If you’ve been active in one area such as I’ve been in capoeira for as long as one decade, you’ve almost seen it all. It was always interesting to me, how my perception and my involvement with this beautiful art changes every once in a while without me even noticing when.
I’ve had ups and downs, had laughs and cried, I was facing anger and almost transcendental heights of capoeira. And I am still here. Some might say I could do more, I could gain more and dedicate myself to it more, others maybe see me as a good capoerista especially regarding my classes as instrutora.
And that for me is at one point all worthless, if I myself am not the one feeling it. I always say to my students, you are not here because of me, you train capoeira because of you. And I know, that my instructor role is something that was always in me and I enjoy it so much, that the outcome is good no matter the students. I have also learned so much from them, since they are from all walks of life. But first and foremost I always tell them they have to have fun.
If you are not enjoying something you do, then it’s probably not for you. Capoeira for me is obviously a path that I’ve had to take and since nothing in my life lasted for so long as capoeira did, it is a clear sign, I have found my purpose in a way. Not in a sense that I am the best capoerista in the world, but because of the pure joy it brings when I catch that perfect moment of jogo and get my mandinga rolling.
My connection with my primary group is in a way the same as to my family. I know they’re there and I love them, but I do’t need to see them everyday. I would never do or say anything to harm them or insult them in front of strangers, but as every family, we have our own issues. Capoeira é vida. And with years, Capoeira é sabedoria. And a wise man does not need approval or attachement in order to define who he is. He knows everything falls into its place one way or another and so do I. I know, because I feel it.
After more than 10 years I accepted many facts, even the ones I didn’t like. Capoeira is also a man’s world, so for me as a woman instructor it sometimes seems funny to observe all that men behaviour that is so strange to me. I do not have any desire to show of, to rule, to conquer, to be the best or to compete…for me capoeira is a game. And through my motion I only express what’s truly mine. So if I am a gentle person, I play gentel. And when I am sad, I play either hard to hide my pain or I play quiet to be unnoticed. If I’m happy I play and sing at the same time. And when I am not liking my opponent I play strict and careful.
Capoeira is an art of communication. Those subtle signs you can get from a person that you are playing with can tell you, what a person is like. And you can either adapt your jogo to him or you can challenge his ego. It’s usually about the ego. And the more you fall, the more you get aquianted with your innner self, with your ego. And finally surpass it or fall under his childish act.
So you see, living capoeira to me does not mean to be able to jump high and do impressive acrobatics or to sing with a beautiful voice. To me it means all but that. Sure it’s nice to watch that, but by the end of the day, people are also going to remember your energy as a person capoerista. And to me, that’s the most important thing capoeira gave me. My very own and intimate introspection.