Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps. Capoeira is a perfect activity for outgoing people looking to improve strength, flexibility and coordination in a fun environment.
Different than the literal translation given by the Brazilian Portuguese dictionary, the word Mandinga has its own meaning in the capoeira world. The Aurelio dictionary translates the word mandinga as a “magic” or “spell.” In some senses that meaning applies to capoeira, but in a different context.
Mandinga in the capoeira environment means, amongst many things, the hidden power that one has to disguise their real intention and to trick the opponent. It is a way to invoke some forces to blur the opponent’s vision of reality almost like hypnotizing him/her into a trance-like state so that they can’t see what is coming. It can also be magic like a trick that confuses and distracts the opponent. However, much more than any of the above meanings the word mandinga have a very special meaning as a way of referring to capoeiristas that are very expressive in their game and know how to embellish their jogo* with beautiful and impressive gestures. These gestures are sometimes very theatrical, sometimes like a primitive dance, and sometimes imitating all kinds of animals (e.g. monkey, jaguar, snake, eagle, bull, and many others).
Capoeira Mandinga Hangzhou is a non‐profit affiliate school of Capoeira Mandinga, founded in 1984 in Oakland by Master Marcelo Pereira (known in capoeira circles as “Mestre Marcelo Caveirinha”). Capoeira in Hangzhou started in 2009 with a group called “Ventania”, and in 2015 the group became part of Capoeira Mandinga. At present we are the only school teaching and promoting capoeira in Hangzhou.
Our mission is to raise awareness of capoeira as an effective martial art and rich art form, as well as to foster cultural dialogue, openness and friendship among our community of students and followers. In addition to training fighting techniques and related skills, we familiarize students with the historical and cultural context of Brazilian popular culture, which is inexorably tied to capoeira. We are committed to quality and therefore continue to study and research the history and development of capoeira, as well as diverse styles and philosophies that enrich the art form and students’ immersion in it. We encourage students to do their own research, formulate their own ideas, and develop their unique style in capoeira. Our trainings incorporate music, dance, movement drills, physical strengthening, among other skills.
Capoeira Mandinga Hangzhou actively promotes Brazilian culture by engaging local and foreign communities through workshops and performances.
© 原文/Source: Mandinga Beijing
Our Mestre 我们的大师
Mestre Marcelo Pereira was born in São Paulo in 1959. He was introduced to Capoeira on the streets and at age 14 was referred to one of the most famous masters, Mestre Suassuna, co‐founder of “Associação de Capoeira Cordão de Ouro,” known today as CDO. Mestre Marcelo obtained the grade of Mestre under pupillage of Mestre Suassuna. He has been teaching Capoeira and promoting Brazilian culture at an international level for over 30 years. In 1984 he settled in Oakland where he founded his own school, Associação de Capoeira Senzala Grande, as one of only three practitioners teaching Capoeira in the United States. His group became formally known as Capoeira Mandinga in 1995.
Mestre Marcelo is also known for his contribution to the creation one of the most favourite video game characters of all times, Eddy Gordo, who features Capoeira in the video game Tekken 3.
Mestre is the founder of The Capoeira Institute, a non‐profit component aimed at “facilitat[ing] and promot[ing] the education of the general public about Capoeira and the many other diverse aspects of Brazilian culture such as dances, arts, folklore, games, customs and rituals.” The institute fulfills its mandate by “promot[ing] cultural exchange between the United States, Brazil and other countries emphasizing both the creation of opportunities in Capoeira as well as developing an understanding of Capoeira and other Brazilian related activities for the underserved segments of society, especially disadvantaged youth.”
© 原文/Source: Mandinga Beijing
Q: What if I have never done capoeira before?
A: You have to start somewhere? We start by teaching you the basic movements and you take it from there.
Q: I have never taken any type of martial art or dance class. Can I still try capoeira?
A: Capoeira does not require that you have prior experience on any type of physical activity!
Q: What if I am not flexible or not in best physical condition?
A: Don’t let this discourage you! Capoeira is for everyone!!! Young or old, short or tall, girl or boy! Of course, the more you train, the faster you will see results!
Q: How long does it take to learn capoeira?
A: Think of it as learning a new language. The more of the language you learn, the more clearly you can express yourself to others. If your goal is to have a conversation with someone that consists of, “Hi, how are you?” and “I am fine, thank you”, you should be able to do that within a month or two. If you plan to discuss world politics or philosophy, be prepared to spend more time learning the language.
Q: What language are classes taught in?
A: English, Chinese and Portuguese. Our instructors speak English and Chinese, and
are assisted in translation where necessary by students in the class.
The names of movements are taught in Portuguese, as well as song lyrics
and other important tools for communication.
Q: What should I wear?
A: For your first class, comfortable workout wear is fine. Should you decide to sign-up, we have uniforms available for purchase.
Q: Should I bring anything?
A: Open mind and positive attitude! Bring a water bottle.
Belt System 腰绳等级系统
Q: What’s the significance of a belt?
A: The belt is there predominantly to hold your pants. It also indicates your level in Capoeira. In order to get a belt, you must train regularly, and become involved in the group’s activities. In our group there are 4 main belts (green, yellow, blue, and white) and many intermediate belts between these colours.
答： 根据经验, 学员1年当中至少每周参加2-3节课才可能获得晋升。不同颜色的腰带代表了不同的水平,也让你意识到得需要多少时间才能够得到属于自己的腰带，清楚训练目标。
Q: How long should I train to be eligible for a belt?
A: As a rule of thumb, students should train 2-3 times per week over the course of 1 year to be eligible for a promotion. There are specific criteria for the different belts, and these will be made known to you throughout the course of your trainings.
Because of its origin, capoeira never had unity or a general agreement, that’s why graduation style varies depending on the group’s traditions. The most common modern system uses colored ropes, called Corda or Cordão, tied around the waist, but some masters use different systems, or even no system at all.
曾经有过许多不同的团队、联盟或协会试图统一巴西战舞的等级制度，其中接受度最为广泛的当属Capoeira巴西联盟（Confederação Brasileira de Capoeira）所制订的等级系统，他们以巴西国旗绿、黄、蓝、白四色色谱为主，来区分腰绳的不同颜色。
There are many entities (leagues, federations and association) which have tried to unify the graduation system. The most usual is the system of the Confederação Brasileira de Capoeira (Brazilian Capoeira Confederation), which adopts ropes using the colors of the Brazilian flag, green, yellow, blue and white.
Q: What is a Capoeira Batizado and who can participate?
A Capoeira “Batizado” or Baptism happens once every year. It is an event to celebrate capoeira and to promote students to the next level. Our Mestre, Mestre Marcelo Caveirinha attends our Batizado every year, alongside other high level guests from overseas who teach interesting workshops. At the Batizado ceremony you can be awarded a new belt. Usually we have a big public event in which we play capoeira, and do public performances of other Afro-Brazilian dances and music.
The “Batizado” (baptism, in English) is a ceremonial roda where new students will get recognized as capoeiristas and earn their first graduation. Also more experienced students may go up in rank, depending on their skills and capoeira culture. In Mestre Bimba’s Capoeira Regional, Batizado was the first time a new student would play capoeira following the sound of the berimbau.
Students enter the roda to play with a high-ranked capoeirista (a teacher or master) and normally the game ends with the student being taken down. In some cases the more experienced capoeirista can judge the takedown unnecessary. Following the Batizado the new graduation, generally in the form of a cord, is given.
Roda (ho-dar，好打) 由所有参与者围成圆圈，演奏乐器，唱歌并合拍鼓掌。通常在roda内会有两名表演者进行比试，其余的人依次进入。 Roda 意为轮子，它不仅象征着圈子的形状，同时也意味着参与者的交替参与，对歌曲的响应和快速的空翻动作。
The Roda (pronounced [ˈʁodɐ]) is a circle formed by capoeiristas and capoeira musical instruments, where every participant sings the typical songs and claps their hands following the music. Two capoeiristas enter the roda and play the game according to the style required by the musical instruments rhythm. The game finishes when one of the musicians holding a berimbau determine it, when one of the capoeiristas decide to leave or call the end of the game or when another capoeirista interrupts the game to start playing, either with one of the current players or with another capoeirista.
In a roda every cultural aspect of capoeira is present, not only the martial side. Aerial acrobatics are common in a presentation roda, while not seen as often in a more serious one. Takedowns, on the other hand, are common in a serious roda but rarely seen in presentations.
Traditionally, the Batizado is the moment when the new practitioner gets or formalizes his or her Apelido (nickname, in English). This tradition was created back when capoeira practice was considered a crime. To avoid having problems with the law, capoeiristas would present themselves in the capoeira community only by their nicknames. So if a capoeirista was captured by the police, he would be unable to identify his fellow capoeiristas, even when tortured.
Apelidos can come from many different things. A physical characteristic (like being tall or big), a habit (like smiling or drinking too much), place of birth, a particular skill, an animal, trivial things, anything.
Even though Apelidos or these nicknames are not necessary anymore, the tradition is still very alive not only in capoeira but in many aspects of Brazilian culture.