REVIEW: Michigan Center 4 Capoeira Batizado

TRY, LEARN, REPEAT

A post shared by Chris Calado Rodriguez (@dende_arts) on Sep 3, 2017 at 4:41pm PDT

As I mention in my 1 minute review, the batizado was a great for a variety of reasons. Amazingly, the Michigan Center for Capoeira is not in a major city, it’s in a suburb and despite the reputation suburbs have for being boring and static, the batizado had great and vibrant energy.

WORKSHOPS

The special guests for this event were Mestra Noa and Mestre Edan from Israel. Both are tremendous masters of Capoeira. On a personal level, I remember seeing old videos of Mestra Noa back from 2007 and thinking how insane it was that someone could move the way she did in the roda. It was a great experience taking both their workshops.

Some concepts from the workshops that I really like was warming up in different ways. Instead of the standard warmup where you run and do jumping jacks, Mestre Edan had students dance samba and go through a series of movements to warm up the body. Maybe this wasn’t the “optimal” warm up, but it was lots of fun and people had the chance to learn something new.

The beginning of Mestra Noa’s workshop was a sort of boxing warmup. Similar to when you played slap boxing with your friends, we had to strike at our opponent’s chest and “tag” them. The exercise was meant to test depth, timing, and other skills that tie into Capoeira. Personally, I love when workshops involve completely new ideas and expose the body to new concepts and create new connections in the brain that can enhance your Capoeira game.

GAMES

I played until I couldn’t anymore, and I did that for 3 straight days. I was sore for the whole time I was in Michigan and I loved it. I got dropped on my butt, I played 2 games with Mestra Noa and I even got to (unintentionally) start the batizado open roda. I saw that some students were shy and hesitant to play, but unfortunately this is pretty normal. To all the newbies out there, go and play! Push your way to the front if you have to, but play! The overall axé was positive, which is sometimes difficult to find, but makes all the difference when you’re at an event.

FRIENDS FROM ISRAEL

Usually when you go to a Capoeira event you can expect to hear a lot of Portuguese. In almost any other batizado in the USA you can expect to hear “Bom dia!”, but instead I heard a lot of “Bo-ka tov!”. Good morning in Hebrew. There were many people who came out from Israel. Mestra Noa, Mestre Edan, their kids, teachers from Israel and other members of Capoeira Israel in the US. The flavour of the batizado was a mix of Brazil and Israel and whenever we would hang out you could feel the blending of people. I always say Capoeira is one of the most diverse activities out there.

Last thing! Instructor Pena, Baz, and me went flipping at a gymnastic place and they taught me how to do an Americano! Something I’ll need to work on before I pull it out in the roda or write anything about it, but something you can look forward to on my instagram page @dende_arts.

Thanks to my new friends and old friends who I had a chance to connect with.

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