Capoeira Brasil, Team Potiguara had their 2nd batizado at the beginning of October – ” Vem Jogar Mais Eu” For some of us, the event was our first batizado and a recognition of our progress since we began learning capoeira with Professora Potiguara. For the more senior members, this was an acknowledgement of their leadership and service to the team and signified their readiness to undertake greater responsibilities within the group. The week started with a series of workshops, the first led by Instructor Mercurio from Group Capeora Brasil New Zealandand, then subsequent ones led by Mestre Boneco. We learnt some sequences created by M. Boneco specially designed to build the foundations for offensive and evasive manoeuvres. We learnt how to apply feigned offensive movements to control a game and manipulate the opponent. These workshops were quite intense and tested our fitness to the limit (I would be the first to admit that I did not complete the 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups at the end of the workshop day 2!); they were however very rewarding in developing confidence and fluidity in our games. The most inspiring aspects of these workshops I found were the philosophies on capoeira, especially how the lessons learnt in training can be applied to real life. I was particularly inspired by Instructor Mercurio’s story of how capoeira gave him a future away from a life of crime in the disadvantaged areas of Brazil. To me, his story is perhaps a reminder of what capoeira stands for, that it provides hope of freedom from oppression, be it an oppressor from the outside (colonial occupation) or of our own demons.
The week concluded with the batizado itself under the supervision of Mestre Boneco and attended by many prominent guest capoeristas in the Australian capoeira community. To see these guests play and have Mestre Boneco instill his infectious energy into the roda was exhilarating and amazing to watch. We played well in the roda with the mestres and other guests, showcasing the strength of our group. We are indebted to our Professora Potiguara for organising this week-long event and inviting all the guest capoeristas. For a first-timer attendee like myself, the batizado is a most valuable learning experience. It was humbling to discover the depth, richness and complexity of the capoeira culture. At the same time, the event also inspired me to improve myself both in and outside of the roda. We are very fortunate to also have two recreational workshops (Brazilian drumming and samba) and a forro after-party organised for us to enjoy the festive side of Brazilian culture. I must say that all the girls shown exceptional talent in samba and are performance-ready with one day of workshop; I wish the same can be said for the guys (myself included)!
It remains to thank our Professora Potiguara not only for organising the batizado, but also for her leadership and teachings. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all the guests that attended our event and UTS sports union for their support.