14-Jan-13 My first Capoeira roda in the United States




Living in Medway, I hadn’t been able to find any Capoeira groups to join. A combination of being focused on finding a new job, not wanting to spend money that I didn’t really have, and simply being lazy had kept me from any real classes since my time in Auckland, NZ.

So after finding a full-time job and moving back to Cambridge, one of my first orders of business was to find a group and start training again.

The group that I found trained under Mestre Chuvisco, out of a fairly large dance studio in Central Square. The room that we had though, was definitely about half a size too small for the class that was packing into it – The warmup was good, but once we started into the actual training and kicks, I came way too close to getting booted (or booting someone) for my comfort.

Aside from that, it was tough. Not as tough as Pontual had been (I’d been warned that he was insane when I joined in Christchurch), but I was still left sweating and panting by the end of each section. It was good. Great even. This was what I had missed about Capoeira, this workout and expenditure of energy, the motion and the control.

But then we grouped up into the Roda, and I realized just how different this group actually was.

Some of the folks I played against were awesome; they pushed just past my limit and kept me on my toes – they were obviously better than me, but they kept the competition just unbalanced enough to be interesting.

The rest though… the rest were very into it. There was no quarter given, and while nothing connected too hard, I could feel that it was only a matter of time before something did.

Training with Pontual and company, basically everyone was better than me. But when they performed a kick, did a takedown, or made a move they always had full control. They didn’t push people too hard, and didn’t throw attacks that couldn’t be either dodged, or pulled away at the last minute.

Here, it was another story. I saw kicks flying that couldn’t be stopped, that were barely controlled. And to be honest, it scared me a little.

After the Roda I changed and hung out with everyone for a bit, chatting and shooting the breeze. I even went to a few more classes over the next two months. But it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t comfortable with the group, and that I didn’t quite belong in.

So, I stopped going. But I keep looking, and I’m sure that I’ll find a group that I fit into, sooner or later.

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