Of all the Mestres, and Contra-Mestres, and Mestrandos, and Professores, Formados, Monitores, Estagiarios, Graduados, Instrutores, Educadores….and the list goes on and on. Of all these great teachers passing on the amazing art of Capoeira to this world, the most important Capoeira practitioner is none of them. What?! That’s right. Although these figures play an important part in Capoeira, it is the beginner that plays the most important part. They decide one day that they want to put on the white pants and set out to learn this amazing art. They decide one day that they want to continue learning this art, and ultimately, they decide that they don’t want to quit . The beginner student feeds the growth of our amazing art. If you haven’t watched my video on the “Triangle of Capoeira Practitioners” you can do that here.
Although, this is not the topic of this blog, that video explains that at the bottom of the triangle is the most populated portion; which is “beginners”. As you move up in rank, it becomes less populated. People quit, move away from their academy, and pretty much don’t move up. This puts today’s blog topic in perspective. Beginner Capoeira students are most important. Without good fundamentals, they turn into crapoeira practitioners (there’s plenty of these guys).
These beginning formidable months and years are the most important. It’s when they develop how they think about what Capoeira is, how people should be treated in this art, how they should train, how the game is played. If you come up under a Master who beats the hell out of everyone who steps in front of him in the roda, you think this is the way it should be. Check out my two cents in this quick video below.
I spend a lot of time developing products and resources for the beginner Capoeira student. Now, when they no longer are a beginner, there is the next level of training and learning. So, you reading this, if you are a beginner, congratulations! Stay with it, and check out my FREE course here. If you are an intermediate player, be nice. I know, I know. Beginners are your personal punching bag. They are the people you practice your sweeps, and cool takedowns you are learning. Nobody else falls for it yet. But if you keep beating them up there may not be anyone to beat up soon after. Make sure the beginner is in good spirits and likes to mix it up before consistently dropping and kicking them.
If you are an advanced student, then you should already know this. You might help your instructor teach classes and those are your lifeblood of your academy. If you are an instructor, you need to know this. Many still do not. I still see Capoeira instructors kick the crap out of their students on the daily, and wonder why they can’t fill their dojo. Don’t get me wrong. Capoeira is a martial art first, and a student needs to learn how to defend him/herself. And the only way to teach them is to physically show them. But in time…after they can stand up on their own two feet, after they can ginga, kick dodge, and move. Is there a balance of how aggressive and how early this needs to be in the development of a beginner? Absolutely.
Is it the same everywhere all across the world? Nope. It’ll be different the streets of Brazil than in posh shopping malls of Scottsdale, Arizona. It’ll be different in the Bronx, Corpus Christi, or Hollywood. So take this with a grain of salt, but there’s no doubt about it…beginners need to be taken care of so that they have a good experience and want to stick around. They want to become intermediate, advanced and ultimately a Graduado. Once you have made it there, I believe you can determine that you want to do this for the rest of your life.
Well, get back out there and Ginga, galera. O Rei is signing off. Until next time, Ginga and Grow Strong.
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