Ones experience when attending class for the first time can be intimidating and confusing. The main reason for this is due to the fact Capoeira uses moves that are unfamiliar to most people outside of Brazil. Even moves that may seem simple, like ginga and role, are difficult to master even after months of practicing. Though someone new is usually nurtured on their way to becoming a capoeirista, the first class my seem like being thrown into the deep end of a pool. This should not discourage the beginner for this feeling is felt by almost everyone at first. Every one new to Capoeira has to start at ground zero.
There are fortunately certain previous activities and skills that do aid in the acceleration towards being a good Capoeira player. For instance, having a background in gymnastics or break dancing will help in some of the acrobatic portion of Capoeira. However, most Capoeira acrobatics tend to be less formal than those found in gymnastics. Also, having a background in dance or other martial arts leads to having better kicks and understanding the concept of our martial art. A person with a well fit body or sports background may find it easier to adapt to the physical demands. Music ability may help in understanding the Capoeira rhythm as well as learning to play the instruments (berimbau, atabaque, and pandeiro). It is important to understand that everyone excels through Capoeira at their own individual pace. Some abilities come easier to some than others.
Something else to keep in mind, when attending classes for the first time, is that the body needs time to adjust to the movements. Most beginners experience some level of muscle pain and fatigue. Muscles that you didn’t even know existed tend to hurt. This is due to the foreign movements that Capoeira demands on the body. Please do not be discouraged by fatigue. The body just needs time to adjust.
The first experiences of training Capoeira should be encouraging and beneficial. The feeling of confusion and questions, like “How will I get my body to do these moves?", are normal. It should be suggested that a beginner invest at least a months worth of classes before they decide if Capoeira is for them. Committing to train in this art form will be beneficial and enjoyable, but it is not for everyone. We all must find what helps us to enrich our mind, body, and soul.
Chris Richards is the co-owner of http://www.capoeiracapoeira.com . Visit CapoeiraCapoeira.com for Capoeira Moves and Capoeira Music .