If you have ever seen the games show, The Cube, with Philip Schofield (ahh, Joseph), then you will have had moments of I-can-so-do-that. If it wasn't the fact of it being televised (terrible stagefright see) and the camera adding on 10 pounds, I would so love to go on that programme. Same with Fun House (stagefright hit me at a young age), Gladiators and Crystal Maze. But, back to the Cube. The games look so easy but I have no doubt that they are actually much harder than they look. And it is the same with Capoeira.
Everyone knows of Capoeira, if not only for its difficulty in spelling and pronounciation (ka-poo-eh-ra, I believe). But few, unless you've tried it, probably know exactly how tricky it is to perform.
Personally, I thought it was a relatively dancey faffy (in a good way) martial art. And it is a dancey martial art but it sure ain't faffy - the moves are flowy but exact and specific - when you see people waving their arms and legs about, it's all part of an actual routine.
Held at SkillTown, a cool rough 'n' ready East London large converted warehouse in Hackney Wick (same venue as Day 70 ! Tricking & Tumbling), the Capoeira class was run by Instructor Joao today. On a relaxed easy come, easy go Saturday afternoon, the class had around 7-8 people, most of whom I discovered, may be new to Capoeira itself but are pretty darn flexible/sporty/talented.
Instructor Joao led us through some balance exercises to start - balancing...on your hands. We practised kicking legs up to get into freestanding handstands (hard, I was so far off a straight line), walking handstands (if you cant do the first one, the second one is a lost cause) or handstands against a wall for the less advanced (hello).
After the handstands session, Instructor Joao taught us a few moves linked into a short "routine." The routines are performed in pairs and Instructor Joao explained the importance of keeping focus on your partner when performing the moves - e.g. starting facing your partner, waving your arms (in a cool way, this really is hard to describe), turning around and looking at your partner through your legs, kicking up to face your partner again and so on. Performed correctly, it looks (and feels, I imagine) pretty cool - a funky mix between a dance and a fight.
In honesty, I found the class quite hard - you have to be very flexible (bane of my Fitness-life), co-ordinated and have stellar balance for this class. But, as with everything, you can't expect to get results without practice and looking at the rest of the class, it looks pretty fun to be good at Capoeira. I've said it before but an unfortunate consequence of these 80days is not being able to give any Fitivity the time and effort needed to get used to it and more importantly, good at it! I so want to be able to do a freestanding handstand!
Class done on Sunday, 14 July 2013 (I know). Full blog post and pictures can be found here.
The Need To Know:
- Where: Skilltown
- Nearest Station: Hackney Wick (7mins)
- When: Capoeira on Saturdays 12.30-14.00
- How Much: Day entry £2, then £5 per class or unlimted day pass at £14
The Want to Know:
- Who's it For: For those flexible martial artists/dancers who want to fuse
- Sweat Scale: 7/10. I get nervous (and hence sweaty) when I can't do things
- Strength / Cardio / Flexi / Tone: Flexi and skill
- Complexity: 8/10. Lots of co-ordination required
- Fun Factor: 6/10
- Changing Facilities: Some rough 'n' ready toilets.
- Instructor Inspiration: 7/10. Talented!
- Total Time: 86mins
- Calories Burnt: 331. 3.85 calories-burnt-per-minute
- Average Heart Rate: 109
- Max Heart Rate: 157