Oct 26 2011

Teaching capoeira to foreigners

Mestre Barrão

“At the beginning, I felt a certain difficulty in teaching capoeira to foreigners, but today it’s become easier after the time that I’ve spent working with them. They are very faithful, and very disciplined; if we tell them to do the same movement a hundred times, they do it. Brazilians, no, they start to make excuses, they don’t have the same determination. In Brazil, you have to educate the students first, and then begin to teach them Capoeira. On the cultural side, of course it’s easier to teach Brazilians, because we speak the same language. But on the technical side, foreigners are much more dedicated to the training.”

(Source: Ginga Capoeira, Ano 4, n. 26)

Mestre Val Boa Morte

“Capoeira in Australia is going very well, with Instructors, Professors, and Mestres working hard to keep it organized and interesting. Capoeira is able to compete with other sporting styles – and around here there are many, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu…The only difference is that Australians are less spontaneous, they have a little less energy, and take a bit longer to fall in love with the art. In the roda, they’re slightly less competitive and they don’t have evil intent. They have respect for themselves and for others, both inside and outside the academy. The hardest thing for them is to accompany the music, since they don’t yet speak Portuguese well.”

(Source: Ginga Capoeira, Ano 2, n. 12)

Mestre Suíno

“It’s a ‘double-edged knife’ because foreigners have learned that they can direct capoeira and are already creating their own associations, clubs, and the like. In a very near future, they will no longer need Brazilian groups or associations, and they’ll only use mestres as lenders of services. Another factor that contributes to this is the ever-growing number of foreigners giving capoeira classes. The Brazilian professors outside Brazil, in the anxiousness to get more students, authorize the foreigners – still with little qualification – to give classes. Since they speak the language and have citizenship, what will prevent them from being self-governing? Could it be that Brazilians are giving capoeira to foreigners for free?”

Source: Praticando Capoeira, Ano 3, n. 32

Mestre Joao Grande

 “I feel very satisfied [teaching capoeira in the U.S.]. Very well. Capoeira is for the whole world. It is for men, women, and children. It is for black, red, blue, and yellow. It is in our blood. There are people who say: capoeira is for blacks… No. It is for whoever wants to learn. We are born with capoeira already in our bodies: whether white, black, red, or blue… [Foreigners] give lots of value to capoeira. Mainly the women. They dedicate themselves very much. The men train too but not more than the women. In Europe when there is a capoeira event, as many women show up as men, and each one with her berimbau.”

(Source: Interview with Poloca. http://www.nzinga.org.br)