When did you start Capoeira?
Benjamin: I first tried Capoeira two years ago, in Nottingham. Even though it takes me around two hours to get to class (I live in a tiny village in the countryside), I still look forward to making the trip and seeing everyone.
Elizabeth: My first class was six months ago, due to a friend´s persuasion.
Why did you decide to give Capoeira a go?
Benjamin: I did jiu-jitsu for a number of years, but I wanted to learn a different art to broaden my experience, and I thought Capoeira might be a good complement. I had a look at Capoeira online before I went to my first class, and fell in love with the way the whole thing flowed.
Can you remember your first Capoeira class?
Elizabeth: It was an acrobatics class. As someone who held limited previous experience in this field, it proved rather intimidating at first; however as the class progressed I found myself rising to the challenge of attempting things I´d never tried before/never thought I would be able to do. I have been hooked ever since!
Benjamin: My first Capoeira class was full of so many different elements – exercise, playing, techniques, music, socialising. There was a great atmosphere. As soon as I walked through the door, one of the teachers came to greet me and help me get my bearings, whilst other students also actively welcoming. Everyone seemed more than happy to help me as I fumbled through my first experience of Capoeira. I was paired up with one of the more advanced students, which was intimidating at first, but very helpful.
What does Capoeira give you as a hobby?
Benjamin: Capoeira has a unique flavour. It has something to offer to people from all walks of life, and I've met some great people through doing it. Because of this it gives me a great sense of being part of a community. One of the things that took the most getting used to, for me, was the singing. I could not believe how difficult I found it at first to do something as apparently simple as clap and sing at the same time! But I gave it a shot, and slowly started to get into it, even though I'm sure I sounded terrible. The music has since become one of my favourite parts of doing Capoeira.
Elizabeth: Capoeira provides a great break from everything else that is going on – the chance to be challenged physically provides a great stress relief. I feel l am reaching a point where I am starting to understand the movements better. It has given me a better sense of physical co-ordination and strength, something that I didn´t feel would be possible before, and more confidence in trying things that I perhaps would have shied away from before. It has also introduced me to a wider network of people and culture, which is always wonderful!