Capoeira kicks it

Capoeira Brasil Cayman Islands, the
only group of its kind locally, welcomed novices and seasoned members to a
three-day series of workshops supervised by one of the sport’s leading
proponents recently.

The group, which was formed in
December 2009, has 15 regular members and meets six times a week for one-hour
classes in the sport, which originated in Brazil 500 years ago.

A mixture of martial arts, dance,
street fighting and acrobatics, the activity has a large global following.
Incorporating music and Portuguese singing; the art form is believed to have
first been practised by Brazil’s large slave population.

 Outlawed as subversive for many years,
Capoeira was institutionalised in the 1930s by Mestre Bimba and has developed
into the mass participation sport it is today.

The workshops were supervised by Mestre Curumim, who flew
in from Rio de Janeiro for the event.

The black belt, who earned his
title after practising the sport for 20 years, hosted a two-hour workshop on
Wednesday, 22 April, followed by two one-hour workshops on consecutive days.

The second workshop was followed by
a public Capoeira display in Camana Bay while the final workshop closed out
with a display near the wave machine in Grand Harbour.

Intense, lively and fun; the
sessions also attracted two Capoeira exponents from the Capoeira Brasil New
York Club. Both women travelled to the Cayman Islands specifically to
participate in the workshops.

Local instructors Koé and Panda
were pleased with how the workshops went. They said that the sessions had
helped increase club numbers and members’ commitment to the sport.  Ten newcomers attended the sessions, the
youngest being an eight-year-old boy.

Instructor Koé, who leads five of
the six weekly classes, is from Brazil.

Instructor Panda, who attained his
green belt rank after seven years, began taking classes in 2001.

He said: “As well as inspiring us,
Mestre Curumin explained aspects of sport’s history, supervised parts of the
workshops and played the berimbau – a bow-like percussion instrument.

It was great to have all our students in at the same time,” he added.

For more details about Capoeira Brasil
Cayman Islands, contact Instructor
Koé, at 547-3673 or email [email protected]