Capoeira has been a big part of my life for many years now and the longer one is a part of this wonderful art, the more you realize that it is more than just kicks, flips, crazy music, history, language, fighting or dancing. Capoeira is life and emotion – where skill is seen in every action and mastery goes beyond the martial aspects. The roda and everything within Capoeira can be something wonderful, where you can deal with your frustrations and hopefully become humbled by the experiences. You challenge yourself to push beyond your fears and to jump into the excitement of the game.

When you play Capoeira, you are expressing yourself in ways that only you may understand, because it touches people differently. Many spectators may look at a Capoeirista and see him or her do a flip and say, “That is pointless…that isn’t practical”; my response to that is that it has a point, because it is how he or she feels at that time. Capoeira is very different than other martial arts and it is something that a practitioner or spectator may only understand through experiences and an open mind.

When you see the roda and you hear the toque on the berimbau, you begin to feel something stirring inside of you, energy that we call axe’- this is why you see big smiles cut across the faces of those around the roda and the loud clapping and singing. Axe’ is a huge part of the excitement of the roda, the fuel that turns the wheel and keeps the players pushing themselves above and beyond their limits.

My Mestre (Contra-Mestre Bundo) has always said, “The Capoeira Roda is like the Circle of Life: What you do there, there you will pay.” The roda goes beyond Capoeira, but extends throughout our lives. Everyday the berimbau calls us to different challenges and everyday we need the courage to jump into those challenges and fight, dance, or play! It may not be something that you have to jump into and battle for your life, but it applies to being able to dodge and move with the flow of those challenges and get around the frustrations that bring us down. The measure of a Capoeirista is not based on if you fall or get knocked to the ground, but it is how you get up! If you get hit, fall on your butt, or walk away with a bump on your head or ego, then you walk away understanding where your weaknesses are and what you need to work on for future tests – this applies to life in general. The path of a Capoeirista is being able to view creative solutions to different problems and understand that the game is never over!


Perna de Pau