Dentro da Roda: Organize the Game

22 12 2007

Organize the game.

What does this mean, exactly? It’s something I remember hearing once, and I haven’t been able to puzzle it out further than that it probably involves more deliberation in the roda than I’m capable of at present. It struck me because what goes on in a capoeira roda seems like the last thing you’d associate with organization—flow, circle, unrestriction versus boxed, square, and categorized. At the same time, I can definitely see how the concept would apply in terms of strategizing, placement of moves and yourself, maxi-/minimization of space, etc.

The only thing is, those things will work for organizing your game; organizing the game seems to imply a degree of influence over what your opponent does as well, and over the game’s given situation(s). Maybe it just means constantly thinking ahead, predicting what your opponent will do and where they will go, and then organizing yourself or your strategy accordingly. Or it could mean organizing a specific set-up or situation: doing something to make your opponent move one way, predicting their reaction (correctly), and then completing the set-up you planned.

How do you (can you) control the game in the roda?In any case, the bottom line seems to be the need for constant thinking in the roda, whether it’s evaluating the immediate past, analyzing the present, or synthesizing information to use in the immediate future. It’s not enough to just react instinctively to each separate action of your opponent, with knee-jerk reflexes (although being able to do so probably helps), without fitting your (and maybe their) movements into the larger picture of the game…organizing them, I suppose.

Well, that’s my out-loud musing for the day. If you have any thoughts/advice/ideas on this, the floor is wide open!

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