Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Ass is Sore

Last week my close friend from Middle School invited me to try capoeira, Brazilian Martial Arts! I figure, at this point of my life, I should accept ALL invitations I receive especially since my social network is dwindling. She warned me that I will be sore for weeks. I did NOT know what to expect.

I didn't have white pants so I just wore black sweats and a wife-beater as recommended so that when I'm upside down I don't have any "accidental exposure." Kinky.

http://www.capoeirasj.com/

I drove to the Studio, Dojo, large room? In downtown San Jose by myself because none of my friends were available. Sigh. There I met up with an eclectic crowd. Tall, short, old, young, muscular GI Janes to over weight Joe ShMos. The one thing they all had in common was they were SO friendly.

After learning the basic step, I was thrown into the rink to practice and imitate what I just learned. EVERYONE wanted to be my partner... well, that's what it felt like. They all wanted to teach me something and they were all so very patient. I tumbled, and kicked. I was not graceful and I was sweating up a storm.

At one point they had me do headstands and one arm cartwheels while emphasizing eye contact. The moves had Brazilian names and the art of martial dancing had a huge cultural history. I was immersed in a cultural experience. At the end of the session, the Master and three others played instruments whiled the rest started to "play." He told us to stay low and take our time, communicate to our partner and read body movements. I could not stop smiling. I really did have trouble with kicking. This double kick thing made me feel pretty embarrassed, I was so ugly.

The night was concluded with respectful acknowledgment of my attendance. I was the ONLY new student. Everyone clapped and cheered. The master responded, "oh, that's enough, he wasn't THAT good!" Everyone chucked and asked if I will return. I responded, HELL YEAH!

And I drove away feeling like experienced something different. Something not Gay, not Asian, not American, not College... but another community that I did not know existed.

Yes to Brazilian culture and body movement through martial arts!
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