Posts Tagged ‘ Martial Arts

Wide-Eyed and Awake

Maybe it was the orange-glazed cinnamon rolls this morning, but something today kept me wide awake all day. Not even a yawn at work this morning. I’ve just been running on high this Monday, but not in the hyperactive-way. Have just been wide awake in everything I’ve done, full of drive, focus, and all that ish. Anyone else ever have a day like this?

After staying a little after work, I went home to grab a bite before heading off to Capoeira. Jules was home from Oregon, so that was a nice surprise. Practice was good tonight. Chris even came and checked out the classes today! It was cool to see a familiar face. Was beaming with energy afterward despite the night’s exertions.

I finally found out what my Capoeira name means too, sorta. Coquino calls me Couriño. Tonight I finally asked him what it meant and he pointed to the brown top of the berimbau and said something that sounded like “couro”. I combined that with my knowledge that “-ino” means small, and you kinda get the idea. Not too sure on the spelling though, the above are the mere fruits of time spent querying online Portuguese-to-English dictionaries.

This Monday

After attempting to write this entry in Pirate (in honor of Talk-like-a-Pirate Day), I’ve given up and have discovered a new-found empathy for a pirate’s inability to truly express himself verbally. I managed to write most of my personal e-mails today in Pirate though (just ask Kat or Ang), I think that counts for something. Not much. But something.

Today was a long day at work. All you gots to know is two words: critical path. But I can’t really complain too much. I had my Monday morning blueberry bagel and got to see the layout of the new office we’re moving to next month. My Pilates-lunch buddies cancelled today and so instead of “working my core”, I spent my lunch hour eating the usual pad thai, cashew chicken, steamed rice combo from Uwajimaya. Such a deal.

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Reflections of a Newbie

After work I decided to go check out that Capoeira school on Capitol Hill that I’ve been balking on attending. My body was aching to move. So I printed off a map, hopped on a bus and wandered around until I heard the sound of drums that told me I was at the right place. I attended my first “real” class in their studio and it was fun. I left two hours later and despite the intensity of the workout, I left very much invigorated. I thrive when I’m active. Increase chi flow, I suppose.

The only thing that was different about this Capoeira class than the ones I took at the Experimental College was that I was truly “the new girl”. The only familiar face was my instructor and I felt totally out of place. It didn’t help that everyone in the room was dressed in their white uniforms, whereas I stood amidst them in my black Kung Fu pants and gray Informatics shirt. Talk about standing out.

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Capoeira – Classe Quatro

Today I learned the Maculele in Capoeira. I also learned that I’m not very good at it.

An Explanation of the Martial Variety

One day the Zen master Nan-in had a visit from a foreign scholar of eastern religions who came to learn about Zen. Nan-in gladly met with the visitor, but when they sat down together, the scholar proceeded to talk about his immense knowledge of eastern religions. After much listening, Nan-in suggested they have tea. He poured the tea into the scholar’s cup until it was full, but then he kept right on pouring. The tea then cascaded over the sides of the cup onto the saucer. Soon the saucer was full, and it spilled over onto the table and washed down onto the floor.

“Wait, what did you say you had tonight?” my boss asked as I was walking out the door.
“Er… Capoeira. Have you heard of it?” I replied, certain he hadn’t.
“Yeah, Brazillian martial arts. Originated from slaves. You do that?”
“Um, well no. This is my first time. At least… formally,” I admitted. He smiled.
“What? Where have you done it informally? South America?” he joked.
“Well, no. Acutally, I’ve studied Shaolin Kung Fu,” I paused to watch the look on his face, “And well, at one point my school shared our studio with a Capoeira school. We’d play around together every once in a while,” Wow, he most totally think I’m making this up as I go, “Anyway, gotta go! See you next week!” I said as I hurried out the door.

The story of why a Brazillian martial art is somewhat familiar to me sounds surreal enough in my head, that having voiced even part of it outloud made me feel uneasy. It’s not something that one can quickly explain. I left out the beginning of the story, the part that my Sifu had actually taken some Capoeira before he met and trained in Kung Fu with Master Yang in Boston. I left out that Northern-style Longfist, one of the two Kung Fu styles he learned and would later teach, is a long-range fighting style, that combined with Capoeira’s beat and dance-like motion, worked well for training, a fact he brought with him to Washington when he opened his first martial arts studio. That’s what I’ve been told at least.

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It Hurts to Move

I had my first Capoeira class yesterday. 7:30PM-10PM. The instructor took class over an hour the designated time. I loved every minute of it. Walked back home soaking in sweat, legs shaking in exhaustion. It hurts to walk, bend over, or even shrug my shoulders. I want to tell you about it. About walking in the door and being greeted by a large black man, whose arms were thicker than my thighs, asking, “You here for Capoeira?” in his heavy Portuguese accent.

I want to talk about how the hours flew by, how I never sat down for a moment to take a break, and how quickly my body, which has been slightly sleep-deprived and fighting off a cold, came completely to life to cartwheel across the room and throw kicks. I want to tell you how natural it all felt, how high I get off martial arts, and how when the other students started asking if I had taken Capoeira before, I could only uneasily reply, “Kinda.”

In short, it was good. My body screams at me everytime I rise out of my chair and I still smile at remembering the beat of the music. And memories flood back of my old studio with the sound of a berimbau playing behind the scenes, of feeling the burn of my legs learning dodges and their exits. Currently writing a more lengthy narrative of this. I figured I would at least blog this now as every waking moment of today, my muscles remind me of last night.