me some more time please! 🙂

By Chungmei Cheng
Orchid of Life -LifeCoaching


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