Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art which intricately combines break dancing with kicking your opponent’s ass. Naturally, I was both intrigued and terrified, and desperately wanted to try.
I should probably specify here that I have absolutely no martial art or dance ability, whatsoever. As in, I seriously lack strength, speed, mental discipline, or the ability to move rhythmically to a beat.
Compounding this is the fact that I’m a tiny little woman who’s very appearance seems to exude frailty and weakness. Whenever my friends or colleagues discuss sexual assault or random battery, I always end up being their hypothetical helpless victim. I like to think I’m pretty kickass, and I probably am...in my own weight class. Maybe. In the greater world, the best thing you could call me is “scrappy,” and even that might be a stretch.
So, naturally, in my pursuit of becoming Xena: Warrior Princess, or at least someone that isn’t everyone’s first choice for the role of Rape Victim, I decided to take a class in Capoeira. And in doing so, I learned some valuable life lessons.
Lesson the First: I am very, very bad at Capoeira.
This may have seemed obvious to everyone who isn’t me, but I always harbor this deep-seeded delusion that maybe, if I find the right sport or activity, I’ll inexplicably kick ass at it, causing others to envy my raw talent and my instructor to praise me as a gifted natural.
This never, ever happens.
Lesson the Second: I am bad at understanding Brazilian accents and Portuguese.
I’m also taking a Spanish course, and you might think that studying Spanish would be helpful in understanding Portuguese, since the two languages are very similar. But...no. I kept thinking I was hearing Spanish, and then all the minor differences between Spanish and Portuguese caused the language centres of my brain to short-circuit - it made everything my instructor said extra confusing, and it sent my Spanish ability hurtling backward into the fetal position.
Lesson the Third: Bleeding feet aren’t just for obsessive ballerinas.
Considering we were forced to do giant kicks followed by cartwheels, it’s a miracle that no one got more badly hurt. But my toes are all blistery, and another student limped away from class with raw, bloody feet. Think of your feet, and how much you use your feet, and how important it is to you that your feet are not giant festering flesh wounds, and then decide if you want to take up pointework or Brazilian martial arts. Because...ow.
Lesson the Fourth: I hurt. Everywhere.
That is all.