The shy, underconfident beginner:
Not sure if they can do capoeira, too timid/delicate with movements, backs away from partner during exercises, afraid to enter the roda. Everyone else in the group encourages them to have more confidence.
The overconfident, know-it-all beginner:
They think they’re capoeira experts after the first week of classes; they jump right into the roda, but they lack control. Imagine themselves experts because they’ve read a lot about capoeira on the internet, but they haven’t lived any of it yet. Everyone else in the group just sighs.
The eager-to-learn-but-not-terribly-physically-gifted beginner:
Happy about learning capoeira, but somewhat of a walking disaster, because they lack one or all of the following: strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, body control. Tend to fall badly out of handstands and cartwheels, making everyone else in the group wince and hope they’re not hurt.
The musically/rhythmically-handicapped beginner:
Whose greatest struggle is clapping on beat, ginga-ing to the right rhythm, and singing on key. Everyone else in the group admires their sincerity but wishes they wouldn’t sing disharmony.
The floreio-happy beginner:
Attracted to capoeira for the fancy movements, wants to learn headspins and backflips before ginga and meia lua. Gets housed by instructor in roda after doing a macaco into the atabaque. Everyone else in the group hopes they’ll someday understand what’s really important in capoeira.
The overaggressive beginner:
Wants to play the hard game right away, kicks the other player’s face when they’re upside down, tries to take mestre/instructor down in roda. Everyone else in the group finds them difficult to play with.
The “natural” beginner:
The lucky few who are physically and musically talented, who pick up everything from the rolê to the pandeiro rhythm after being shown just once. Everyone else in the group wishes they were like that when they started.
The “inverse” beginner:
Consistently does everything to the opposite of what they’re supposed to do: ginga out of phase, kicks with the right leg when everyone else is kicking with the left, aú to the left when everyone else is going to the right, usually dodges kicks in the wrong direction. Everyone else in the group wonders if the hemispheres of their brain are switched, and tries to avoid training next to them in class.
The other-martial-artist beginner:
Has good balance and body control because of extensive experience in other arts, but trouble adjusting to new techniques. In roda, forgets to ginga and resorts to TKD/karate/judo/kung-fu stance out of habit. Everyone else in group tells them to “GINGA!!!!”
The former-dancer/gymnast/cheerleader beginner:
Has great flexibility and grace in their movement, but tends to point toes on kicks and look at the floor during handstands and cartwheels. Everyone else in the group admires their fluidity but wishes they would play a little less pretty and a little smarter.
Which type of capoeira beginner were you?
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