Capoeira West Batizado 2005 Pictures

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Yo, pictures are up from the Capoeira West 2005 Batizado:

Justin’s post and pictures
Michelle’s pictures

The batizado brought together groups from all over to Japan, allowing the participants to play against players using a variety of styles and techniques. It was fascinating to see the game being played by such high level players, to observe how the balances between trickery, speed, flexibility, acrobatics, and strength affect the mood and pacing of the game.
The coolest thing about this martial art is that if you look at the faces of the participants, almost everyone is wearing a smile and is having a good time. Though sometimes it is appropriate to strike another player and to inflict injury, mostly the participants do not play to hurt each other, and rather just demonstrate moves rather than carry a potentially dangerous kick or sweep to completion.
I?ve been told that you have to be careful when you play with students from other schools, but I?ve only heard and read about ruthlessness in the roda second-hand. From what I’ve seen in Japan, capoeira does not tend to attract the same meatheads, the guys who are out there to prove their manliness by exerting dominance on every one, that other martial arts do.
I often hear people say that capoeira is not effective as a martial art. Then why haven’t we seen people use it in Pride, UFC, or K1? Well, in these venues, other martial arts have an edge. For pit fight situations like these muay thai, jiu-jitsu, shoot fighting, etc… give a fighter the edge. I would also argue that, like Aikido, it takes a lot of time and practice before one can use it to fight proficiently in contrast to the relatively little training it takes someone learning jiu-jitsu before that training can be effectively applied in a real fight situation. But mostly, choosing to engage in such a fight goes against the philosophy of capoeira, which preaches cunning and trickery over brute strength.
Luring an opponent into attacking and then springing a trap when they least expect it is how the capoerista would choose to engage an enemy. For example, he might feign a retreat or a fall to the ground, and then instantly spring back and ambush the attacker with a powerful kick. And if he is at a disadvantage or starts losing the fight, then running away is a completely acceptable option. This is no Cobra Kai approach to life.
Mestre Bimba was once asked “What would you do if someone pointed a gun to your chest?” to which he replied “Then I would die, my son.”. There is no conventional sense of “honor” in this martial art, which was built from the practical knowledge of those who needed to protect themselves and fight outnumbered and outgunned, against all odds. Survival and learning to thrive amid the hardships of life are the values inherent in capoeira.
In Brazil, capoeiristas are known to fight holding razorblades in their hands and between their toes. The lateral shift of the jinga, the use of cartwheels and acrobatics, and the dazzling movements on the ground look a lot more dangerous if you can picture how these graceful movements could be used to slice and dice an unwary opponent. It?s interesting to note that members of the older generation are viewed both as lawless thugs and as protectors against the government and police. Many of them kept the nightsticks of police that they had defeated in street fights as trophies, and one famous capoeirista actually went into police headquarters and returned his sizable collection to them as a taunt (In case you were interested, these accounts were taken from Capoeira: A Brazillian Art Form by Bira Almeida and The Little Capoeira Book by Nestor Capoeira). Now that?s bad ass.

9 thoughts on “Capoeira West Batizado 2005 Pictures”

  1. caponata, capistrano, capuccino, capelin…..I’m feeling pretty damn ignorant here. Capoeira? Is it pronounced ka-po-e-i-ra? or ka-pe-ra? or kap-ra? or ??

  2. dude, i love you but unless you are super amazingly talented at this martial arts, you are doomed to get your ass kicked in 99% of any fight you get into….and that’s why you have me to look out for you! BTW, Silva will gobble up any of the capoeira masters because brute strength rules the world!!!

  3. bahahaah at buttface.
    I remember reading an interview with Nogeira where he said the only fighters he would never fight would be capoeiristas. “They don’t fight fair.”
    If you want to read a GOOD article on danger in capoeira, I suggest you look at my mestre’s article here: http://www.REMOVEgeocitiesREMOVE.com/palmares_seattle/capoeiraessays.html
    Also, I would advise you to be careful when making blanket statements about “capoeira” since a lot of capoeira history is really better termed lore.

  4. Hey Mike,
    thanks for your input and the link. I’m not quite sure what I wrote that qualifies as a blanket statement, but to clarify where I got this information I have added the sources from which I drew from.
    Luke tells me that you’re trying to set up an Angola school down there- how’s that going?

  5. Just a little preemtive advice you could say. In my school we never “demonstrate” moves and we always complete our attacks. How fast we play and in which zone (high, middle or low) depends on the game we are playing. In a Batizado you can expect to leave with some sort of souvenier: black eye, split lip, bloody nose. It is after all a test.

  6. it’s funny how all martial artists think they can kick everyone else’s ass yet they invent a ton of rules to prevent their ass from getting kicked.
    crapoeira has to rank right up there with tai chi as a specialized form of getting your ass kicked.
    look at so many of the pictures – what an art! two folks on their heads 12 feet apart? what the hell is that?
    that crapoeira is the martial art form of slaves should inform participants about it’s worth

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