Capoeira and the distant horizon

I set a rule for myself some years back that I should be training in a martial art for about twice the amount of time that I teach it. This is not easy to maintain, especially given all of the things that have been happening of late. However, tonight I set myself up about 30 minutes before teaching my Capoeira class to practice and decided to start with the music. I became fixated on perfecting the timing of a variation of one particular toque (rhythm) and spent the whole time working on it.

Recently, another malandro reminded me of a quote from our teacher (Mestre Preto Velho) that essentially says that Capoeira is a jealous companion. I believe it. I have realized that I could spend all of my time working on some movement or another, or on the music, or on studying the philosophy, and so on. Capoeira is a world unto itself. It isn’t a vacuum, but rather is vast sea whose waters are fed by the ancient tributaries of our people’s history and culture.

I was once content to play on the beach and to stick close to the shore. But now I find myself drawn to the distant horizon. Of course, that horizon is only a reminder of the unattainability of that totality of knowledge. It is like the Swahili proverb which states, “Elimu ni kama bahari haina sahili” (Knowledge is like an ocean that has no shore).

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