Posts Tagged ‘beginners’

Tuesday December 18th and Thursday December 20th will be the final capoeira classes of 2012!

Can it be due to the Mayan Apocalypse? 

No! We’re going to spend the holidays with family and friends.

Have a safe & happy holiday break! We will see you for more capoeira classes in the new year, starting on Thursday, January 3rd.

(And also — save the date for a pre-Carnaval party, slated for late January!)

Capoeira-Classes-Washington-DC

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Next, we will learn Mestre Bimba’s Sequence #3!

mestre bimba sequence 3 - capoeira washington dc

Player One (Plain Pants) Queixada, Queixada, Cocorinha, Benção, Aú
Player Two (Striped Pants) Cocorinha, Cocorinha, Armada, Nevagtiva, Cabeçada
Step 1 The two players begin to ginga
Step 2 Player One steps forward (with the right leg)
Step 3 Player One attacks with Queixada but Player Two defends with Cocorinha
Step 4 Once Player One finishes the kick Player Two stands up
Step 5 Player One attacks with Queixada, Player Two defends with Cocorinha
Step 6 Player One finishes the kick and Player Two stands up ready to attack
Step 7 Player Two attacks with an Armada. Player One defends with Cocorinha
Step 8 Player One stands and attacks with a Benção. Player Two defends with Negativa
Step 9 If Player Two were to pull Player One’s leg he would fall badly
Step 10 Player One escapes with an Aú. Player Two attacks with Cabeçada

Again, here is the video for sequences #1-5. Look out for the techniques mentioned above in Sequencia #3:


Review: 

Next, we will learn Mestre Bimba’s Sequence #2!

sequence 2

Player One (Plain Pants) Martelo, Martelo, Cocorinha, Benção, Aú
Player Two (Striped Pants) Banda, Banda, Armada, Negativa, Cabeçada
Step 1 The two players begin to ginga
Step 2 Player One attacks with Martelo but Player Two tries to sweep him with Banda (but doesn’t!)
Step 3 Player One attacks again with Martelo (opposite leg) and once again Player Two tries to sweep him with Banda (but doesn’t!)
Step 4 Player Two attacks with Armada
Step 5 Player One defends with Cocorinha
Step 6 Player One stands and attacks with Benção
Step 7 Player Two defends with Negativa
Step 8 Player One escapes with an Aú
Step 9 Player Two attacks with a Cabeçada (while Player One is still in the Au)


Review: 

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.

Did you know capoeira can burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour?

Or… that Halle Berry did capoeira to get in shape for Catwoman?

Learn a few basic moves and some fun facts about capoeira from Brett Hoebel (recently a trainer on The Biggest Loser).

Did you notice Brett’s form? He kicks his bênção with his heel out, and returns his foot to the back after each kick. Contra Mestre Bomba would approve for sure!

Pop quiz: Can you name any of the moves Brett does in the intro and outro? Leave your guesses in the comments.

Hat tip to student Ben for posting this video in our Facebook Group! Obrigada!!

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!

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: