Welcome to the website for Oficina da Capoeira, Chichester.

Currently the group is on a brief hiatus whilst the instructor takes a break to settle in with his new born second daughter.

Classes will return, watch this space!

Monday, 28 March 2016

A big thank you for the berimbaus

A few months have passed since we successfully crowd funded some berimbaus for the group.

Unfortunately, just as I picked them up from Instrutor Lua in Cheltenham, my wrist started playing up, so I've not been able to string them. Finally though, my wrist was good enough (just) to get the berimbaus out and teach Au how to string hers.

A big thank you to everyone who shared our crowdfunding page, donated money and fundraised for them! Here they are:

Oficina da Capoeira's berimbaus.
A big thank you to everyone who helped us get them!

Au and Graduado Kung Fu practicing their berimbaus

As my wrist improves, I'm looking forward to more percussion time in class. The next project after our festival is an atabaque... : )

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Weekly roda 27th March

Something a bit different for our weekly roda this week - some competitive capoeira from the 70s.

Dia 03/08 é dia do capoeirista.Hoje um ícone do país, a capoeira teve origem entre os escravos negros e foi criminalizada no Brasil a partir de 1890, por meio do artigo 402 do Código Penal, como atividade proibida. Símbolo de resistência cultural, a prática só foi descriminalizada ao final dos anos 30.Do acervo da Agência Nacional, assista a trecho do cinejornal Brasil Hoje 120, de 1975, com cenas de um campeonato de capoeira. BR AN,RIO EH.0.FIL, BHO.121
Posted by Arquivo Nacional on Monday, 3 August 2015

A reminder that classes are on as normal over the Easter school holidays.

Watch this space for an exciting announcement involving all the Oficina groups in the UK!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Weekly roda 20th March

This week is another of the guest teachers for our festival in August - Instrutor Nego Lua.

Here he is playing with Mestre Maxwell:

Polvo Inaguration setb 09
Posted by Nego Lua on Thursday, 17 September 2009
Tickets for the festival are available online - hurry to take advantage of the March earlybird discounts! You can also register your interest via the Facebook event.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Weekly roda 13th March

This week's video features two of our Festival's special guests: Professor Neguinho and Mestrando Primo:

O nosso jeito seja feito, não so para a primora o que sé conheçe mas para conheçe o que ainda não sabemos, met me Broer Primo Capoeira
Posted by Neguinho Capoeira on Thursday, 4 February 2016
Tickets can be bought online, and if you hurry, you'll catch the earlybird discounts!

Finally, boa sorte Neo! Neo's been a very dedicated student, he was there at our group's very first lesson, and the time has now come for him to return home to the United States to complete his training as a doctor.

It was an honour to give Neo his white/yellow corda in the lesson, and I can't wait to reward the hard work and dedication of the other students in August!

Oficina da Capoeira, Chichester gets started, 28th May 2015!
Neo's last lesson, 10th March 2016

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Women in Capoeira

In 1984 the Primeiro Encontro Nacional da Arte Caopeira (First National Meeting of the Art of Capoeira) was held. Nestor Capoeira has written about it in the revised edition of The Little Book of Capoeira.

One of the topics that came up at the meeting was "Women in capoeira". There is a long tradition of women in capoeira - from the tales of women warriors in the Quilombo dos Palmeres in the 18th century, to Mestre Bimba teaching his daughters and the first capoeira academy he set up in the 1930s. Despite this, the speakers at the time recounted their experiences of prejudice against women in capoeira. As Nestor Capoeira concludes about the talk/discussion (which was followed with a capoeira performance):

"Some old, stereotyped ideas crumbled. The first was that capoeira is only for men. Another was the fear that capoeira practice might "masculinize" women. All who saw that dream-team doing their performance were mesmerized.

It was clear that prejudice against women in capoeira exists and is very strong in society as well as in certain academies. On the other hand, in other academies (some of the best known for their high level) there is no problem accepting women among the students and players."

Today is International Women's Day, and the theme is #PledgeForParity.

One of the things that drew me to capoeira is its welcoming and accepting nature - there's a saying "Capoeira is for everyone, but not everyone is for capoeira". Capoeira is very inclusive - it really is for everyone, though some who try it find that it is not for them.

 I am fortunate to know many female capoeiristas, not just from Oficina da Capoeira, but beyond, and it has certainly never seemed to me that capoeira is just for men, but that is easier for me to say, as a man.

This International Women's Day I pledge to challenge conscious and unconcious bias.

The meeting in 1984 highlighted that prejudice against women existed in capoeira in 1984. I hope that over 30 years on this is no longer the case, and certainly it is something that I have never seen or experienced. However, the prejudice did exist, and prejudice can sometimes take a long time to die. So today is a chance to reflect on how things were and be conscious that, for some people, things may not have changed. If that is the case, it should be challenged.

If you would like to join me in a #PledgeForParity you can do so here:

 To finish, let's celebrate women in capoeira:

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Weekly roda 6th March

Whilst my wrist recovers, it's been a useful time to reflect on my capoeira, and just how much I depend on my hands when playing! This video really hit home though, because things could be much worse - but even if they are, where there's a will, there's a way!

A capoeira e suas magias!#CapoeiraAngolaMãe
Posted by Capoeira Angola Mãe on Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Today is also Mothering Sunday - so a big shout to my Mum, whose love, kindness and support have helped get me this far.

Here's to all the fantastic mothers out there! 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Capoeira Festival earlybird discount details

The earlier you buy your tickets for the First International Capoeira Festival, Chichester, the cheaper they will be. Here are the details of the discounts, which run this month and until the end of May, after which they will go to the full price.

Saturday or Sunday£20.00£25.00£30.00£35.00£35.00£35.00
Weekend (Saturday and Sunday)£40.00£50.00£55.00£60.00£60.00£60.00
Whole event£45.00£55.00£65.00£70.00£70.00£70.00

Tickets are available through the festival website, in class or on the day.

Be sure to keep your eye on the festival website for updates.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The importance of Brazilian Portuguese in Capoiera

Capoeira is Brazilian, the songs are sung in Brazilian Portuguese, and a lot of information is out there, again in Brazilian Portuguese.

There are times at a capoeira event when a visiting teacher who does speak English will come and teach. There will be someone there to translate, but you know that you are missing out on the nuance even though you've been given the gist.

For those who really want to get into the history and culture of capoeira, knowing the language is important.

Fortunately, there is a free service, Duolingo, that can help you learn. I've been using it for some time. It now also offers Duolingo for Schools, so I've set up an Oficina da Capoeira, Chichester group.

The app breaks the language down into tiny bitesize lessons, so you can do a little each day, and it doesn't need to take up much time.

For those on Duolingo, or who wish to join, follow this link:

I have set the group up through our group's email, so my personal account is a student in the school too. We will all be learning together!

With our festival in August, now is a great time to start!