What is it?
Take muay thai (kickboxing), remove the physical aggression, add funky calypso music, some dance moves and a dash of acrobatics and, hey presto, you have capoeira – a Brazilian martial art. According to instructor Vikentiy Dyro (aka Graduado Boto), Abada is the most popular type. He says, “In Portuguese, Abada stands for ‘Brazilian association to support and develop art’. It is one of the largest capoeira organisations in the world with more than 50,000 members.”
I rocked down to a taster morning with my two young children. The warm-up involved crossing the room in various walking, crawling, jumping styles, as exampled by Boto. While he managed to make the movements look fluid and strong, the rest of us showed very little grace. Lesson number one: leave your shyness in the car.
We then learnt fight/dance moves and some songs. Boto got us all singing our hearts out (badly) and laughing at ourselves. Lesson number two: Abada Capoeira is just as much about fun as it is about fitness. Boto says, “Capoeira training involves every part of your body and can benefit you whether you are looking for fitness, weightloss, a wellbeing boost or preparation for martial art combat.”
The atmosphere in the class was electric and people were stopping outside to watch us in action. By the end, I knew it was something I wanted to do again and my children agreed. We’d had a good workout, learnt some songs and met some truly lovely people. Fitness has never been so much fun.