My capoeira teacher, Monitor Risadinha (Jacob is his real name, Risadinha is his Capoeira apelido - once you get to certain standard you get 'baptized' and given a nickname. Monitor is his 'grade') is on a plane to Brazil as I write, for a three week holiday and to train with an academy out there, and last night we had our final lesson of the year with him. So we decided to make it a bit of an occasion, especially as it coincides with the two year anniversary of the school, Capoeira Canal, which is a good achievement for Jacob.
The class followed a slightly different format to normal. Usually, we warm up together, then the beginners and intermediates split for the majority of the class, and we get back together at the end for a little roda. The roda (Portuguese for 'wheel') is the circle of people and instruments, within which two people play Capoeira. It is the whole point of Capoeira, really. Anyway usually we just have a little roda at the end of the class, lasting 20-30 minutes, everybody has one quick game, and that's it. Yesterday, however, as it was a special occasion, we had decided in advance to start the roda early and have a 'proper' one. So after a quick warm up we got the instruments out and started playing.
It was great. My capoeira has improved loads and now I feel confident enough to not embarrass myself, and I really enjoy playing the instruments and singing also. Towards the end of a roda the music speeds up, the capoeira speeds up, and the whole thing becomes really engrossing - especially when you're watching two really good capoeiristas play a game, it's spellbinding. It's also amazing how fast the time goes, I had barely had two games before I glanced up at the clock and realised an hour had gone and I was unlikely to get another, as time was running out. Ah well. Still a brilliant evening, which we discussed and washed down with a couple of pints afterwards. Very nice indeed.
So now I'm really enthused for Capoeira and, fortunately, classes are continuing, despite Jacob being away. For the next couple of weeks we have some intructors from our 'parent' school (i.e. Jacob's old school) the London School of Capoeira coming to take the next two Monday classes, so it will be interesting to see how their teaching methods differ to Jacob's. Cool beans.