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Oct 26 2011

Grappling in capoeira

Written by Mestre Decânio, student of Mestre Bimba
Translation by Shayna McHugh
Source: http://planeta.terra.com.br/esporte/capoeiradabahia/

An e-mail from Vanessa:

Great job on the text about grappling!!! I will take it to the academy and put it on the wall. I believe that people who call themselves capoeiristas and who use grappling, in reality, do not know Capoeira and its techniques because they have to resort to other resources. Many “mestres” say that they are innovating in Capoeira by inserting immobilizing movements of jiu-jitsu; they even have the nerve to cite the name of Mestre Bimba, saying that he also introduced blows from other martial arts.

In my opinion, Mestre Bimba did not allow capoeira’s main characteristics – agility, skill/dexterity, and malícia – to be lost… and none of these “mestres” who are said to be important even arrive at the feet of the figure that was Mestre Bimba, because of his charisma, personality, and intelligence that gave a forward impulse to Capoeira.

I believe that we must maintain tradition, and that creativity can be used in the roda through the very freedom of expression that Capoeira allows, but that we should not discharacterize this ART.

Axé, camará!
Vanessa, Capoeira RAÇA (Itabuna/BA)

Your words made me go back 60 years and remember Bimba’s words regarding grappling:

The true capoeirista does not let himself be grasped…
He ducks… he dodges… he flees… he escapes…
Because
When free… the capoeirista leaps, descends, retreats in aú…
When held, he is immobile… vulnerable… defenseless…
Free, the capoeirista leaps… descends and crawls… escapes in aú…
Imprisoned, immobile, seized, he can be stabbed…
Strangled… kicked… stoned… shot… raped… violated…
In summary
FOOLISH IS HE WHO LETS HIMSELF BE GRABBED…
AND…
EVEN MORE FOOLISH IS HE WHO GRABS!

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