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!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Weekly round up 29th May

Thank you again to all those involved with Oficina da Capoeria over our first year - looking forward to things getting bigger and better in our second year! It's not to let to get us a birthday present!

There won't be a class tomorrow (Monday 30th) as it's the Bank Holiday. The Monday that follows will be the start of the new times and venue for Monday.

Here is an example of why it will help to learn Brazilian Portuguese:

There have been times I have heard Mestres talk about capoeira for some time, in Portuguese. A student at the event will paraphrase what was said, but you know that some of the finer details and nuance will have been lost. So do consider signing up to Duolingo - it's completely free, and can help you access information and insight about capoeira direct from its native land. I'm learning it too, here's my profile.

We'll finish with some great skills from Mestrandos Primo and Gato Preto:

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Review of our first year

I'm feeling very proud with what we've achieved over the last year. Getting a group started from absolutely nothing to where it is now takes a bit of effort, and I'd like to start by thanking those that helped get the show on the road:

It seems so long ago that I was talking to Jack Magee at the 2014 Get Active Festival about BJJ and capoeira, and how I'd like to set a group up. He mentioned Grit Gym as a possible venue - and that they give the first six weeks for free to help groups get started and be successful. That was an offer I couldn't refuse, and I'm really glad I took them up on it! Grit has been a great venue, not least because of the support from Jack, Jason and Doug, so I'd like to say a big thank you to them for helping the group get started!

I'd also like to thank my friends James, Sally and Aaron for helping me with the publicity photos; to all the local businesses who displayed the resulting flyers and posters; to Ben Ponihill and his team at Sport and Leisure Development at Chichester District Council for their advise and support; to the lovely bank manager who helped me get all the paper work done for the group's bank account; and to my friends Simon and Sean for their help with the website and social media.

Thank you all! This year has seen the class go from strength to strength and here are some highlights:

- Welcoming Mestrando Primo and Instrutor Lua in July and Contra Mestre Cobra in January for the capoeira workshops

- Being involved in the community at Midhurst Rother College's This Here Is Summer; Get Active Festival and a Family Fun Day for Over the Wall.

- Road trips to Cheltenham for workshops and the festival, and to Eastbourne for Grupo Muzenza's Batizado.

- Giving Neo his first white and yellow corda before he jetted off back to the States.

- Social nights and meals.

- A bit of a personal highlight - the unexpected honor of receiving my graduado corda at the 8th International Capoeira Festival in Cheltenham.

- Crowdfunding for the group's berimbaus.

I'm looking forward to even bigger and better things in our second year!

There are two more important thank yous to finish with. Firstly, to Mestre Ray for founding Oficina da Capoeira in the first place, and to Mestrando Primo and Instrutor Lua for teaching me the art of capoeira.

The last thank you though must go to the students of Oficina da Capoeira in Chichester - we wouldn't be a group without you! Thank you to all those that have come this year. Cumulatively you have clocked up 548 hours worth of training - impressive stuff!

Here's to a successful Year Two!

A big thank you to the students!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday classes changing time and venue

Please note that there will be no class this Monday 30th for the Bank Holiday, following that, from June 6th we will be having one class for all ages on a Monday.

The class will be from 19:30 - 21:00, the same times as a Thursday class, but the venue will be The Lodge, Graylingwell Park, Chichester, P019 6YS (also run by Chichester Community Development Trust who ran our old venue).

The prices will be the same as Thursday - £4 for children, £6 for adults.

Birthday party details

Here are the full details for this Saturday's birthday party!

17:00 - 19:00 Capoeira class, including a berimbau session. This will be at the Community Hall, Donegall Avenue, Roussillon Park, Chichester, PO19 6DF

This will be followed by a meal at Effes, at 20:15:

14 Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1ES

For those wishing to buy a birthday present for the group, it would be lovely if you could donate a little to our birthday appeal!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Weekly round up 22nd May

Today is the final day of Mental Health Awareness Week, and if you haven't already, be sure to check out our post: Depression, Exercise and Capoeira.

Whilst we're talking about mental wellbeing, learning a language can have a positive impact there too, and there is some evidence it may help prevent or delay dementia.

Learning Brazilian Portuguese can really help with capoeira, and you can learn it for free with Duolingo - an online resource and phone app.

We've even got an online class room - so if you're on Duolingo already, or entirely new, join the online class room and learn together!

This time next weekend we will be a year and a day old! May 28th is our first birthday, so please join us for our birthday celebrations - a class from 17:00 - 19:00 at The Community Hall, Donegall Avenue, Roussillon Park, Chichester, PO19 6DF, followed by a meal at 20:00 (venue TBC).

There is less than a week to take advantage of the earlybird discounts for the First International Capoeira Festival in August, you can buy your tickets here. The multi event tickets for those going more than one Oficina da Capoeira UK festival this year are on sale up until the events themselves. Tickets can also be bought in class.

This week's roda is a little bit different, but a bit of fun!

 See you all in class!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Depression, exercise and capoeira

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.

This year's theme is relationships, and we'll come to that soon. First we'll start with exercise and depression - but read on, this is not another post telling you to go and exercise if you're depressed.

It's well known that exercise is a great way to tackle depression. What is less often discussed is that depression can rob you of the motivation to even get out of bed, let alone the motivation to go for a run. Here is an excellent article by Sarah Kurchak, a personal trainer who has depression, and covers that very topic. You should go ahead and read it - for those without any experience of depression, it will help you get a bit more understanding of what depression is like; and for those who have depression, you will appreciate one of the main points at the beginning: You don't have to exercise.

She writes "In short, exercise can’t help with your depression if even thinking about exercise is making you more depressed."

So first things first when it comes to exercise and depression: make sure you're in a place where at least thinking about doing some exercise is possible and not making you feel worse. If it's not, then take your time; do what you've got to do; and put exercise on to the back burner.

If you are ready to think about exercise, then I'd like to help with a couple Sarah Kurchak's other tips: choose the right venue and plan accordingly; find an instruction style that works for you.

If you think capoeira could be the work out for you, that's great! However, I appreciate that trying something new, especially with new people, can be quite a difficult first step. My wife has depression and anxiety, which has helped me understand that first hand.

To find out if the venue, and my instruction style, are the correct ones for you, I'm more than happy to meet before hand - or over the phone/by email, to answer any questions you have. The first class is free, but I don't mind if you want to come and watch a class first, before taking that first class.

Capoeira will help with more than just the workout. The NEF has found five evidence based steps to well being: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

This brings us to relationships, the theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week.

The NEF says:
Connect: With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
As with exercise, the above advice can be easier said than done when depression or anxiety take hold, but they are a great way of restoring, or maintaining, mental well being. Joining a new group can be a great way to connect with people and when I moved to Gloucestershire not knowing a soul, it was starting capoeira that gave me a network of friends outside of work. When I return to Cheltenham for capoeira events it is great to catch up with the friends I have made there. It has been great to see the group, and the friendships within it, grow, here in Chichester.

More importantly though, if you are affected by depression, or know people who are, then take the time to connect with them. Capoeira can help with that, but when it comes to looking out for each other, it's ultimately down to each of us. So why not take part in the Mental Health Foundation's "Relationship Resolution"? Make a resolution to send that text or email you've been meaning to send; make that phone call; or go and catch up with that old friend. Or maybe to try something new and connect with our group. We'd love to see you!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Weekly round up 15th May

Good news this week - we've had our first pay out from EasyFundraising! For those not in the know, EasyFundraising is a very easy way to help raise money for the group, without costing you a penny! You just need to register with EasyFundraising, and when you shop online, we end up getting a cut. The price to you remains the same, and there are lots of online retailers signed up with the scheme - Amazon, Sainsbury's and Waterstones for example.

I was disappointed to not be able to make it to the Leamington Spa for Capoeira Natural do Brasil's First International Festival, but my wrist was (and is!) still not 100%. Here are three videos from the event (that should play back to back):

My hope is to equal the energy that they had there in August - and we will, especially with you there dear reader. Buy your tickets here!

Hope to see you all in class this week!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Weekly round up 8th May

Classes are all running as usual this week, and we have an exciting run of events ahead:

May 28th is our first birthday - come along and celebrate with us, we have a special class followed by an evening meal. If you're feeling generous and would like to get us a birthday gift, it would be wonderful if you could donate here to help us grow even more as we enter our second year!

The excitement doesn't stop there, June to August are an exciting time for Oficina da Capoeira in the UK! June 25th there's a workshop and first batizado in Bristol; 8th - 10th July is the 9th International Capoeira Festival in Cheltenham; and we round up the Oficina da Capoeira festival circuit with the 1st International Capoeira Festival from 5th - 7th August. You can buy tickets for all of these, either in class or online. Hurry up though, the Earlybird Discounts for our festival in Chichester only last until the end of the month!

We'll finish with a lovely Angola roda that popped up into my Facebook feed.

See you all in class, don't be lazy!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Celebrating Oficina da Capoeira Chichester's first birthday

In a little over three weeks we will be celebrating the group's first birthday.

There will be a special class on Saturday 28th May, from 17:00 - 19:00, followed by a celebratory meal. The class will cost £6, and will be at The Community Hall, Donegall Avenue, Roussillon Park, Chichester, PO19 6DF, the same place as our Monday classes.

It's also tradition to give gifts on birthday's, and with that in mind I have set up a crowdfunding page to help raise a little money to grow our group even more in our second year.

Here is the story that goes with the page:

"I set up the Oficina da Capoeira group in Chichester from scratch almost a year ago - the group's first birthday is on May 28th! 

Capoeira is a mix of music, dance and martial arts, and it has been great to see the group grow - it started with classes every Thursday, and now there are classes on Mondays as well. Together, the Monday and Thursday classes are more or less covering the cost of the room hire. However insurance, publicity and a dedicated phone mean the group is a little in the red. I am ok with that, I always knew that I would have to cover costs from my own pocket.

However, I have invested as much as I can afford, and I am asking if you would be kind enough to donate a little money as a first birthday present so that I can continue to grow the group and make it self sustaining.

Your donation would help fund a publicity push in Chichester. Printing flyers to distribute around local Chichester businesses has been a very successful strategy - it has been the main focus of advertising the group, and has resulted in almost 60 unique people trying out capoeria.

Growing the membership by just a couple of regular students a week will help the group comfortably sit in the black, and will allow me to not just cover the operating costs, but to save for other resources - instruments for the music, fitness equipment to help with training and banners that can be used at community events.

Any funds raised in excess of our target will be used to help grow the group - depending on the amount raised, this may be via the Chichester District Council's advertising channels, promotion via social media or other local advertising oportunities.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.

Graduado Kung Fu (aka David Wood)"

If you would like to contribute a little money as a first birthday present, I'd be eternally grateful!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Weekly round up 1st May

Hope you're all enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend. Class is as normal tomorrow, but Thursday's class will be at the later time of 20:00 - 21:30, as I have to be at school until 19:30.

The May Earlybird discounts are now available for our capoeira festival, 5th - 7th August (you've already got those dates in your diary though, right?)

This month also sees in our first anniversary on Saturday 28th, and we'll be celebrating with a special class followed by a meal. The class is from 17:00 - 19:00, and will be £6.

Finally, here's are weekly video, with Estagiaro Rad and Lise from Oficina da Capoeira, Bristol:

The guys from Bristol and Cheltenham also have festivals this year - multi event tickets are available, and Graduado Kung Fu has space in his car for each!