Health, fitness, dance, music, history, culture, self-defence and acrobatics; capoeira is a holistic martial art like no other. As a busy person in life this is what Capoeira means to me.
As a boy, martial arts have been a part of my life since the age of 6. Having trained across multiple styles, when I stumbled across this very unorthodox form of movement I was immediately intrigued. It holds such a different approach to self-defence and body movement in general. Opening your boundaries of not only what’s possible, but what’s normal and effective. It really helps shape an open mind.
A year after I began I started planning a trip to Bahia, Brazil. To train at the literal birthplace of the art, and the world’s most traditional academy, “Associacao de Capoeira Mestre Bimba”.
A small group of us, including my senior instructor and now one of my best friends, Chan Griffin, went and stayed in the attic of the academy for a little under 6 months. Training everyday it completely changed my whole view on the art. What started as “a bit of fun” and “something different” quickly became a whole new philosophy on life. Spending time in the slums (favelas) and meeting some amazing people there taught me a whole new level of gratitude. Seeing how happy these people were, how hard working and appreciative for the little things was a humbling experience.
Getting back to Australia Capoeira for me now represents a form of flow state for me. My life is constantly busy, juggling multiple businesses, staff, new projects, two boys and philanthropic endeavours. Capoeira helps me maintain a level head through it all.
The physical side of things is great. You’re forced to move your body in different ways, activating different muscle groups that would normally sit dormant. The cardio is intense, and the acrobatic side forces you to push yourself to extremes in order to learn and develop new movements.
On top of that, the music and dance that’s overlaid just adds such a unique dimension to the art. Brazilian’s use the word axé (“ahh-shé”) to describe an underlying rhythm to life; a form of music that flows through us all. With Capoeira, this axé is what gives you the energy and a vibrancy that you carry with you in all walks of life. By expanding our movements and understanding of the human body, I find it tends to expand our minds.
For me, the body and the mind are linked. By expanding our range of movement and becoming more aware of our bodies, it translates to a better understanding of our mind. It makes us less rigid and more open in life. These themes drive me and are just as important in business and in relationships as they are in Capoeira.
Finding time to train can always be hard. But I find the more I prioritise my training, the more productive I am in the other areas in life. It helps keep me sharp, and it’s a whole lot of fun.
Photography by Amy Rose Hancock amyrosecreative.com
Issue #12 Pg.76