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Oct 25 2011

Capoeira Anti-Advice: What NOT to do

Note: The key word in the title is “NOT.” I am not responsible for any deaths, navalha slashings, berimbau beatings, tailbone-breaking rasteiras, rib-breaking martelos, or face-breaking cabeçadas that you bring upon yourself if you think it’d be funny to try out everything on this list!

  • Everyone in the group will respect you more if you religiously wear your Eddy Gordo uniform to every training.
  • The roda is the place to show off all your mad skillz, whether they are flipping, breakdancing, ballet, jiu-jitsu, or esoteric martial art forms that recommend using your erect penis as a weapon.
  • Every time you get bought out, go right back to the pé do berimbau to play again.
  • Try to kick the mestre’s ass in the roda.
  • Dodging is for wusses. Show your strength by blocking all the other player’s blows.
  • Honesty is capoeira’s number one most important virtue. You should clearly telegraph all your moves and never try to disguise your intentions.
  • Feel free to just grab any instrument from anyone in the bateria at any time.
  • Play the atabaque as loud as humanly possible so that you drown out the annoying twangy sound of the berimbaus.
  • Give yourself your own badass-sounding capoeira nickname, like Wind Warrior of the Serpent Clan.
  • The proper response to a chamada is to punch the other player in the face.
  • For men: the ladies are obviously wearing those tight pants so that studs like you will take notice; they’ll be flattered if you grab their butts in the roda.
  • For women: the mestre obviously dedicates his life to capoeira in order to impress babes like you. Try actively to seduce him; the better you are in bed, the quicker you just might get your next cordão.
  • Calling someone “filho da puta” is a compliment in Portuguese.
  • Don’t bother washing your Eddy Gordo uniform between classes… what’s the point, since it’s just going to get all sweaty again?
  • A mechanical ginga is a perfect ginga.
  • If the academy has a full-length mirror, break it with a spectacular vôo de morçego; everyone will be impressed.
  • In capoeira, as in taekwondo, one shouts “ki-YAHH!!!” with every movement.
  • In the middle of the ladainha, stand up and loudly solicit the blessings of the orixás. Remember, they can’t hear you unless you scream and hop around the roda on one foot while simultaneously rubbing your stomach and patting your head.
  • If the mestre corrects your technique or suggests that you do something differently, ignore his advice and tell him, “It’s a free country!”
  • It’s tradition to pour a cooler of Gatorade over the mestre’s head at the end of a good roda.