Batizado means baptism. It’s Portuguese. People here are clad in white, but we’re not in a church. We’re in an enormous gym hall on the fourth floor in a sports building in Utrecht. My name is Pequeno, little one. I am on the 6th event of Planeta Capoeira, for my fourth cord. Everybody sings, the energy is high.
Capoeira has many histories. My favourite one is the rebel tale. Long ago, when the African slaves lived in Brasil, they needed to revolt. When they tried to learn martial arts, their masters, threatened, beat them at the sight of it. So the slaves pretended to dance. Without hitting each other they practiced a self invented tool for resistance under their rulers’ eyes. When the time was right, they tied knives to their legs and seized the power back by massacre.
I heaven’t trained in the last month, because my knee was busted. Now I have to develop new ways to play, where, instead of letting myself fall to the ground, I catch myself and carry my weight to decrease the impact. While we are together in singing, clapping and playing typical instruments like the Berimbau, I realise what I’m learning in life. Carry my own weight. This circle awakens such insights in me.
“Fourth cords!” I am behind Doda already. He is our small but muscled contra mestre. Teacher. His vibe has a lot in common with shamans I met. I play against a teacher from another group. aggressive guy, but even he is cute inside. After my sixth kick my hair goes loose, and the game becomes impossible. I’m on the ground. That means I got my cord. Yellow and green.
Three more years and I’ll have to teach.