Photographs & Story by Angel Colon
Capoeira was born out of the struggle for Freedom.
Capoeira is an art form from Brazil that evolved from African culture. You and your opponent must always pay your respect to the ground (it's the African way of saying thanks).The game of Capoeira is played in a circle called "roda"(ho-da) you and a participant must play with each other but must stay with the motherland rhythm, too.
The Capoeira music centers around the musical bow called the "Berimbau". The berimbau sets the rhythm and the style for the game. Helping out the berimbau is the "Pandeiros"(tambourines), "Atabaques"(Drums) ,and the other intstruments along with the clapping of the watchers and participants.
The Capoeira Batizado which reporters from HarlemLive attended began with drums and bells and then words from the masters and parents.
The Capoeira Batizado (Baptism) amazed me by the "warriors'" outstanding physical ability and the heart and courage of the little children who defended themselves against the learned masters.
The Batizado was for all the students who were just learning how the Capoeira is done. One girl was scared to go up against one of the masters but she still received her green belt and a rose. A lot of children had some really great moves that stunned the audience. A little boy was standing on his head for a good ten seconds. Once the dancing was over the kids were very tired and eager to do some more dancing around but it was time for the baptism to begin.
After the baptism, the masters must give every student a nick name. One boy was named Cabra, another kid was named Bruce Lee and one kid was named Rabbit. All these names were made up for a reason and a cause. Cabra was made up after this boy, because he wore a Chupa-Cabra (a Puerto Rico myth) shirt to practice one day. Bruce Lee was made up after this young mans speed. Now can you guess why a boy is named Rabbit? If you think because of his teeth you are right this kid's teeth were tooooo big.
If you are thinking about taking classes don't think twice, it looks cool. If I had the time I would take some classes but I can't. If you're saying forget it, give it a try!
Capoeira Schools in Manhattan: