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Choose your Capoeira Adventure

I’ve seen it many times, people walk into their first class like frightened animals looking out for the wolves ready to pounce on them. They look up and down, examine every corner of the room and place their stuff down somewhere where they can see it before sitting down and waiting sheepishly for instruction.

So you’re sitting down waiting for class to start and you see people practicing on their own, stretching, and warming up. You think to yourself, “Oh my god, what if I walked into”. This isn’t any sort of normal group exercise. This is something that world-class athletes,kryptonians, super saiyans do, but not me! You see someone walk into the class and start stretch near you… what do you do?

 

Stare like a weirdo and continue waiting for the class to start (proceed to A) Introduce yourself like a socially adjusted human being (Proceed to B)

 

OPTION A

You stare at the person doing their stretches near you. You both make awkward eye contact and you look away. You continue sitting, now feeling like you came off a little strange. The class starts after a few minutes and you go through the class as best you can. You don’t understand everything, but you give it you best. The class finishes and you feel like you enjoyed the class, but maybe it wasn’t anything special. The choice of coming back or not for a second class lingers in your mind.

(game over)

 

OPTION B

You look over at the person stretching near you and decide that you should probably try to make friends. You go over and say, “Hey, my name is ____, what’s your name?”. They respond “Raiz”, and you continue to say how it’s your first class and you’d like to know what you should be doing before the class. Raiz explains how the classes go, how you can warm up, and lets you know that if you need any help, you can ask them.

The class starts and you go through it the best you can. You don’t understand how a sequence of movements work, but lo and behold, your partner is Raiz! You ask them, what on earth you’re doing and how to do it it correctly. Raiz helps correct some things you were doing and together you make the sequence work! Success!

The class ends. You tell Raiz it was nice to meet them and you look forward to the next class. You give each other a sweaty hug and you leave feeling like you found something special. Capoeira was fun and you met someone new. The choice of coming back or not for a  second class lingers in your mind.

(You win!)

As Mestre Suassuna, the founder of Cordão has said, “Capoeira is about making friends”. And I think he’s right. As difficult as it might sound, getting out of the comfort zone opens you to a community of great people. Unlike many other martial arts and group classes, Capoeiristas often hang out and know each other outside of class. Introduce yourself to some people, tell them a bit about yourself, and ask them about themselves. Try it out and I promise you you won’t feel like a scared of sheep hidden in the corner of the class, but instead you’ll feel part of the pack.

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