A Roda de Capoeira
A Roda de Capoeira
The “roda” is the circle of people within which Capoeira is played. People who make up the roda’s circular shape clap and sing along to the music (see music of capoeira) being played for the two partners engaged in a Capoeira “game” (“jogo”) . The game is a corporal conversation between 2 people . During the game, players does not focus on injuring the opponent. Rather, it emphasizes more skill. Capoeiristas often prefer to show the movement without completing it, enforcing their superiority in the roda. If an opponent cannot dodge a slow attack, there is no reason to use a faster one. Each attack that comes in give players a chance to practice an evasive technique.
Most often in the roda, your greatest opponent is yourself. Philosophy plays a large part in Capoeira and the best teachers strive to teach Respeito (Respect), Responsabilidade (Responsibility), Segurança (Safety/Security), Malícia (Cleverness/Street-smarts), and Liberdade (Liberty/Freedom).
In the roda there is a graceful physical dialogue between two capoeiristas who exchange circular and straight kicks, escapes, sweeps , takedowns and gymnastic flourishes.
The spirit and energy of a Capoeira Roda is contagious! Play in a Roda can be a celebration of freedom and lots of Fun!
The ginga (literally, rocking back and forth) is the fundamental movement in Capoeira that looks like a Dance. Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional have distinctive forms of ginga. Both are accomplished by maintaining both feet approximately shoulder-width apart and then moving one foot backwards and then back to the base. This movement is done to prepare the body for other movements.
The rest of the body is also involved in the ginga: coordination of the arms (in such a way as to prevent the body from being kicked), torso (many core muscles may be engaged depending on the player’s style), and the leaning of the body (forward and back in relation to the position of the feet; the body leans back to avoid kicks, and forward to create opportunities to show attacks). The overall movement should match the rhythm being played by the bateria.
Every one has a different way to ginga as to walk. The Ginga needs to be fluent and you need to be comfortable doing it once all the movements will come from it. The Ginga is the way you express yourself and can say a lot about the personality of the player.
Mestre Bimba teaching his student how to ginga