Let me explain. Capoeira is known namely as the Brazilian Dance-Fight. Capoeira is a martial art that incorporates history, culture, music, movement, and language. Capoeira can be used as an aggressive form of self defense or it can be played to learn about others and how people interact with each other. You can be aggressive when needed, or not, tricky and sly, or friendly and playful. Sometimes this art at one point can incoporate any combination of these traits. Capoeira is played to music, played by two instruments, the berimbau and the pandeiro (tambourine). The music is accompanied by everyone singing in portuguese and clapping their hands. The songs normally are of great capoeiristas of the past, a master, a group, or an event in history that effected the art.
Since learning of this martial art, I have read a great deal of history and anthropological books on Capoeira, Brazilian slavery and culture, the associated religion, African cultures, and any information pertaining to the art. I have also been training since 2006 when I was able to find a teacher near where I lived for 2-4 days a week. I have earned my second cord (belt) and I am working on my third. We do not have many levels and we only test once a year. I have been blessed with a great teacher and strong desire to learn and have never failed a test, and in most cases performing as well as older or higher cord students.
Now my teacher and our master (our master teaches in NYC so I see him once maybe every 6 months) along with a select few students will be heading to Bahia, Brazil the birth place of our style. There will be a massive event there where masters from not just Brazil but Europe, Australia, the U.S. and other South, Central American countries will be attending to teach classes and courses. There will also be many talks on the history and future of Capoeira between many of the masters and students. This event will be a great learning experience for me if I am able to go. I will learn a great deal from the experiences and lessons of so many masters.
I will also have chance to use my portuguese on a daily basis helping to not only improve my base langauge skills but also learn the Bahian way of talking which is very different than many other areas of Brazil due to the heavy slave influence. I will also be to experience the culture in a more substantive fashion through total immersion into the culture helping to better understand the art and its roots. There is only so much you can learn from a book.
I will also be given the oppurtunity to make my own Berimbau (the main instrument used in Capoeira) and to aqcuire a traditional pandeiro, two very important things for progressing in the art.
I have had some financial set backs as of late and under the current situation will be unable to attend. My now current wife was here on a student visa, so we hired a lawyer to help guide us through the green card process costing us a few thousand dollars. Then she ran into another problem requiring a lawyer again which cost us another $1500. And just last week she lost her job. She is searching for another job, but in the current area who knows when she will find one. Now I could save enough money to support her while I am gone for 3 weeks, but I am unable to raise both the money needed to go and the extra savings.
I needed to raise money for airfare, lodging, and to pay for the events' courses for the three weeks I would be there. These events are currently scheduled for the last two weeks of July and the first week of August. I would be tremendously grateful to all who would allow me to take advantage of this great oppurtunity.
This event can have tremendous impact on all aspects of this art for me and my development as a capoeirista in this beautiful art.
The experience and knowledge I would learn here, from all those great masters who have lived the art out in the streets of Brazil, would allow me to help better pass on these traditions to new students. And if I hopefully am able to attend, use what I will learn to move to the next cord, where I will truly be expected to lead some classes and teach students. The experiences I would recieve will allow me to one day be a better student and teacher when that day comes, allowing me to pass on what I have learned. Thank you so much for your support. It will never be forgotten!