The Reluctant Stylista

No, this is not about changing my belts because I’ve eaten too much at Vikings.  I’m talking about my participation at Escola Brasileira de Capoeira’s Troca de Cordas this year. For long time readers of the blog, you would know that I ventured into the art of Capoeira two years ago.  I got my first belt last year, a yellow one, during what we call a Batizado, meaning “baptism”, and I was given the Capoeira name Chique , meaning “chic”, as this is how my mestre saw me.  And because it was my first belt, a senior capoeirista (usually a mestre or a formado level) took me down inside the roda as an initiation of sorts to the family.  With EBC, it’s usually done amidst supportive cheers and a really fun and loving environment, and this year’s Batizado or Troca de Cordas (as it’s not my first belt anymore) was no different.  I just received my yellow and orange belt yesterday, and I’m still high from the positive energy that every capoeirista there was eager to share.  We had masters and students who came in from different parts of the world to celebrate with us for three full days of Capoeira and it was wonderful.

It wasn’t really about moving up a belt–although I won’t lie, I was ecstatic to receive a new one, to have it acknowledged that I had progressed in Capoeira. But there is still so much that this martial art can teach me, in general.  And I’m excited to find out what that is.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the mestres, formados and graduados who made the event such a success and for making us students all feel welcome and enlightened.  Muito obrigada!

Brasilipinas 2015

We always kick off the weekend of Capoeira with the Brasilipinas party at Rockwell tent. A fun night of music, dancing and food done the Brazilian way.


Troca de Cordao at Rockwell Tent - EBC Philippines

Fun photos after changing our belts

Capoeira is a conversation, a dialogue. To keep it going, you must remember four things: Timing. Rhythm. Distance. Eye contact. – Mestre Ousado

It doesn’t matter what size nor age. 6 feet something versus 60 something years old. (Instrutor Saci and Mestre Ousado)

street roda Ayala Triangle

The roda is where capoeiristas play. It is a circle made by fellow capoeiristas who sing and play music as they watch the game.

street roda capoeira at Ayala Triangle

Capoeira is a game of rhythm and balance.  We don’t play to hurt our partners in the roda, so a regular game usually involves a lot of evasions that can include anything from cartwheels to handsprings. Dodging and crouching are second nature to a capoeirista.

While offensive moves aren’t meant to connect in a friendly roda, a game still involves real kicks that can hurt if someone is caught unawares–which is why the first thing we learn is how to successfully avoid them.

street roda at Ayala Triangle - 2015 EBC Philippines

The axé was incredible. It was amazing to be among enthusiastic capoeiristas from different countries.

And in case you were wondering, even kids can do it.

If you want to try Capoeira, check out EBC Philippines’ training schedule here.  In Manila, there are classes in Alabang, Makati, The Fort, Ortigas, Quezon City and then there’s also Sta. Elena.  Rates are PHP400-600 per class, depending on where you train.  There are also monthly packages available.  For more information, go to or contact (0999) 881 9810.

All colored photos (except the Brasilipinas one) are by Louie Manay. Black and white photo by Cookie Pido.

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