Oct 26 2011

Which group should I train with?

There is no right answer to this question. If you’re fortunate enough to have a choice of capoeira groups in your area, the question you should be asking is: “Which capoeira group is the best for me to train with?”

Every capoeira group has its own unique style of play and teaching, and they differ in traditions, philosophies, class dynamic and intensity, and other aspects. So you should train in the place where you feel that you can learn the most, and where you feel most comfortable.

I suggest visiting and watching (or better yet, participating in) a class of each group that you’re considering joining. This way you can get a feel for the instructor, the group, and the class. Then, keep training with whichever group you prefer.

Can I train with more than one capoeira group at the same time?

It depends.

There are two main reasons I’ve heard for wanting to do this:

1) Each group offers only a couple classes per week and you want to train as often as possible;

2) The two groups differ in style, you enjoys both, and cannot decide between them.

However, your capoeira instructor(s) may be against it – for one thing, training with two groups simultaneously, especially early in your capoeira learning, can lead to confusion if the two groups do certain movements differently. Also, although many capoeira groups get along wonderfully with each other, unfortunately some masters, instructors, and groups have resentment, rivalry, or other such “bad blood” between them, so training with two such groups could cause problems. Finally, training with two groups simultaneously divides your loyalties and prevents you from being fully committed to either one.

The best thing to do is to talk to each instructor, explain your reasons for wanting to train with two groups, and see what they say. If they’re fine with it, great! If not, then respect their decision and choose one group.

Let me make it clear that this does NOT mean you should never visit other groups outside yours. That, in fact, is one of the healthiest things you can do for your capoeira – to play people from different styles and schools. The issue here is training regularly with two groups.