Post-Capoeira Glow

19th-century painting of a roda

Well, my pedicure is toast, my feet are blistered and scuffed, and I’m getting in touch with muscles I seem to forget I have each week.  Yup, last night was capoeira training.  Every week, for two hours one evening, I get together with a coworker who also teaches capoeira and a few people from around the university where I work.  And, above all, it is an intense workout.

No, wait, above all, it’s FUN.

Yeah, capoeira is one of those things that trips me up because it’s so much fun, you forget that you’re basically doing intense aerobics and calisthenics for two hours.  My favorite thing to do are cartwheels, since I never was able to do them as a kid.  I also like the martial arts aspect, though last night the instructor was trying to focus more on the rhythmic aspect.  Our drill was to play (you don’t fight or spar in capoeira, you play) but to maintain contact and closeness with the other person and to make sure you left your partner an escape with every move you made.  Your goal isn’t to make contact, but it’s not to avoid it either.

It was fun.  I spent a lot more time playing with staying low and crouching under arms and legs, rather than staying upright and throwing kicks like I usually do.  I’ve also started doing more foot sweeps.

Now, this isn’t an official capoeira school, with a mestre or anything (although I seem to have picked up an unofficial capoeira nickname), but it’s a lot of fun, and it really trains the body.  You have to be strong, flexible, aerobically fit, and adaptable to play capoeira well.  In some ways, it’s like chess, because you have to figure out what your partner is going to do and try to respond to that to keep the flow beautiful.

Plus, it’s viewed in popular culture as “sexy dance fighting” (thanks, Bob’s Burgers!).  I can live with that.

This post is part of Primal Toad’s Primal Cave Friday.


About Kyniska

In ancient Sparta, women were encouraged to train their bodies and minds as warriors did, in preparation for an adult life of strength and intellect. They strove to win a husband through strength as well as beauty. I try to live my life by this philosophy, that athletic ability and accented beauty can co-exist, yielding a richer whole. View all posts by Kyniska

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