The Capoeira Blog

Visiting Another Capoeira Group
January 16, 2008, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Capoeira Life, Questions

Photo by pintado.galeria (Flickr)

Tonight I’m going to be visiting another capoeira group here in Massachusetts. This is the first time that I’ve really gone and trained at another school (rather than just play and mess around with people from other groups), and I’m both excited and a bit nervous.

What is your experience like training with and visiting other groups? Have you been welcomed with open arms? Or welcomed with a meia lua to the face? I’m hoping my experience goes well (and I’m sure it will).

And what about when others pay a visit to your own group? Do you treat them as one of your own (part of the big capoeira family)? Or do you perceive them as outsiders?

Personally, I despise the “politics” that tends to happen in capoeira. If it were up to me, capoeiristas would all get along and we would all just be brothers and sisters in capoeira. But sometimes, depending on group affiliations and other things, this is not always the case.

I think the most important thing is to have respect for whatever group you’re visiting. You may do something one way in your class, but when you’re at another school you should pay attention to how they run things, and have the courtesy and respect to follow their lead.

I’m sure different people will have different opinions about this sort of thing, so I’d like to hear all of them! Share your thoughts in the comments!


8 Comments so far
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I feels like we’re all gang members in capoeira with very specific allegiances to a particular academy and mestre. I wonder if the mestres get upset if they know you’ve defected for a day.

I’ll be interested to see how your visit goes…I plan on visiting a fellow capoespaco’s group next month. I’m still a beginner and am hoping a new group will be gentle with me!

Comment by Jasmim

I don’t like the “gang member” mentality that some people do have, but that’s just me.

I actually had a great time visiting the other group. They welcomed us with open arms, we played in their roda and didn’t get “picked on”, and all in all it was a good, fun experience.

Comment by faisca

Great topic, Faisca!

I will say everything depends on you and what you bring with you to those visits 🙂

I was training with my first group for about 8 months: it was an amazing combination of fun, hard work and play. During that time I’ve visited street rodas and batizados of other groups – it was nice to see other Capoeira clubs performing. Then I felt I want to see how would it feel to actually take a class with another group. I have advised my instructor about my intention, have contacted the other clubs’ leads and asked for permission and details. I think I felt better by doing so because it would not stir misunderstanding or misinterpretation of my actions.

I was pleased to see that I was greeted by the leads and students with warmth and during the training I have not felt like a stranger at all – I was treated like any other student of the club I visited! All my mistakes noted and corrected, learned new moves, and new songs (oh, I loved that) new atabaque beats – it was amazing!!!

Visiting other clubs will enrich you as a Capoeirista. Every Mestre, Contra-Mestre or instructor has their own style, approach and teaching techniques although all teach the same thing – Capoeira 🙂

It is also nice to have clubs visiting other clubs for combined workshops and eventual roda (ahhhhh, rooodaaaaaaa!!!)


Comment by Mariposa

I haven’t had any bad experiences. I always try to respect the teacher and the school.

I even try to send courtesy e-mails to make sure I’m welcome.

Professor Fantasma even told me just look for the teacher when you arrive and ask permission. They’ll be sure to welcome you. You jsut have to show respect.

I’ve seen some people who’ve acted like asses and they’ve been treated the same way. A nice banda and a nice beating.

General rule is respect the school and watch what you do and you should be fine.

Comment by Pirulito (D-cal)

u wrote: “Personally, I despise the “politics” that tends to happen in capoeira. If it were up to me, capoeiristas would all get along and we would all just be brothers and sisters in capoeira. But sometimes, depending on group affiliations and other things, this is not always the case.”

i was just curious if you have experienced these “politics” first hand? i have played/trained capoeira from VA to NY as well as Belo Horizonte and Salvador, Brasil and have been welcomed EVERYWHERE. I know there is politics between Mestres and teachers but rarely have i seen that trickle down the ladder to students like us. And even still, capoeiristas are humans and as humans in society we are innately instilled with politics in almost all aspects of our lives so to expect it to not exist in a subset society is ludicrous.

Comment by Siriguejo do Baltimore

Actually I’ve never personally been witness to it (for example, someone getting beat down in a roda, or a group actually kicking someone out of an event, etc.) but I’ve heard horror stories from different people.

I understand why it exists, cliques and such happen everywhere, of course it’ll happen in capoeira, but that doesn’t mean I have to approve of it.

Comment by faisca

Who’d you visit? Wasn’t us was it? You wouldn’t come and not tell ME right? 😉
BTW – there’s no clique-ish B.S. in our group. Mestre wouldn’t have none of it.

Comment by Leopardo

No it wasn’t you guys, man. I would have let you know if I was coming out your way. I want to get out there at some point, but Boston is a hike.

Comment by faisca

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