Yesterday’s post got me thinking more about the comparison I made between countries and capoeira groups, and then I remembered the title I was going to give the post originally: “Capoeira Without Borders”. To expand on this idea, what would it be like if there were no borders between capoeira groups, and capoeiristas could come and go as they pleased? Let’s imagine…
First of all, capoeira students would have an amazing number of opportunities open to them. They would learn more and different techniques and styles of play, even without leaving the categories of regional, angola, benguela, or contemporânea. Each capoeirista’s personal game and style would be completely unique, based on their particular combination of with whom they trained, how often, for how long, and what they in particular gained from each group. They would have more flexibility schedule-wise, if classes from every local group were open to them, or during holidays if some academies closed while others remained open.
The potential for “bad blood” between groups might be reduced, and groups as a whole would grow closer to one another as their respective students would mix, mingle, and bond, more often and to a greater extent than they would otherwise (or at all). On the other hand, more interaction between more people might also increase the potential for drama and more of the same. Although, this would also depend on how much of a “my group your group” mentality students retained after the eradication of “borders”.
Similarly, the amount of politics between mestres of different groups might decrease, as their students could openly and legitimately train with one, the other, or both simultaneously, at any time. Then again, politics might rise to a more feverish pitch if mestres decided they had to work, coerce, or manipulate harder to retain students/students’ loyalties due to the complete freedom they now have to come and go as they please.
From a growth and expansion point of view, this would actually be a nightmare for grupos as they would have much more difficulty establishing cores of students and knowing who they could rely on, to show up for training, for rodas, and for events. On the flip side, they could also have bigger events—seeing as each event would be open to every capoeirista in the world who’s interested—and they would have larger labour/volunteer pools to help with the event or other things, since people outside of their immediate groups would also be included.
Finally, in terms of the actual capoeira, group styles would evolve at much higher rates, seeing as everyone from other groups or who was training with other groups would bring what they had learned to class and into every roda. At the same time, group styles could be “corrupted” by unwanted methods or techniques from other groups brought in by their or other students.
These are all the possible effects I can think of so far; feel free to add more scenarios in the Comments! Even if this isn’t going to happen anytime soon (or, okay, ever), it never hurts to exercise your imagination once in a while. 😉
Picture source: http://www.cafepress.com/pcpremium.11583050