True Strength of Capoeira
Welcome to my first thread.
Before I begin, I should probably state that I am not an expert, but if you have any questions that I cannot answer out of hand, I will find answers from someone more experienced than I.
I have only been practicing Capoeira for a few short months, and I understand how people could mistake it as a purely exhibitional martial art.
Granted that Capoeira makes for great viewing, but the true strength of the art comes from the ability to dodge almost any strike and effectively counter from an unexpected angle.
I know that the fine people here at Bullshido prefer to have stories backed up by video, but I do not have access to equipment in order to make one. If the chance arises, along with the demand, I assure you that I will present a video, but untill then you will have to make due with the following story. Although it may bear some resembalance to the typical stories of how "my masker totally kicked that guys ass", it is different in at least one respect. I'm the one who gets his ass handed to him.
I had just joined the Capoeira Club at Webster University in St. Louis, where I am working towards a major in journalism. I had heard mention of the "Brazillian Dance-Fight-Game", but discounted it as impractical and too showy. I had been speaking with other students who had joined, and was surprised to learn that almost all of them had some sort of martial arts experience.
Before the first class began, the instructor (a student, not a master) told us to try and catch him.
There were five of us and not one was able to land a blow on the speedy little bastard. Some came close, but he always seemed to be one step ahead of them, either ducking below the strikes, spinning away from the grabs, or even sliding between our legs.
The closest I came to hitting him was a front snap kick, which he caught before it connected. Using my Muay Thai training, I grabbed hold of his shoulders and pulled myself closer, trying to bring my other knee into play.
I figured wrong.
Before I could bring my left knee up, he did a backwards flip that dumped me on my head. Lucky for me I was able to bring my hands away from him fast enough to break my fall.
Capoeira may not be the most effective, or strongest art, but when an emphasis is placed upon trickery and acrobatics, it forms an effective tool of self defense.