Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Indulging in some capoeira metaphors


I think a lot about capoeira.  (Hmmm, I realize that not everyone really knows what capoeira is....you can read the wikipedia article here.  And please don't pronounce it "capillera," that makes me crazy.)  I've been playing since last April, and now tend to wake up in the morning singing in Brazilian Portuguese, find myself looking for white workout clothes, and feel an almost uncontrollable desire to break into cartwheels in large open places.  Right now I'm feeling all confident because I recently became able to do an au from cocorinha.  Pretty heady stuff, believe me, even if that's all Portuguese to you.  I try not to talk about it too much, because people start to glaze over preeeetty quickly...but that's what a blog is for, right?  To chatter away about whatever you fancy?

My professor, Graveto, is always talking about how the game of capoeira is a metaphor, or possibly reflection would be a better term, of the larger game of life.  That the things one learns in the roda translates to larger lessons.  I think about this a lot too, and I'm going to give you an example.  Alright, so one of the objects of the game is to keep the center.  This is on three levels:

1) Your balance.  Your own personal bodily center, so you can play well and not fall over or be pushed off balance.  Lose your balance and you will lose the game.  Possibly by falling hard on your tailbone, which is very painful and makes you walk funny for weeks as I have discovered.

2) Your emotional center.  So you don't lose concentration, or become fearful, or panic...then you basically give your opponent your center, and he or she can take control and run you around at their whim.  Not so good either.

3) The center of the roda...the person who keeps the center of the physical space is in charge.  If you're on the outside, you're probably mostly defending yourself.

See the lesson?  I guess I'm mostly talking about point 2, it's easy to be pushed off one's emotional center and give the control over to someone or something else.  If I can remember this, it's easier to regain my balance, and to keep my center to begin with.  Don't want to end up thrown by a metaphorical tesoura.

2 comments:

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

GOT it. :)

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Tailbone. Yep. It was mid-December, with a Brit named Dave watching me haul myself up on my hindquarters after a spill. Still hurting today.

Let's not talk about anyone's point two's for the time being.