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The Well-Grounded Yuppie

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Capoeira Class in DC

I decided to take a free intro to capoeira class in DC today. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that somewhat resembles dancing. It uses mostly kicks and headbutts, not the most efficient martial art, it focuses more on style and less on dealing damage to the opponent.

It was in a pretty bad neighborhood of DC, where the convenient shop doesn't let you inside the store, it had a bulletproof glass with a small Z shaped hole for handing money and merchandise between the workers and shoppers.

The class was pretty cool, they taught the basic step, called "Ginga", as shown at the clip above. The practicer keeps moving to make himself a moving target, and a kick can come out of the end of any step. The sway back and forth allows a lot of variations of movement, but the basic Ginga step is about staying low, and use the arm of the opposite leg you're leaning on to guard your face. I also learned the basic front roundhouse kick out of a Ginga step, pretty good for one intro session.

The class was great, but the environment was terrible. It was hot in there with no AC. At the end of the class, I literally felt like my eyes were blurry and couldn't hear well, regained myself after grabbing some water and catching my breath in the bathroom. On the way back to my car, I was saved by the guy selling drinks on the side of the street, I bought a Gatorade for $2, and all is well. Great class, but I'm not a big fan of passing out, so I think Capoeira will not be one of my new DC hobbies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you take the class? It seems like there are a few and I want to try one.

7/23/2007 4:27 PM  
Blogger Paul Zhao said...

7/23/2007 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well Paul i think you would have to study Capoeira for a number of years or at least read up on it to know its effectiveness. i myself have been studying for 13 yrs. and historically and presently i've found it to be most effective, even beyond physically fighting someone. much like asian martial arts u must study the philosophy to truly understand it. you should read all 3 of Nestor Capoeira's books. if you want to drop me a line, you can find me at peace.

10/29/2008 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well dude... all I can say is that if you cannot bare training without AC... Capoeira indeed is not for you... This is the whole notion of the art - capoeristas are never comfortable or rest on their achievements, but constantly reach for more. Same way should be your training - if you train in "perfect" conditions how is it going to help you when/if you get in a real fight in the middle of the summer or winter? Capoeira is not a gym activity, but a true art that requires a lot of mental and physical stamina.

2/25/2009 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ABADA Capoeira DC is another great group to try capoeira with in the DC area. They have classes in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

5/17/2009 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ABADA Capoeira DC

5/17/2009 8:24 PM  
OpenID DC Capoeira said...

That is too bad about your experience, but at least you gave it a try! Maybe you can give it another shot. There are plenty of other groups in DC and it's a great way to stay in shape without the boring repetitiveness of the gym.
DC Capoeira is always changing!

6/14/2012 11:13 PM  

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