Capoeira’s 10th anniversary at E.I.S.

Andrea Melissa El Hajj, Year 13

Ten years ago, I was standing in front of a huge teacher who told me to “hide my corn kernals” every time I smiled. Today, I stand right beside him, proud of walking around showing my capoeira skills, and I present Mr. Fassassi as my Mestre.

Capoeira is a martial art that combines elements of fight, acrobatics, music, dance and rituals in a very elegant and magnetic way. It has brought motivation into my life. When I start the ginga – the basic capoeira step, I slowly sway from side to side with a warmth of joy in my heart. Capoeira is one of the activities I can never give up on. It officially runs in my blood. The number of times I fell and twisted my bones… It has only brought me back stronger than ever. Capoeira and I were meant to be.

Neyna Orji, Year 12

The first activity I joined, when I began my academic life in Benin, West Africa, was capoeira. This was an exercise I devoted myself to and took great pride in practising. As a matter of fact, this is the  activity that I have taken part in for the longest amount of time. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that teaches virtues and many different values. I volunteered to assist younger children and encourage them to practise the art as the Mestre’s assistant for a year.

Throughout the ten years I have spent practising capoeira, I have learned a variety of ways to remain a calm and collected person while teaching myself self-defence. This is because knowing how to control your body and movements plays a huge role in your life, as you are able to abstain from letting your emotions cloud your judgement. You create a balance between your mind and body as well as build self-confidence. Being a martial artist in capoeira has taught me how to stand my ground at all times and also to strengthen my academic abilities.

Cyrian Kedowide, Year 12

I started capoeira at the age of ten without any idea about what it was or what I was going to gain from it. Practising it and developing new skills with this Afro-Brazilian art has shaped me into a better person. How? You may ask. It has taught me how to balance not only studies and leisure time, but also the different ways in which I perceive situations. Furthermore, I have been able to bond with everlasting friends and be more cultured in terms of a repertoire of songs, playing of instruments, language, etc. After seven years of deeper capoeira knowledge, I am now proud to say that I ‘breathe and eat’ capoeira.

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