Monday, November 27, 2006
Style in Capoeira is bit of a missing element in recent times. Recent? I'm talking about the last 10 years or so. There are so many amazing moves being done today by capoeiristas, great interaction and communication being performed in Rodas around the world, but very few stylish Capoeiristas. Actualy, one can count the capoeiras with style on his fingers and without taking his shoes off. Its realy a sad state of affairs. The original, authentic, expressive feel capoeira once had is lost, and people dont even look up to the ones who still dedicate time and effort to polish their moves.
From my view, and I've been traveling around quite a lot in the past 10 years going to capoeira events around the world, most people are looking to complete the moves techniquely, but when it is done, they move on. That is actualy just the begining stages of doing something in Capoeira. You still need to put emotion into it, polish it, look for the cleanest, smoothest, sharpest execution. Lets not lose sight of what makes Capoeira be Capoeira. Contemporary capoeiristas need to learn a lesson from the Angoleiros, almost the only ones left in the Capoeira world that are still after the 'feel' of things and are not stopping at the point of perfect technical execution. Maybe the reason is they kept their art simple and though maintained authenticity and originality. With all the diffrent new things going on nowdays in the Capoeira world, how can we stop for a moment, and improve upon some of the most basic elements? Take a step back and look around. This is what will make you special and diffrent. Stop being one of a crowd, look for your self in the perfection of your art. Lets get back to those amazingly creative Rodas of the early 90th... See you there.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
This was last night's capoeira training session for the advanced group in Hacasa:
A. Running around with joint mobility to diffrent body parts.
B. Strength routine as a pre-fatigue procedure. 3 sets of 10 chinups, 10 handstand push ups, 10 pistols per leg. All done continuesly with minimal rest. The intent is to create fatigue before the
capoeira training for the students to learn to deal with diveresed situations under fatigue.
C. Dynamic stretching 15 reps per legs, diffrent directions. holding a back bridge for 60 seconds.
D. Various Aus, and flowing in and out of bridges as a more specific warm up and control.
E. Ginga+Ginga variations 5 minutes total, no rest.
F. Individual work in front of the mirror of various combinations of kicks flowing into floreio on the floor. reps between 20-30, no stop.
G. Pairs work using the diffrent combinations worked in part F but in an interactive situation.
H. Pairs interaction work, using the diffrent combinations just like in part G, only in an unknown structure and organization, though working on your reaction and 'game's vision'.
I. Training roda using the material from the whole training. Small, 6-7 people rodas and emphesize on quantity of games.
J. Going out to the street near the training center for some hill sprints. We did 3 X 250 meter up the hill sprints, going off every 3 minutes. You basicly have to run up the hill as fast as you can, and come back walking, every 3 minutes you go for another set. This is for working on some anaerobic endurance after the technical part of the training is over.
K. Isometric stretching for front and side splits, 30 seconds each X 3 sets of each of the 3 positions.
The training took us exactly 120 minutes. It was pushed to the limit, even one of the advanced students threw up a couple of times before the isometrics were over, just after the sprints. Good work from everyone, not a word of complaint and a lot of spirit and motivation to complete everything in the best way possible. We are going to do this for at least 3 weeks straight, at least 4 times a week. Pain is good.
Monday, November 20, 2006
The biggest slogan running around the media these days about Las Vegas is: 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'. I've learned it is with this exact mentality that people come to visit this Beautifull but frightening place.
It is everywhere. You can smell it in the air. Its in the gazed look on the faces of people staring at their money saying 'goodbye'. Its on the poor girls faces dancing in small tubs compeletly naked to the eyes of onlookers. This place is all about desires.
I was floating on top of it all, sometimes diving down, lightly or aggresivly touching it. I've never experienced such an energy in my life. This is the first time I've looked at people letting go completely and falling into their desires with such an intensity. It was an experience alright.
I think half of it is seeing those PC-polite-held back americans walking the dark side... You know what they say: 'The higher you go, the further you fall'.
Anyways, I'm not going to blab anymore about it. My thoughts still needs further digestion. I'll leave you with these words only. Love you all, and miss you, friends, wherever you are right now. Write me some comments, I know you are reading, but lets hear it. Ido.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I gave class last night at a local gymnastics facility. Its huge compared to Israely standarts, but I think that localy it is nothing to write home about. In the morning the main activities there are pure gymnastics, but from the afternoon and into the night lots of stuntmen, circus performers, acrobats, Free Runners (Parkour) and Capoeiristas come by. They all trade information and train together helping each other out and learning new skills. The stuntmen practice some falls and do some acrobatics, the freerunners build huge towers off of gymnastics cubes and flip or jump down in various ways, the Capoeiristas do their own thing and the gymnasts practice the events. To say this is heaven for me is an understatement. I didnt know where to look wanting to absorb so much info.
All of those diffrent diciplines are realy great and each has it own difficult and amazing stuff, but the true supermen in my opinion were the 10 year old gymnasts. They run around buffed with amazing bodies playing their sick game with mr. Newton. They laugh off in the face of danger and every challange is met immedietly with perfect execution. They go from an event to event (gymnastics events) criss-crossing the gym with various flips into and off stuff making it look like its the natural way to move. When they see a freerunner or an acrobat doing something new and of interest, they aproach him, stand still, watch and then humiliate the poor guy that was practicing this skill for years with an even better execution in their first try. Gymnastics is the mother of all those arts and of body control. People, we have supermen walking around us, lets start training.
Monday, November 13, 2006
LA is where it all happens. Every mind in the western world is effected by what goes on here, and you feel like a little bug buzzing around the city waiting to be squashed by a random onlooker.
Last night, while sitting in Starbucks with my friend, sipping our ginger green teas a woman comes up to us. We were both deep in conversation talking shop (Capoeira and training) and we didnt notice her aproaching. She goes: 'Hi guys! Can I ask you some questions?'
We: 'Sure, whats on your mind?' (Puzzled..)
She: 'Are you guys actors?'
We: 'Thats right, we are!' (full of shit and ourselfs)
She: 'I'm a casting director for this new TV show, and I have to ask you first how old are you guys?'
We: '31 and 26'
One day in LA and you get a job offer. And its not for my good looks or acting skills... Just goes to show you: things are happening here if you are in the lookout for such things. 26 years in Israel, and never someone aproached me on the street with such a job offer, one day in LA, though...
(To be fair I have to say, someone aproached me once on the street in Tel Aviv and offered me to buy some fresh avocados..)
Anyways, I wanted to say a couple of words about humility. Humility is an international concept, although I can now clearly see that it is not the same everywhere. The thing is, we judge each other by our own humility standarts, while the other person in front of us works by a completely diffrent set of rules and values. Humility in the US (or at least LA, and YES I'm generalizing) is talking about your self, showing how small you are. The funny thing is: its still talking about yourself... As an Israely, it looks completely fake to me, although, it comes from a very real and sencire place. Israelies look at humility in a diffrent way: just shut up. Dont talk about yourself, although you have a lot to say. The funny thing is: we still think highly of ourselfs, we just dont say it... Brazilian humility is also diffrent: its about posture (round shoulders, making yourself smaller than you realy are, look at Angoleiros), and thinking of yourself in simple terms. Although they are the most macho country in the world, I think their humility is misunderstood by many.
We have a lot to learn from each other. Judging has its drawbacks, but judging is what made me think of all that I'm writing here. Well, enough babble.. I'm off to my morning training.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I've finally reached LA. It took me 36 hours to get here from Israel, and it was quite a ride.
Everything started at the Ben Gorion airport in Israel. I was aproaching the nice lady at the desk and handed her my passport for inspection. After a moment she asked me for the address I would be staying at during my visit to the US. I had no idea I needed to present such an address, nor was I asked to do so the last time I came here. Also, I had no address to give her, and couldnt think of a way to come up with Parafina's (the guy who brought me here) address in such a short time. After some self brain-storming I thought of another friend who lives in LA, and gave his mother a call. After 5 minutes she called me back with his address, and I passed it along. I thought everything was going to go smoothly from now on, was I mistaken... After another 10 min, my friend's mother called me again, saying I shouldnt give his address cause he has not finished his green card registration process and though, he is not completely legal in the states. Never mind, too late.
I went on board and we left for Canada. After a few hours in the air, some air turbulances started. Not a rare sight if you fly often. Only they didnt stop. They went on for a few hours, obviously making us use too much fuel to deal with them. After 14 hours straight in the plane (instead of 12 hours) the pilot informed us we will be landing in Montreal instead of in Toronto. This shortened the time I had to catch my conection flight from Toronto to LA to nearly ZIP. But I still had a chance. After a few minutes on the ground, we were informed the plane was ready to go, but then they discovered a problem in the tire.... Shit. They lifted us on a jack and changed tires, and we were off to Toronto. We reached there 40 minutes after my flight already left. A ground crew gave us special vouchers for transportation from the airport to the Hilton and back and a Hilton hotel voucher for one night. I went to the Hilton, ate a bad dinner and went to sleep for a few hours to wake up at 0500 and go back to the airport. My flight to LA was a bit late, (The Gods dont like me these days) and I finally reached the US. Thats it. I'm finally here. Last night we went to hang out around Holywood and near Parafina's house at Sherman Oaks. Its realy shiny over here. Good looking cars, woman, clothes. Good looking everything. I cant believe the industry connections Parafina has here, as he practicly knows everyone that is someone here. His friends cycle includes ex-bodybuilder star Kevin Levrone and Tae-Bo creator Billy Blanks. He has some very connected students who train with him and help him out. Some of them are stunt-men, music creators for the film industry, actors, producers and casting directors. The availability of knowledge (and good knowledge) here amazes me. You can go train with the stunt-men learning to fall from hights, and take a realistic beating, you can go over to the gymnastics gym and train with olympic calibar athletes, you can go take a boxing class from a world champion, etc... (I intend to go through all of these while I'm here)
Thats it for now, people. Let me know what you think through the comments section, also, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org