If Capoeiristas had a theme song that would be it. Today, a bunch of young martial arts, sport and music enthusiasts, or Capoeiristas, get set to show off their skills, as they officially enter the world of the art form, said to have originated in Brazil
Jumping six feet off the ground, spinning on one's head and walking on one's hands to music -- it's all in a day's work for aspiring Capoeiristas, who will be initiated into the Brazilian art form that uses influences from martial arts, music and sport, this evening at Capoeira India's fifth Barizado (baptism) and Troca de Cord �o (change of cords/ belts) ceremony.
A man demonstrating Capoeira
"It is a birth stage for Capoeira," says Reza Massah Baba of Capoeira India, who brought the art form to the country. "Youngsters who have completed a year get baptised and the older ones undergo a change of belt," he explains. The event will see international capoeirists from Israel, Russia and the US, match moves with Baba's students.
Students practising Capoeira
It is believed that Africans, who were enslaved in Brazil, invented Capoeira sometime in the 16th century, as a means for coping with their reality. Baba, who has been practicing Capoeira for the past 15 years, caught his first glimpse of the art form when in Israel.
"I was in a mall, when I saw a few Capoeiristas perform and instantly fell in love with it," he says, adding, "After practicing there for nine years, I decided to bring it to Mumbai." Baba says that the martial art form is growing in popularity. "Last year, we had a 100 students getting baptised, this year we have 160," he says.
Ask him what attracts youngsters to the art form and he says, "Most martial arts forms have retained the same format over the years. Capoeira, on the other hand, is not just about martial arts, but also about music and movement. It is about having a conversation with your body. It's also an effective tool in confidence-building."
He adds, "There are about 170 martial arts forms, but Capoeira is the only one with a philosophy of non-violence. It combines strength with discipline." The number of women interested in learning the art form is also increasing. "The women to men ratio in my classes would 40 to 60 per cent," says Baba, who is quick to assure us of their capabilities. "The girls can easily beat up some boys," he chuckles.
At: Juhu Gymkhana, Plot U/13, opp Juhu Bus Depot JVPD Scheme, NS Road, 13, Juhu.