2 Weeks ago I went to one of the most beautiful places in Austria, Wörthersee. There I had my first ever summer camp and it was all about Capoeira! It was a week of great learning, practicing and bonding with the capoeristas brothers and sisters. The journey for me began when I decided to make this wonderful martial art part of my life this year. I was excited to go to a camp. I never camped when I was a kid, I come from a dry dessert place and the only camping I did was with my family at the beach when I was almost a baby and with one of my university girl friends at the Toscana beach in Italy, but I cannot count them as real camping. So I bought my first pop-up camping tent ever in an incredible price and undusted an old sleeping bag that matches the tent, so the time came and I started to pack, I took one outfit for each training and one sporty outfit for the evening, 3 pair of bathing suits and a big foam mat. The camping backpack was almost as big as me.
When we arrived to the camp we noticed that camping was not an option because it was rainy the first day and sleeping in a room with too other 50 people it would be a bit complicated, so we deserted it! and looked for a small flat with the view to the Wörthersee lake. So far for my camping adventure haha. Some brave guys did anyway, I guess they have more experience than me.
We arrived just in time to start our first training as a group. I was the less experienced and less knowledgable of the whole big group, that was a big challenge for me to be open and learn from everything. I got frustrated time to time and vulnerable, but that did not hold me back thanks to the Mestre that tried to keep the group motivated and learning all the time. I observed different ways of movement and I admired everyone’s unique way to express their capoeira fight.
The trainings were divided into advanced/intermediate and beginners groups. We always started with a general stretching warm up as a whole group to move on into these specific groups. It was hard for me to keep following the sequences since they included more than 2 kicks and turns. I am still learning and I am pretty slow from the rest thanks to my left knee and hamstrings when getting in deep pain whenever I extra pulled them in deep squat or seat on my heels to turn.
The trainings where interesting and demanding energy, coordination and balance all the time. We learned new sequences and worked on developing the skills that are needed in every corda (belt).
We had in total 2 trainings with sequences and a couple of Rodas per day with big rest spaces in between to have our meals and rest, jump in the Wörthersee lake or just chat with the group.
THE ANGOLA STYLE
The first time I saw Capoeira play in a slow pace was when I saw Ido Portal playing, Ido is leader of the Movement Culture, he is a well-known progressivist teacher who’s movement background is Capoeira. I have observed and been moved by the flow and connection of the Angola Rodas. So by the time the Angola style training was on I was already really motivated and eager to learn and see it by my own experience. I listened carefully to the Mestre and felt very connected to the moves and sequences he taught. A beautiful play.
We had around 2 Rodas, one at the end of the last training and the night Roda (circle) to cease the training day. All of them were great time to show the skills learned and for me get used to it. Every one had the opportunity to play in the Roda. We were a lot so the opportunity to play was a bit short but great. Mestre always encouraged every one to play as much as possible.
After a week of nice trainings, learning, playing and bonding, the summer Capoeira camp in Wörthesee came to an end and with it the Batizado. A batizado is basically the annual reunion of the Capoeira group and the new students like me play for the first time in front of the Birimbau, a musical instrument from Brazil. The fight play is between the newbie with an advance capoeirista who will let the student express what he/she has learned until is taken down. So there I was playing and implementing what I have learned and encouraged from our Vienna coach and the whole group from Vem Camara Capoeira Vienna who always give the support to keep learning and playing. In spite of the awkward feeling I got my first Corda and played. I was Batizada and feeling proud for the welcoming to the new challenges to come.