Posts Tagged ‘dc’

I took a few videos of the roda we participated in last Saturday afternoon with Oficina da Capoeira.

 

 

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:

This week at class we have been practicing the beginning sequences of Mestre Bimba. According to Capoeira Cinco Seixos:

Mestre Bimba, the creator of the Regional style of Capoeira, created the first method to learn Capoeira, it consisted of a logical sequence of attack, defense and counter attack movements, put into a simplified form for the initiates.

It permitted the students to learn how to play with a strong sense of motivation and security. Jair Moura, ex-student explains, “These are a series of complete physical exercises and they are organized in a number of practical and efficient lessons for the beginner in Capoeira. They are executed inside a small with as little time as possible to convince the student of the value of the fight, as a system of attack and defense.”

The original complete sequences of learning were formed with 17 strikes, where each student executed 154 movements to 308, to condition the student physically and to teach specific motor skills to the practitioners. See more movements.

Here is a video showing Sequences 1 through 8:

You can find a complete step-by-step guide to all 8 of the above sequences at Capoeira Cinco Seixos website.

Why not give these moves a try at the next capoeira class here in Washington DC?

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Capoeira Barro Vermelho!

For the month of February, couples train two for the price of one! So bring your friend, lover or whatever and you each pay $7.50 (half of the regular price of $15).

At least one person in the pair must not have trained before with Capoeira Barro Vermelho. Both people pay half price for each class that they come to together for the month of February, so this offer is valid for all classes throughout the month!

Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8pm and Saturday from 10:30-12noon at All Souls Unitarian Church, located near the Columbia Heights metro at 1500 Harvard St., NW, lower level in Washington, DC.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for class this Saturday, here’s the photo we took after we wrapped up!

Capoeira Classes Weeknights Saturdays Washington DC

Currently Children’s Capoeira Classes are on Summer Break. Please join our Facebook Group to receive notification when they return or contact us.

capoeira-kids-classes3Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art disguised as a dance and performed to musical instruments and traditional Brazilian songs. It is comprised of specific offensive and defensive movements and, in contrast to other martial arts, the participant is constantly in motion. Students will learn the movements of capoeira along with the music and songs traditionally used in the sport.

Contra Mestre Bomba has been teaching the art of Capoeira in Bahia, Brazil and more recently, in Washington, DC,  for more than 20 years. Class is conducted largely in Portuguese, however students can easily learn by example. Children learning Spanish in their classes will have an opportunity to practice their vocabulary as well.

capoeira-kids-classes6

  • $10 donation per child.
  • Beginners should wear loose fitting clothing and light footwear.
  • Recommended for ages 8 to 18
  • Classes are located at BloomBars, 3222 11th St NW – near the Columbia Heights Metro

Great news for the new year!

First: Saturday classes have moved to All Souls Church at 1500 Harvard St NW! Same time (10:30 am – 12:00 pm) but just a few blocks away from the old space! This change is effective immediately and all Saturday classes starting January 7th will be at this location.

Second: With the move to All Souls Church, we are now able to offer weekday classes! Join us Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 PM to 8 PM starting next week – Tuesday, January 10!

For the exciting new year and exciting new space, we are offering a special introductory price. All classes are $10 each from January 10 through January 31!  Cash and credit cards are accepted on the day of the class. No advance registration is required, just bring a form of payment to the class and you’re ready to ginga!

We also have a new, easier way to pay! For extra savings, buy a month pass for $80 for all classes during the month of January.

Be sure to be there on Saturday morning to take full advantage of this great deal! Of course, you will still be able to buy the month pass after Saturday, but getting it this Saturday will give you the best savings for January.

Note: Classes on Sundays remain unchanged! 11:00 am – 12:00 pm at BloomBars every Sunday. 

Goodbye, DIW!

Welcome back! Hope you had a great holiday.

This New Year’s weekend, we will not have capoeira class normally scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 am at Dance Institute of Washington due to the New Year’s Eve holiday.

However, we WILL have class the following day at 11 am on Sunday January 1, 2012 at BloomBars. 

For more news and updates, join our Facebook group: Barro Vermelho Capoeira of Washington, DC

Capoeira Class at BloomBars, Columbia Heights, Washington DC

Capoeira Class at BloomBars, Columbia Heights, Washington DC

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we will not have capoeira class on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27. So take a break, relax, and enjoy spending time with your family and friends.

Capoeira classes will resume as usual the following week, so be back and ready to work some of those Thanksgiving calories off!

Stay tuned for an exciting update about weekday classes… an extra opportunity to work out during the holiday season will be a great way to keep in shape despite Christmas parties, family dinners, and office get-togethers!