Q: What do capoeira and the Energizer Bunny have in common?

1 01 2008

For capoeira, the sun never sets...A: They both keep going, and going, and going…

Feliz Ano Novo, todo o mundo!

As we leave the past year behind and ring in the new, change is usually what’s on people’s minds.  How did you change last year?  What do you want to change next year?

In capoeira, change happens all the time.  It’s exactly like (sci-fi writer) Isaac Asimov said: “The only constant is change.”  This might sound paradoxical, but sometimes it seems like change is so constant in capoeira, that it doesn’t actually happen at all.  Academies change, moves are retired and reworked, people come and go, you get seriously injured and recover, and still—capoeira goes on, and remains capoeira.

There were several points last year at which I kept freaking out to my capoeira (and some non-capoeira) friends at how small my training group’s class was getting, to the point where they started making fun of me for it… (“Hey!  So, has the sky fallen at KCC yet?”)  At the same time, one of our two teachers left for a while, which was another major change.  The thing is though, we all just settled into a new rhythm, what at first felt weird and unsettling became normal, and all the while we still kept training capoeira as usual.

I think the crux here is really something my teacher (the one who’d left) said to me after I came back from a 3-week trip two summers ago (i.e. three weeks of missing class): “You might stop.  Capoeira doesn’t stop.”  Capoeira might change, but it never stops.  That’s why change is always so unsettling when it first happens, because we often see it as the ending, or stopping, of something.  This is never the case for capoeira though; no matter what happens, capoeira is capoeira.  It never stops.  And often, because of this longevity, what was changed may even become unchanged again–people return, attendance perks up, you regain lost skills–and all the while the berimbau has continued to play, so to speak.  The rhythm may be momentarily jarred, varied, or subdued, but never is it broken.

Picture source: http://psg.com/~walter/capoeir2.jpg

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