Capoeira is an ancient Brazilian martial art and, if you want to get involved, these 10 Capoeira conditioning tips will get you started. Just like any other martial art, Capoeira requires physical strength, agility and concentration. Whether you’re practicing alone or fighting on the mat, knowing how to use your body and focus your mind are essential.
- Always remember to stretch. It seems basic, but stretching your body out before practicing or fighting will help you avoid injuries. Plus, stretching gets your blood pumping and that lets your body move more easily. Stretching out after you practice or fight is important, too. Your muscles need help cooling down correctly.
- Letting your body move. While other martial arts require stillness and rigid perfection, Capoeira originated as a kind of dance and maintains that graceful movement today. Let yourself move to the music during practice or on the mat. Your body needs to be tuned in just as much as your mine does.
- Watch your posture. Because of the beat driven grace of Capoeira, staying light on your feet is essential. If you are relaxed, your body will move with impact instead of resisting it. This will both help you avoid injury and also make you harder to knock over.
- Keep your hands calm. Fists have no place in Capoeira. Keep your hands as relaxed as the rest of your body.
- The importance of the ginga. The back and forth swaying that is iconic of Capoeira is the absolute foundation of the art itself. The rhythm and coordination used are what make the dance so beautiful, graceful and impressive.
- Your first fights. During your first few fights, don’t worry so much about winning. Focus instead on doing the movements correctly and keeping to the beat. These basics are the foundation of all Capoeira masters.
- Using your best weapons. Another thing to keep in mind during your first fights is to stick to the moves you know best. Don’t try out brand new moves that you haven’t perfected while on the mat. Only moves you have mastered should be used.
- Keep it on your mind. Because Capoeira is a way of moving, it should follow your into your outside life. Use the principles of movement, circulation and balance in your everyday life to improve your health as well as your game.
- Watching your superiors. Studying what others in your group do is a great way to learn. Show up a little early or stay a little late after your class and spend some time watching everyone else. You’ll learn a lot about grace, movement and coordination.
- Keeping clean. Capoeiristas fight in all white and the best of the best can win fight after fight without dirtying their clothes. How is this done? By only ever letting their hands and feet touch the ground. You’ll definitely take some rolls while learning the ropes, but keep this tradition in mind as a marker of perfection.
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