WHAT WE DO THAT'S DIFFERENT

These last few days have seen a small number of noncontact, non self defense training "capoeiristas" come out of the woodwork, all clamoring the kinds of silly nonsense that comes from people who don't actually train self defense or have the inclination to do so...but who desperately want to maintain the fiction that they do. In the face of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Even a former Mestre I trained with--a person I considered a friend and still respect to this day--turned his back on me during this period of time.

I have not been at all affected by this behavior in a negative way. In fact, the opposite has occurred. As each and every time, the single irreconcilable point of deviation has been: I PRACTICE SELF DEFENSE BASED CAPOEIRA, AND THEY DON'T. That's all there is to it.

I spar. I do drills. I grapple. I use weapons. I multifight. We use firearms and train for self defense against guns and knives and whatnot. I make controlled contact EVERY SINGLE DAY with our Capoeira. We have PRACTICAL floreios, which are in effect what I call Combat Gymnastics combined with fighting techniques and what I call Functional Freerunning or Practical Parkour. There is nothing like it. Nothing. And that's good.

I have no Mestre. I am very deliberately and happily a Head Coach of my own Gym. My Gym is THE ATACX GYM. A.T.A.C.X. is an acronym, which stands for Advanced Total Athletics and Combatives Xtreme. We combine my base array of martial arts to develop a single, comprehensive expression. I also teach each branch of my martial tree as a distinct limb of our studies for those interested in such. One such limb of the tree of my martial arts expression is Capoeira. My Capoeira is ATACX GYM STREET WARRIOR CAPOEIRA.

I am very purposefully, very deliberately, very happily not part of any overarching allegedly Capoeira organization. I am showing and in the midst of still creating refining and expanding my own Capoeira expression, precisely as all actual Capoeiristas are doing. I don't do the organizational politics of noncontact profiteering cardio capoeira. I don't care what your lineage is. The first things I want to know about whatever style or personal preference of your Capoeira practice are: Can you defend yourself with your Capoeira? Do you actively blend the spiritual and practical lessons of Candomble into your practice? Do you teach uphold and perpetuate Capoeira's warrior lineage? Are you aware of and contribute to the political social and community works and consciousness that warrior-scholar-spiritualists should imo be regularly involved in? If you can, then great. Everything else flows from there. If not, then I suggest that you speedily inculcate the things that I mentioned. If you don't want to? Great, no problem. Good luck and we don't have anything much to discuss insofar as Capoeira is concerned.

I focus on turning out students who are combat capable, and blessed with purposefully and studiously developed, quality character. They will be fit, healthy, educated, socially and politically conscious, spiritual athletic martial artists. To my immense joy and delight, my work has attracted a large number of people both within and without the large 'capoeira' organizations who enthusiastically support me and agree with both my mindset and my martial expression, as they have long been looking for something similar in their Capeoira journey...and WERE NOT FINDING IT because THEIR MESTRES DON'T TRAIN SELF DEFENSE. There was a gnawing doubt eating at them as a result, and that's completely understandable. Anyone who DOES NOT practice self defense KNOWS THEY'RE NOT PRACTICING SELF DEFENSE and KNOWS THEY ARE LIKELY TOAST IN A REAL FIGHT. I get contacted by capoeiristas the world over...literally...who ask me to help them functionalize their capoeira. Street proof their capoeira, if you will. And I do so. Free. From the goodness of my heart. As I would hope and pray that others would help me as I seek to learn and develop, mature and grow in whatever field of endeavor.

Make no mistake; if you are not training vibrant, functional self defense for this modern world? You are NOT training Capoeira. In fact, one should ask: how can a person be a Mestre of a martial art literally founded to battle slavery and slavers, literally raised and refined and practiced and taught in literal warfare...battlefield, spiritual, guerrilla, street, mental, cultural warfare...and NOT practice self defense? There's no such creature. Correction. There's no such LEGIT creature. If you find a duck that barks, has fleas, has a nose and four legs, pointy ears, and is descended from wolves? That ain't no duck. That's either a chupacabra or a DOG. Most likely a dog. Well, if you find a Capoeira Mestre who doesn't fight or train self defense? That's NOT a Capoeira Mestre...that's probably a Cardio Capoeira Capitalist who makes money off of THE IDEA of Capoeira while actually practicing and selling a Capoeira INFLUENCED workout.

When I talked with almost every single one of these noncontact "capoeiristas" who were so intensely offended by my words and my work, I asked them a single blunt question and followed by a single blunt statement. "You say you're a Capoeirista? Let me see you spar against any and all comers in any and all ranges in any and all of the primary categories of self defense."

You know what they said? They called what I asked them everything in the book except one thing. They said that I'm young. They said that I don't know Capoeira. They said that Capoeira is about community. They said that I was a fraud. They asked me how many songs on the berimbau can I play. They said more things than I frankly recall or care to recall.

I reminded them that I don't disagree that Capoeira is about community. I think that the berimbau and Capoeira songs have a very important role to play in the practice of Capoeira. I remind them that I do not believe in separating any aspect of Capoeira from any other. What I am insisting upon is the return of the central role of functional, vibrant, unique self defense to the very heart and soul, mind and body of every capoeirista and to Capoeira itself.

They were silent at this declaration from me. One or two simply chose to ignore it, as my assertion makes too much sense to be flatly disputed.

You know what they DIDN'T say?

They DIDN'T say:"Here's me sparring with Capoeira while grappling, striking ,using weapons, escapes, dodges, combat functional gymnastics which abound in Capoeira, etc etc etc."

So if you're NOT TRAINING for self defense, then what is the one thing you RELIABLY CAN'T DO when it comes time to defend yourself the overwhelming majority of the time? That's right. You can't defend yourself. The bad guy doesn't care if you can play the berimbau or not. The bad guy doesn't care about your lineage. The bad guy doesn't care about how many songs you can recall off the top of your head. The bad guy wants your money and/or some prized possession[s], and will harm you to get it. And you know what? By NOT training for self defense, not only have you virtually guaranteed that the bad guy WILL get what he wants from you...you have also guaranteed that you will not grasp even 20% of what Capoeira has to offer you in any regard. Mentally, physically, spiritually. Mentally, you will comprehensively fail to grasp the context, the functionality, the practicality of the movements in Capoeira. You will miss the whys and wherefores, the howto's. You will completely miss the stratagems and tactics. When your practice functionally, you will immediately empower yourself mentally in ways that nothing else can do. You will KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that you can and will successfully defend yourself, and that priceless knowledge gives you a great deal of mental strength that nothing else can equal or surpass. Period. Physically, you will put yourself through the paces of a warrior, and your body, movements, and explosively expanding skill sets will reflect that reality...which in turn keeps you mentally fired up and interested to learn more. With the amplification and growing seamless harmony of your mental and physical self, comes the awakening of your spiritual self...including the desire to respect, protect and nurture life in all of its forms; because you already know from your training how easily life can be damaged and taken away.

If you follow the prevalent training paradigm in what most people calling themselves capoeiristas do, you will at best become proficient in music playing, hand clapping, acrobatics, fitness, and not hitting anyone. You see the difference?

There are infinite permutations of strategies, tactics, etc. in Capoeira...each as varied as the person that practices. However, if you hew to a practical, fighting functional training method? Then however varied your approach is, you will still be highly effective...and your skill sets will IMMEDIATELY be recognized as such. For instance...purely for illustrative purposes to clarify my meaning...there may be a functional capoeirista and/or school that focuses more upon knife work than any other facet of Capoeira. Or another that focuses more upon grappling and groundfighting. Another that focuses more upon unorthodox and orthodox standing strikes and escapes. These capoeristas and/or schools will be playing to their desired focus and strengths, even though they are capable in every facet of Capoeira. They are indeed Capoeiristas, because they are fighting functional, physically fit, spiritually perceptive, mentally strong, versed in Capoeira history, giving back to their community, are socially and politically aware, and not only aware of but personally practicing and perpetuating Capoeira's warrior-scholar-artist lineage.

You know what? Back when Capoeira was first created? And all the way up until the 1950's? You know what Capoeiristas  did? THEY FOUGHT. EVERYONE. Period point blank. They fought slavers to corrupt racist police officers from a racist oppressive government. The slavers and corrupt government didn't care if you can play the berimbau or not. In fact, the whole issue of songs and lineage didn't come about until the Academy period of Capoeira began around the 1930's with the arrival of The Bruce Lee of Capoeira, Mestre Bimba. [ And just as significantly, Bruce Lee was the Mestre Bimba of Gung Fu ]. When Africans used Capoeira to prevent themselves from being enslaved, do you think that the slaver cordially asked any of them how many songs they may or may not have known? The slaver didn't care about their lineage. The slaver didn't care about the berimbau [ which was introduced to Capoeira at some unspecified time lost to us ]. Nobody cared about what you thought about community. Nobody cared if you had spiffy uniforms or not. The slaver only cared about taking your life and/or forcing you into the most horrifically inhuman system of oppression the world has ever known, in order to profit from every drop of your misery. That's it. Same with the corrupt police officer.

Now. Do you think for one flashing second that the Capoeira legend from the quilombos known as Zumbi dos Palmares would look at say...my Negativa Armbar video...and say: "Nah I'm not doing that because it's not Capoeira!"

Of course not. Especially since the Portuguese described Zumbi as a 'champion wrestler'. Zumbi already knew the value of holds throws locks chokes and blows of all sorts. Know why? Because Capoeira is an amalgam of African martial arts that the slaves brought over from Africa, which flowered even more in the Western Hemisphere while battling slavery, government corruption and overcoming trials and travails of all sorts. Facing a truly extreme, historically unequalled and unsurpassed, unstinting need to optimize and maximize the defense and protection of his people from an absolutely unrelenting and unflinchingly cruel, maliciously brilliant pair of governments that wholly endorsed slavery in every way [ Portugual and to some extent the Dutch ], Zumbi would use any and every tool weapon stratagem etc at his disposal to overcome his enemies. Yes. That means chokes locks sweeps throws, weapons. Especially since Capoeira already has these techniques in its repertoire...your Mestre just didn't show them. Probably because your Mestre in all likelihood has no clue about training for practical self defense in the modern world and was taught that the full spectrum of self defense is somehow not the Capoeira way. It would be a combination of laughable stupidity and epic folly to even entertain any notion to the contrary. The Capoeira Gangs...the Maltas...were similarly forcibly functional, and had to employ even more strategies of misdirection and deception, as they had been FORCED into close quarters with their unforgiving adversaries.

And remember...the ginga is a recent invention. Circa 1830's or so. And remember: the ginga that those noncontact Cardio Capoeira Capitalists taught you? THAT IS NOT THE FIGHTING GINGA. And you know it, too. Stand in front of your Muay Thai buddy. Start to ginga like you haven't a care in the world. When you wake up from being clocked by that low kick, clinch, knees, elbows and high kick combo that you had no idea can happen because you don't train self defense? Remember good ole Head Coach Ras toldja. If you think what happened was a fluke? Go right on ahead and try your shenanigans with your kyokushin karate friend. After you see that bright flash of light behind your eyes and wake up from the snooze delivered to you, courtesy of that reverse punch you DIDN'T see coming? Remember I toldja. Remember how I tried to warn you about  this when your wrestling buddy feeds you mat burgers by slamming ground n pounding and mauling you, your judo buddy flips and locks you silly, and your bjj buddy tackles you while you're on the ground from your judo buddy's throw and then chokes the slobber out of you. Remember that...NONE OF THAT NEED HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU TRAIN CAPOEIRA SELF DEFENSE VS ALL PRIMARY CATEGORIES OF ATTACKS THAT CIVILIANS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT TYPES ARE LIKELY TO FACE, WHICH IS THE VERY FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT PROOF THAT YOU ARE LEARNING GENUINE CAPOEIRA.

This is just a part of the warrior legacy and lineage which has been betrayed, forsaken, cast aside, by most who promote some fictional noncontact, nonwarrior Capoeira and miscall themselves 'capoeiristas'. And the first, most obvious, most invincible sign of this is their complete lack of self defense skills ALONG WITH their COMPLETE lack of a LEGION of skilled fighters. If you have to ask yourself if you can defend yourself with your Capoeira in a real fight? It's because you haven't been sparring enough and likely your Mestre is NOT a genuine Capoeirista.

Go to a karate tournament. Anywhere on earth. You will see a tournament filled with dozens to hundreds of FIGHTERS. Same with Muay Thai, taekwondo, judo, fencing, wrestlers, judoka, kali practitioners, Zulu stickfighters, boxers, kendo players, etc etc. It's PAR FOR THE COURSE for them to have HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FIGHTERS of varying skills. They pit their skills against each other and all involved reap untold benefits.

Where are Capoeira's fighters? The closest to anything approaching such a display for Capoeira was Muzenza's World Fight, and recently in 2013 the [ as of this writing still upcoming ] World Capoeira Championships or something like that. However, one look at their rules  [ World Fight and this 2013 World Capoeira Championships ] proves that...instead of actually featuring Capoeira...what we see is a open handed non fist punching Capoeira uniform wearing watered down Sanda event with some Capeoria mandates.

Still nothing close to the uniqueness which is Self Defense Capoeira.

But I'm still very very glad for these events and mightily applaud those who create and support them, because any movement toward genuine self defense that will positively transform the image of the nonfighting acrobatic dancer that dominates the image of Capoeira worldwide anywhere in the direction of its genuine warrior roots is a good thing. Imo, at any rate.

So I and those of like mind are going to show you real fighting Capoeira...despite the treacherous uphill battle that I and those of like mind will endure.  No Capoeira politics needed, thanks.

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