Is capoeira a martial art or a dance?

Capoeira was traditionally a martial art disguised as a dance, so it has aspects of both. Some people prefer to concentrate on the dance and acrobatic elements, while others prefer the martial arts elements. There is plenty of room for both in capoeira.

Can any child train capoeira?

There's a lot to learn in capoeira! It’s like taking a martial arts class, a dance class, a gymnastics class and a music class all at once. Every new student can expect to be good as some parts of class and be challenged by others. Whether your child is lazy or hyperactive, big or small, or even shy, there is something for everyone.

How is my child learning capoeira through games?

Everything we teach is in the form of games which brings in the FUN. Why? While working on a specific curriculum, games help the child work on their co- ordination and interpersonal skills and they learn complicated movements without even knowing it. Our motto is to never leave the playground. Play provides the emotional spark which activates our attention, problem solving and behaviour response system so we gain the skills necessary for cooperation, co – creativity, altruism and understanding.

How is my kid in class?

It is important to keep in mind that whether a child is able to perfect a move or not (even though through our curriculum 90% of the children will be able to learn the correct technique), it is scientifically proven that the children who are not able to perfect the technique will still have the same neurological benefits as the others because they are trying out the same movements in the class.

Do all children follow the same level in class?

Our curriculum is divided into age clusters. But it may happen that some children are physically more developed or weaker than others. Every move has 3 levels e.g. a donkey kick is a beginner level for a handstand with support and a no support handstand is at level 3. The child is free to try any of the 3 levels without any pressure of performance.

Is capoeira hard?

Sports hurt! OK – all exercise can hurt: For an out of shape child, exercise hurts physically. Stretching hurts, running hurts, lifting hurts – you get the idea. Yes, capoeira will also hurt for a newbie too but just for a few days. But it allows people to go at their own pace more easily than competitive sports. There is no group expectation. Working at your own pace makes exercise a more enjoyable experience which may keep kids exercising!

Why choose a martial art over other sports for my child?

With the changing environment on the streets and out of our homes, learning an art of self-defence is the need of the hour. Martial art is not only defending oneself against a combat situation but it also instils defending your body from injuries by staying fit, defending yourself from laziness by staying self- disciplined. The benefits of martial arts training don’t end in class. The boost in confidence, increased fitness level and new cooperation skills will also help your child navigate the academic and social aspects of school, affect their behaviour at home and have an all-around good influence on them as they develop into an adult.

Is capoeira better than other martial arts?

All martial arts differ from each other and have advantages and disadvantages. The question is not whether one is better than the other, but which one is suitable for your needs. Out of the 170 martial arts in the world Capoeira is the 7th most deadly form and still is practiced in a non-combat and non-violent manner giving points for escaping. Since it is disguised as a dance, it is a game that is played not fought. It is a martial art that has lots of movement and music giving it a more holistic approach.

Are there championships in capoeira?

Capoeira is a non-competitive sport and at The Centre For Capoeira India we practise a more social capoeira. Being non-competitive gives children the chance to learn a new skill in an environment that promotes growth and challenge and allows their growing bodies to rest from the demands of academics and other competitive sports. Capoeira gives all children in class equal opportunity to perform and use their skill at any level without the pressure of winning or losing.

Kids need a fresh look at exercise, one that doesn't require them to be "Athletic." Kids need to see exercise as something that they can enjoy and something that can also save their lives. Exercise needs to enhance health, relieve stress, and serve us for a lifetime.

What kind of equipment do you use?

We work on the principles of 'SFL' – Safety – Fun – Learning. Equipment like rolling mats and crash mats are used for acrobatics to keep the children from getting injured.

Do children have to practise at home?

A human body needs 3 hours of movement in a day. Although capoeira is taught for 1-2 days a week, children should practise some basic movements a day. Acrobatic movements should never be tried at home.

Are the exercises gender-appropriate?

Being a non- combat martial art, most of the movements are practised without actually touching each other. We always have a female teacher in class.

Do kids bully each other in class?

No. Capoeira imparts life skills, one of them being against bullying and molestation. The 2 x 2 partnered drills encourage children to work together with stronger ones helping the weaker.

Is one senior instructor always in class?

We have a student teacher ratio of 1: 15. There is a senior and a junior instructor in class at all times. Teachers are shuffled every 3 years. They mentor the child as they move within the age cluster.

What is the end result of all this?

This physical activity develops children's self-esteem and confidence. Their ability to overcome difficult situations on and off the playground, improves and they simply enjoy a better, sunnier outlook on life and develop a resilient character.

How long can a child practise capoeira?

Our curriculum is spread from class I to class XII. Many kids who are athletes in school find a void once they finish school. Most eventually stop playing sports which means they stop exercising but this is not the case in Capoeira. It is a lifelong practice that grows with you as you grow older.