It is December and summer has just begun to make her first appearance in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, filling the skies with her rays and warming the hustling streets and people below. There is nothing quite like enjoying the seemingly endless BBQ’s and sweet-but-oh-so-powerful caipirinhas all while surrounded by great people and good music.
Walking around the streets of the city, I see everything from a variety of giant shopping meccas to small hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving amazing food with live music. The streets are lined with colorful houses and stores, most covered in political graffiti tags, and a multitude of people can be found busy working or simply standing around and scoping out the scene.
In my search for new forms of movement it would be easy for me to explore the world of samba with flashy dresses and high heels. However, I opt for something a little more my style. Capoeira. At least, I think I would have a better chance standing on my hands than in heels.
After some searching, I found the Academia Uru Brasil and wrote to the Mestre, or master, about taking a private lesson and observing a Roda, the equivalent to a ‘match’ or a ‘meet’. Not only did Mestre Bruno make time to teach me individually, but he invited me to play at the Roda the following morning complete with a traditional Brazilian BBQ to celebrate the upcoming holidays. Wow. I was nervous but at the same time ready to give it a try.
This mix of martial arts, dance, and music has had an interesting a challenging past but has become the iconic symbol for Brazilian culture and heritage. Join me on my journey as I learn the history and a few moves of Capoeira!
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