Archive for the ‘classes’ Category

Here are several capoeira events — rodas, batizados, and festivals — coming up soon in the Washington, DC area:

Brazil Day Festival
  • brazil-day-washington-dc-capoeiraSaturday, September 9th
  • 11 am – 6 pm
  • Location: The Yards Park, 4th Street S.E. and Tingey Street, Washington DC (near Nationals Stadium)
  • Free to attend!
  • Capoeira performance at 3:00 – 3:30 pm – Anyone know what group is performing?
  • Learn more
Capoeira Sul da Bahia’s 7th Batizado

Due to the rainy weather, there will not be capoeira class today, usually scheduled for 10:30 – 12 noon in the upper grassy part of Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. If you are ever wondering, please check our Facebook Group, where we post the latest updates and news.

View our complete schedule of Washington DC capoeira classes.

Due to family commitments, there will not be a Saturday morning capoeira class in Malcolm X Park this week.

Please join us on Tuesday or Thursday at 7 pm in All Souls for our next DC capoeira class. Thank you!

Washington, DC Capoeira Classes in Malcolm X Park

Washington, DC Capoeira Classes in Malcolm X Park

We had such a great time working out in Malcolm X Park (aka Meridian Hill Park) the past two Saturdays, that we will continue having Saturday morning capoeira classes outdoors in Washington DC!

Please meet us at All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard St NW at 10:30 am; it is a short 2-block walk away from the Columbia Heights metro. From there, we’ll walk another quick 2 blocks to the northern entrance to Malcolm X park.

A few tips, as practicing in an outdoor environment has its own challenges:

  • Wear sneakers or cross trainers. Unless you like stepping on bottle caps, twigs and ants.
  • Bring plenty of water. Freeze your water bottle overnight if you like ice-cold water!
  • Put on sunscreen before class. Don’t let your skin match the red in our shirts and abadas!
  • Leave your valuables at home; you may not be able to keep a close eye on your iPod while you ginga.
  • Check our Facebook group for last-minute updates. In case of bad weather (rain or extreme heat) we will post any class updates on Facebook.

In return, you’ll get these primo benefits from an outdoor workout:

CAPOEIRA-in-the-park DC

Bring a friend, pay $10 each!

  • Beautiful breezes and fresh air
  • Plenty of space to jog and practice
  • A heart-pounding, never-boring workout
  • All levels, including first-time beginners, are welcome
  • A fun way to stay in shape
  • Occasional surprise musical guests from fellow capoeiristas playing the berimbau and pandeiro! 
  • Personal instruction from the most authentic and most experienced capoeira regional teacher in Washington, DC.
Bonus:

Bring a friend and you’ll both pay $10! That’s right, 2 students can pair up to pay just $20 for all 90-minute Saturday morning classes outdoors in the park.  Otherwise the drop-in rate is the usual $15 per person, per class. (We also offer all-included monthly unlimited passes for $125.)

Additional Washington DC Capoeira Classes:

As always, we still have capoeira classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 – 8:00 pm at All Souls church, 1500 Harvard St NW, Washington DC.

Due to the Memorial Day Weekend, capoeira classes will not meet on Sunday, May 27th at BloomBars (Columbia Heights, Washington, DC).

Instead please join us on Saturday, May 26th at 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; or Tuesday, May 29th at 7 – 8 pm. Both classes will be at All Souls church, located at 1500 Harvard St NW, Washington, DC. (View Weekly Schedule)

You can also bring your kids to learn capoeira every Saturday from 9 – 10 am at BloomBars.

The adult Capoeira Class on Sunday May 6th at BloomBars, normally 11 am – 12 pm, is canceled; it will resume as usual next week.

Also a reminder — It’s May! Please remember we offer monthly unlimited passes for $125. This brings your per-class cost down to just over $10 if you’re attending 12 classes a month. Bring a check or credit card to the next class to sign up.

This week, during our normal weekend capoeira class at All Souls (10:30 am – 12:00 pm on Saturdays) we spent our time learning an important aspect of capoeira beyond kicks, sweeps and ginga: the music.

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For those of you learning the music, the video below demonstrates some of the typical toques or rhythms of the capoeira pandeiro (tambourine):

If you’d like to learn more about capoeira music, check out Capoeira-Music.net. It’s got plenty of videos, recordings, written lyrics and tutorials for how to play the instruments we use in capoeira.

We would like to offer capoeira music classes on a regular basis that does not interrupt our regular schedule. Please let us know what schedule will work best for you by voting in this poll:

Continued from What is a typical capoeira class like? Part 1

Capoeira,South Bank

Capoeira, South Bank by Dale Harvey

If you’ve ever checked out youtube videos of capoeira you have probably thought something like, “That looks really cool, but there’s no way I could ever do that!”

Here’s a comparison: Do you ever watch the NBA and decide that basketball is too difficult to play? Or see the Super Bowl and think, “Nevermind about that co-ed flag football league, football is too hard!” Or even… watch the World Cup and quit your kickball league? Ok, maybe not that one.

But you get my point — there are all levels of capoeira, just like any sport, and we all start somewhere.  That starting point in any capoeira class is learning the basic kicks, blocks, sweeps and other moves. As you advance in your skills, you will improve your technique and flexibility, accomplishing more complex moves and combinations.

In a typical class, after we finish the warmup the students will practice the basics, which are the building blocks of capoeira regional: the ginga, au, role, esquiva lateral, cocorinha, martelho, ponteira, bencao, queixada, meia lua de frente and meia lua de compaso. Not sure what those are? Beginners receive special instruction on the first few kicks to start learning the names and proper form.

After that, we will drill combinations of these moves, such as combining au and martelho or quiexada and meia lua de frente. We also frequently do partner exercises where one capoeirista will practice an attacking move and the other will practice either a counterattack or an evasive maneuver. This type of practice helps you learn how to react when you are facing an opponent in the roda. 

Finally we finish the class with some stretching and ab exercises. Sometimes we will do a practice roda among students too.

Our classes are 60 minutes long on Tuesdays and Thursdays evening classes are both 60 minutes long (they start at 7 pm!) and so are the classes at BloomBars on the weekends (view the kids and adults capoeira class schedule here).

If you are looking for more impact, check out our Saturday morning classes. They are 90 minutes long, so we have extra time to practice new moves, drill the basics, and work with our fellow students.

Do you have a question about capoeira classes? Please let us know!

There will NOT be any Barro Vermelho capoeira classes at All Souls or BloomBars in Columbia Heights this week. This includes both kids and adult capoeira classes. Our instructor, Contra Mestra Bomba, will be taking a vacation with his family.

No Classes on:

  • Saturday, March 31
  • Sunday, April 1
  • Tuesday, March 3
  • Thursday, March 5
Classes will resume on Saturday, April 7th at their normal times — 9:00 am at BloomBars for kids; 10:30 am for adults at All Souls.

If you would still like to train, please let us know in our Facebook Group. If enough people are interested, we can set up a training time in a nearby park.

For a lot of people here in Washington, DC, capoeira is virtually unknown. When friends and colleauges ask me what it is, I usually try to describe it as a mixture between dance, martial arts and gymnastics.

So what happens in a typical capoeira class? Instruction will vary depending on the teacher, your group’s style, and even what part of the world you are practicing. In our class, we use many instruction techniques passed down from the mestres of capoeira in Bahia, Brazil as our instructor, Contra Mestre Bomba, grew up in Bahia and taught capoeira for many years in Brazil, until moving to DC a few years ago.

Before class starts, many of the students arrive early to start stretching. We will do stretches during and after the class as well, so if it is your preference to stretch beforehand to get loosened up first then plan on arriving a few minutes early.

Usually, we start the class with a light jog. Then, we warm up our arms and legs with different movements across the floor: crab walk, bear walk, hopping, high knees, and so on. If we are doing a class in a smaller space, we will do jumping jacks and different kinds of jumps to get warmed up. When the weather permits, we will go on a short run outdoors, generally up to 10 minutes of running time.

It is crucial to get warmed up properly because when you’re practicing capoeira, you are using muscles you probably haven’t used in a while, if ever. You will be working your legs, arms, and core throughout the remainder of the class so a good warmup will prepare your muscles for performing drills and practicing your technique later in the class. Plus, the warmup will improve your cardio, get your heart rate up, and help prevent soreness after class.

After our hearts have started pounding and our bodies are warm, we will do some leg stretches to work on flexibility. These stretches are based on many of the basic defensive movements of capoeira such as esquiva lateral and cocorinha.

Then, we’ll start with some basic moves of capoeira: au (cartwheel) and role (roll). Most beginning students haven’t done a cartwheel since they were a kid. So we practice them to build strength and balance and to perfect our technique since the au is a basic building  block of capoeira.

If you’re just starting out, the important thing to remember is to get used to the movement and work on your technique. As you continue practicing capoeira, your au will get better and better.

If you’re having trouble with your au, this video has some good tips: