What is Capoeira?
By: Cristina Reale
Capoeira Name: Pomba
Student at Capoeira Bamba Toronto
In the little time that I have been actively involved in Capoeira, this question seems to endlessly come up in conversation. To most people, the response may be a martial art, a dance, a ritual, an extra-curricular activity, self-defence, a fitness class, a music class, etc., and I do believe Capoeira involves all of those, but to me, Capoeira is much more.
I started Capoeira almost 3 years ago and can’t imagine my life without it now. I discovered Capoeira in a park while traveling in Europe, and it was the combination of the fluid movements, music, and most of all, the positive energy that sucked me in. It was a couple of months after that, that I moved to another country where I had no friends, no family and knew no one, and yet I found Capoeira once again. It was the warm feeling of that positive energy and connection you feel between the movements, the music, and most of all the people, that makes you feel at home. And so, when people ask me “What is Capoeira?“, my response is always: FAMILY. Capoeira is family. It is a place where you can go to at any time, a place where you can always feel welcome; somewhere where you are not judged for the colour of your skin, the accent in your speech, the country you came from, your sex or your age. It is a place where people say hello to you when you are there, and miss you when you are not. It is a room filled with people who are supportive and positive and have your back no matter what. A place where you can feel confident and love the person you are, no matter how different you may be, because it’s filled with positive people around you who care. Somewhere where your worst days become your best, just because you walk through those doors. In moving once again, I landed in Toronto, and did my research on not to find the “best Capoeira school“ in Toronto, but the one that “feels“ right. Professor Paraiba does a remarkable job of ensuring you get that feeling. At Capoeira Bamba, you may sign up for your own personal reasons; most include: learning a martial art, losing weight, learning music, acrobatics, etc., where I can ensure you that he delivers a program and classes that will meet all your physical expectations and more. But what people don’t notice at first, is that everyone will naturally gain a family.
Capoeira is everywhere; all over the world and no matter what country you may be in, it sends the same message of it‘s culture, it’s roots, it’s struggles, it’s victories, and battles. But the message it sends to each and every one of the individuals who chose to take it on, differs from person to person because we are all fighting our own battles. For me, Capoeira will always be Family, and there for me when I need it the most.