Tag Archives: Ritual

Is your Corpo Fechado?

verger-capoeira-26454

Capoeira is not only a martial art, a dance and a game. It comes along with its cultural background, which developed in the Afrobrazilian circles of Brazil and spread all over the world. It’s like HipHop, or like Yoga. It left it’s national and cultural boundaries and spread to places where some parts of it’s culture might be less well understood than others. Some interesting thoughts about cultural differences in the practice of Capoeira are given in a post by Mandingueira on her highly recommendable blog www.mandingueira.com. Even in Brazil many connotations and aspects of this art get lost due to old mestres dying and their knowledge usually dying with them. Here in Europe or in the U.S. or in Asia only few pieces of this culture are learned. This is why once in a while I come along and try to explain some of the words which you will hear in connection to capoeira. I’m not Brazilian and my connection to Brazil is solely because I love to play Capoeira Angola. So all I can give you is my limited view on some parts of Capoeira culture. If you know better, feel free to correct.

After this short intro I will now come to the question given in the title. Is your Corpo Fechado? For all those who dont know Portuguese, Corpo Fechado means “closed body”. in Capoeira, and in related Afrobrazilian cults like Candomblé, Corpo Fechado does have an important meaning. I will try to explain both the secular and the spiritual meaning of this word.

Corpo Fechado – in the Roda

The closed body in the Roda is a basic principle of Capoeira. Everybody learns it from the very beginning without having to know that they are actually working on a ‘closed body’. The Corpo Fechado in the Roda is your defense, most basically your hands and arms protecting vulnerable parts of your body. These parts are especially your face, neck, chest and lower torso.

Already doing the Ginga does demand the player to keep up his defense every time his body is moving forward. One arm always protects the face. If not so the danger of getting a kick or slap into the face is imminent (I wont judge now how nice or fair it is to kick into the face of somebody whose face was unprotected… that’s another topic). The same does account for every single movement in Capoeira. And also both in traditional and modern variants of the Game. Some Mestres do complain that in modern variants due to a higher distance between players the necessity of a “closed body” decreases. In Capoeira Angola on the other side, a closed body is a necessity – and in every second of the Game a hole in your defense can be used by your partner.

I dont want to scare you people away. And I also dont want to show you just the one side of the coin. Modern Capoeira and Capoeira Angola do allow you to show apparent “entrances” into your body. In the ideal case sometimes you might seem absolutely helpless with you body wide open. And still be able to close the body when it’s needed. That is to lure your partner into a situation where he thinks he has you, and showing him that that is not so. One of my favoritue Capoeira Angola pictures is the one posted below where the player in white seems absolutely helpless. Still, his partner does not fall into that trap keeping up his defense, knowing that a good player can defend himself in whatever position he is.

corpo fechado

But dont forget one essential thing about capoeira. That it is not about concentrating on one thing. Corpo Fechado is a set term in Capoeira culture, but it is not the only thing. Theoretically you could have a perfect defense, but still be absolutely horrible in playing Capoeira. Thus, Corpo Fechado is one part of Capoeira, a part everybody should know of, but not the above-all most important part of it.

Corpo Fechado – in Life

Corpo Fechado does also have a very religious connotation. In Afrobrazilian practises achieving Corpo Fechado is possible through specific rituals and by wearing amulets. Having a Corpo Fechado means being invulnerable against all kinds of physical attacks. If it’s knives or bullets. The most favourite person to have had a Corpo Fechado was the Capoeira legend Besouro Manganga. Manoel Henrique Pereira (1897-1924) was a legendary Capoeirista and criminal in Santo Amaro, Bahia. He was known and loved by the folks for his fights with the police. In times of danger he would transform into a beetle and vanish from the place. He was also known to be invulnerable – or only vulnerable by an enchanted wooden dagger (made of the Tucum-tree), which was the reason for his death in 1927.

But the Corpo Fechado does exist outside of Capoeira aswell. As I said, it is part of Afrobrazilian culture. The rituals and ideals behind this go back into Kongolese religious practices, where there was the belief in Kanga Nitu. Kanga Nitu was “binding your body” thorugh rituals protecting it from evil spirits. Other rituals did include the use fetishes and amuletts – socalled Nkisis – against arrows from enemies in times of war, or for a successful hunt (among many other uses). The ideas of Kanga Nitu and corresponding rituals came along with the slaves and still have an influence on Afrobrazilian culture.

One part which is to be mentioned together with it are the patuás, the amuletts which protect the faithful from all kinds of physical harm. These amuletts did contain a diversity of herbs alongside with prayers written into them. But it obviously doesnt seem to be enough to just wear a Patuá around your neck, you also have to know your prayers and rituals, and what is forbidden and what not. Basically, you have to believe and know the religion before you start “protecting” yourself with a Patuá. As the proverb says: “Quem nao pode com mandinga, nao carrega patúa.” Roughly translated: Who doesn’t know Mandinga, should not use a Patúa. Today a lot of people do carry a Patúa without actually believing in it’s use. It has become a part of Capoeira fashion. I personally do not believe in the effect of a Patúa, but I still would strongly recommend any person who carries a Patúa to learn about its implications. Even if he/she does only see it as a fashionable accessoire, it is still of use to know what you are walking around with.

There are also certain ways to “open” the body of a person, even when that person does have a “Corpo Fechado”, this does include the use of enchanted weapons (as it was in the case of Besouro Mangangá). But also the person himself can cause his “protection” to fail. One known way is to have sex. Some traditional Mestres dont recommend practising Capoeira after having had sex the night before.

So, the next time a mestre screams at you to “fechar o corpo” he means that you should keep up your defense. He usually does not mean you to be abstinent before you come to his class or to wear a Patúa, because as Capoeira does spread around the world, there will be more and more practitioners who do not believe in Candomblé or into any Afrobrazilian manifestation of those ancient Bantu traditions. Still, even if you dont believe in them, it’s useful to know about it – and even if it is only to comprehend more what we are doing, playing Capoeira.

Picture sources:

http://www.ele-mental.org/capoeira/TABCAT/aboutcapoeira.html

http://albenisio.spaces.live.com/blog/

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African Roots – series on Angoleiro’s Blog

Ié!                                                    Ié!

Capoeira é uma arte,                       Capoeira is an art,

Capoeira é uma arte,                       Capoeira is an art,

Que o negrou inventou.                   which the negro invented.

Foi na briga de duas zebras              In the brawl between two zebras

que N’Golo se criou.                         the N’Golo did evolve.

Chegando aqui no Brasil                  As it arrived here in Brazil

Capoeira se chamou.                       it was called Capoeira.

Ginga e danca que era arte              The Ginga and the dance, which were an art,

em arme se transformou                 did transform into a weapon

Para libertar o negro                        to liberate the negro

da senzala do senhor.                      from the Senzala of the lord (slave owner).

Hoje aprendo essa cultura               Today I learn this culture

para me conscientizar.                     to increase my awareness

Agracedo ao Pai Ogum,                    Praise to Father Ogum,

A forca dos Orixás,                          the power of the Orixás,

Camará!                                           Comrade!

(Ladainha from Grupo Capoeira Angola Pelourinho*)

 

Starting aound 1550 the Portuguese started to import millions of Africans into Brazil. Over three hundred years, Black men and women were robbed and bought in Africa, treated like animals, transported over the Atlantic under unhuman conditions and had to work hard for essentially nothing. They were slaves.

Regarding those slaves who were imported there is one quote I read somewhere (I really dont know anymore where) and that is: “Those slaves might have come empty handed, but they did not come empty headed.” What came with them is their complete belief systems, music, rituals, world view, traditions, knowledge, language, arts, willpower and so on. And one thing which came with them is a form of dance/fight combining different concepts like beauty and strength, acrobatics and music, dance and violence.

Today’s Capoeira Angola does have a lot to do with awareness. Being aware of Capoeira’s roots, being aware that the African element in this art is of utterly high importance. Without it’s Africanity, Capoeira would degenerate into a fancy but soulless martial art. Capoeira, and especially Capoeira Angola, does live from its rituals, it game, its music and its history. In a discussion** I read and participated in on the Blog Mandingueira I realized that this awareness has to be maintained and increased in the present Capoeira Community.

But: Writing about Africanity in Capoeira is a mammoth task. Actually you could write a book about it and still would not have described everything there is to describe. 400 years of Capoeira practice mainly by Africans and Afrobrazilians did lead to the situation that every facette of Capoeira does have major African influences (admittedly there are European influences, too, since Portuguese lower class and sailors did start playing Capoeira in the 19th century and since Mestre Bimba started teaching white students). This is the reason why I will start the first cohesive series of posts on this Blog: African Roots. I hope that I will at least be able to give an overview about Africanity in Capoeira and I hope that there are people out there willing to add to the upcoming posts their knowledge about this topic, thus making these posts a richer source for people who make their first steps in exploring the roots of Capoeira.

Have an eye on this blog in the next few days. Cause then the first posts of the African Roots series will be published.

 

*if there are mistakes in the translation it is because of my lack of Portuguese. Corrections are welcome!

**special thanks to Kimbandeira for starting that discussion on Mandingueira

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How can I become an Angoleiro?

Once upon a time… I was biking to a Regional training and a girl who was riding with me asked me: “Why do Regionalistas admire Angoleiros ?”

Well, I think I was the wrong person to ask, because I am an Angoleiro and before I came into contact with regionalistas I didnt even know that there was some kind of admiration there (and I met a couple of Capoeiristas who were braindead saying things like “man, you are doing granny-stuff” – they never went into the roda with me). Maybe I should ask you people: What is so special about Capoeira Angola?

Well, of course I know the differences between the different styles of Capoeira. And I know what I miss when I see a Regional game. I miss a lot of aesthetics, interactions and trickery. I miss the surprise element and I miss the magic (yeah I know, very precise word, magic…) in it.

And while I was thinking about this, some other question came into my mind. What if somebody came to me and would ask the question given as title of this post: How do I become an Angoleiro?

Well, the easiest way to become an Angoleiro is to exclusively train in a Capoeira Angola group. Be careful: I am not saying that it is the only way and I am definitely not saying that, if you like to train in a modern Capoeira group, that you should stop immediatedly. What I am saying is, just, that it is the easiest way. I did play 6 years of Capoeira Angola before I started taking lessons in Regional. And I realize that I will stay an Angoleiro forever, because it is imprinted in my body. I move like an Angoleiro, I play like an Angoleiro, I am an Angoleiro!

If you did train in a Regional group first, it takes time to get the Regional out of you, if you want to be an Angoleiro. And the longer you played Capoeira Regional before, the longer it takes to get rid of that “imprint”. In that case, it does help for the first few years to stop playing with regionalistas completely and focus on the Capoeira Angola training. Once you move and play like an Angoleiro without having to think about it, then it is not a problem to play Regionalistas anymore. Otherwise playing Regional while still learning Angola will inhibit your progress in learning Capoeira Angola.

But is it impossible to learn both? When I apply pure logics to it, I’d say no. It is not impossible. But you have to understand first that the difference between Regional and Angola is not the speed and playing low. Some people do make this mistake and are then quite surprised or angry when another Angoleiro playing with them does have a different opinion. I will just mention some things one has to keep in mind when he wants to be an Angoleiro.

  • moving in Capoeira Angola is different than moving in modern Capoeira. The amount of relaxation of the body in Capoeira Angola is higher, coupled with a high concentration because we might look like we are relaxed but we are not stupid – we are still in the Roda, eh?
  • expression, play and magic is of ultimate importance. You cannot just exchange movements.
  • It is not about speed and force of the movements. it is also not about hitting the target or not. Rhythm, beauty and timing of the movements are of (at least) equal value in Capoeira Angola.
  • The music in Capoeira Angola is not only background rhythm for the players. It is part of the Game. It can interact with the players and vice versa.
  • Rituals are not just certain movements you do with your hands. Rituals do have an effect, if you believe in magic or not.

Another thing I have to say is: whatever you are learning. If you are learning Capoeira Angola, Regional, Contemporeana or any mixture of these. Do not forget that you only have one body. So everything you learn stays in that body, gets mixed up or overlayed by new knowledge, but never really vanished. That is the reason why you can always see if you have an Angoleiro in fron of you or not, even if he is playing “regional”. My first trainer stopped playing Regional almost 10 years ago and he had serious difficulties to get into the Angola style at all. He is a very good Angola teacher and his tyle is great. But I am not unjust if I say that compared to full-flesh Angoleiros you can see that his style (and consequently my style, because I learned 99% of my knowledge from him) is more upright, agonistic, faster and less playful. On the other side. I am training with a Regional group since a year. And you dont have to know anything about Capoeira and you will still see that there is a huge in-play difference between me and most of the players in the group.

And one thing you should never forget is: even if you want to be an Angoleiro, do not underestimate or ignore everything you learned till now. In a Capoeira Roda, and especially in a Capoeira Angola Roda, everything can be an advantage (including a loose shoe!) and some Regional experience is sometimes quite useful.

So, coming back to the original question. You are a Regionalista and you want to become an Angoleiro? It is never too late. Go, find yourself an Angoleiro. Try to imitate him, try to learn from him. Do not forget what you already know from modern Capoeira, but do also see that there are a lot more differences to Capoeira Angola than just speed and height. If you want your progress in becoming an Angoleiro to increase, do stop playing Regional for a while. Do not worry that you will never be able to play Regional any more. It is just to get the Angoleiro in you awake faster.

Axé!

picture taken from ficadc.blogspot.com

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Express yourself!

Capoeira is, as you people might have heard a lot, a conversation (among other things). And in Capoeira Angola this is even more true than in other forms. With this post I won’t go into the technical play itself, because that is something everybody learns, when he is training Capoeira. I want to put the emphasize on the little details, which makes the Game not only nice, or very good, but beautiful and entertaining. Why do I make such a difference? Well, let’s say in recent times I have seen a lot of Capoeiristas who have a really good play in the Roda. They are fast, have technical abilities beyond my own, have good reflexes and are generally more athletic than I am. So when you watch them playing, yes, you will say “it’s a good player”. But some of these players were lacking something. Something which is not directly bound to the movements they learn in everyday’s classes.

And then I remembered one incidence. Once upon a time… an Angoleiro (that’s me) was quite new in town. And as there was no Capoeira Angola group he was at least willing to visit a group of modern Capoeira. It was quite a beginner’s class, and there were some people who had never seen an Angoleiro playing. And as it came to the roda, the teacher of course wanted to play with this Angoleiro. The game itself was ok, nothing the Angoleiro really enjoyed, but also not too rough or ugly. Well, and at the end of the day one of the beginners came to the Angoleiro and said. “You’re playing so nice. It has much more expression what you are doing.”

Now do not jump on my throat. I am not trying to show off here. I know that there is still a lot I have to change with my game, too. And compared to the expressive games of some people I met in the Roda I am as expressive as a fridge. And I am also not telling that only Angoleiros can play an expressive game. That wouldnt be the truth.

What I am saying is that in Capoeira Angola there is a lot of emphasize in expression – and that expression does sometimes make the difference between a nice and a beautiful game.

We should now come down to the question: where is the places where you can express yourself and what are the things you can change?

 Basically there are two possibilities, where you can express yourself in the Roda: while playing music or while playing the Game.

Playing music

It does not matter if you are standing in the Chorus or at the Bateria, all you should and have to do is: give everything to make the music beautiful. This reminds me of one sentence my first teacher told me: “You are not making music for yourself, but for the ones who are playing in the middle.” This does mean two things. a) try to make nice music. I know, not everybody is born with a talent for music, neither am I (actually in school I wasn’t even allowed to play the triangle because I was disturbing the class!). The best thing you can do is just give your best. Try to sing the way you hear your Mestre sing. Try to sing the way you hear it on CD’s and so on. Do practise singing and playing the instruments, because you will not be able to play beautiful music when you are not even able to play the berimbau. If you sing, especially if you take the lead, do not mumble something. Sing out loud. And even when you are just able to keep this up for 15 seconds, those 15 seconds are worth more than 5 minutes of mumbled singing. But there is also the second meaning of the things my teacher said. If you are playing music, do not get lost. I know of some pretty good Berimbau players who, once they get the Viola, can play variations I never heard of. And keep up variating for half an hour without getting back to the basic rhythm (at least that is what it seems to me sometimes…). But the same person did sometimes get lost in his own music. He was not listening anymore, he was not watching anymore, he had his eyes closed and was playing his really nice music, which was just not fitting to the rest of the Roda. Never forget that the music is the sum of all the musicians in the circle.

Playing the Game

The situation is different inside the Roda. There we only have two players. The Game is the sum of his/her and your actions. Thus, you can make the difference in playing a beautiful, expressive Game. How?

Start right of with your movements. Do not underestimate the difference between a usual kick and a Chapa which is perfectly in rhythm with the rest of the Game. And, and this is most important, do not forget that Capoeira is also a dance. Dances do have a rhythm, do have symmetry and esthetic values (where I won’t go into detail now). They are not just kicking the crap out of your partner. This is a lot about controlling yourself, your emotions and your movements. It is much harder to hit a person beautifully than just placing the hit…

The second thing you can change is your facial expressions. You might say this is ridiculous? It is not. Even if you would not care about the beauty of your game you have to understand that your face does tell tales. A Jogo de Angola is full of little pitfalls, full of fintas and full of malicia. An ability Angoleiros have to develop is reading your partner. An unwritten law in Capoeira is that you should watch the face of your partner while playing. Why? If you only concentrate on the body movements of the person, you will exactly see the movements coming when they are coming. Add your own personal reaction time and you will see that you have not much time left to respond. Especially if it is an unexpected and dangerous movement. When watching the face of your partner and when you are able to read the face then you will see the kicks coming before the legs even started moving. You might even see which kick will come next, and where it is going. I am not kidding you. It is possible, you just have to watch. And if you meet a person who can read faces then you have a serious disadvantage if you do not manage to hide intentions. Do not stare at the place where you are kicking at. Do try to develop a poker-face, never revealing when you are going to kick. Smile at your partner, just a millisecond before you are playing the worst martello you have in your arsenal. This is a tactical advantage. And it is more than that. It is so enjoying to watch a person who has perfect control over his facial expressions! The smiling, the laughing, the fear, the grudge, the relaxation, the concentration. All of these are beautiful to see, especially if they come in variations. And it is even better when both players do this. When they communicate. It is then like watching a street theater, where the players try to tell us a story, a story which is just being created in the roda.

The rituals

 This is some kind of extra and very important for Angoleiros. I will not go into the details of different rituals you have in Capoeira Angola. Learning and using the rituals of Capoeira Angola is of high importance for an expressive, beautiful Capoeira Angola game. There is the mysterious and obscure part of Capoeira Angola, which does have his own fascination if shown in the Game. When you are a player of modern Capoeira and you show that you have knowledge of (some of) the rituals, you are much appreciated. It is knowledge which is not farspread, even among Angoleiros. And having seen them and imitating is something different than using them in the right timing and with the right expressions. What I refer to are the rituals at the Pé do Berimbau, the Chamada in the Game and some of the less known rituals taking place during the Game. I will not get into details (for now), but I thought the list would be incomplete without the rituals.

But beware, also here you have the same as while playing music. You are not alone. You have your partner in the Roda. Even if you do not like that particular person, your game can only be beautiful if you do integrate him/her into it. If you do a one-man-show you have two possible bad outcomes. a) People might think it’s entertaining, but they will also think that you are a show off and egocentric and so on. b) The person you are playing with might not be happy with this. And if he is able, he might even show you that he does not like your One-Man-Show. So, as always in Capoeira Angola, be careful. Do take care of your game, do try to play expressively. Do try to play a beautiful game with all the music, the expressions and the rituals, but do never forget that you are not alone and that Capoeira is something that only does work TOGETHER!

And now, I will get in front of my mirror and try some funny expressions.

Picture source: http://www.ficaoakland.org

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A Chamada – the Game in the Game

The Call

Before I start telling you things about the Chamada I have to explain why I am doing it.

In the last few years I have seen many Capoeiristas, students learning Capoeira Regional, Contemporeana AND Angola, being quite surprised when the other one lifted his hands to the Chamada. Most of them usually did not know how to react. Some did not even know what was happening at all. Those where the ones who never saw a Capoeira Angola game at all. In Capoeira Angola, there is a subroutine, a game in the game itself, and that is called Chamada. I am able to explain aspects of it, but definitely not everything around it, because it is like trying to explain Capoeira. It is nothing for words, more something you have to see, or – and this is the best – to experience yourself! I tried to find some online material about the Chamada, and found either surface information, or throughout bad information. I already have written little things about the Chamada, but not really detailed. So I decided to write another post and make you comment and add information – so that more people have at least an idea about the Chamada.

What is the Chamada?

Chamada can be translated as “The Call”. It is the situation when the Capoeira Angola game changes it´s pace and one of the players stands in a ritualistic stance, calling the other player to come to him and engage into a ritual-like dance. The Chamada is one of the least understood and least explained parts of a Capoeira Angola game. Yet, a Capoeira Angola Roda without a Chamada would miss a lot of its fascination.

Why do people do the Chamada?

There are about a zillion reasons, why you could start a Chamada. Usually it is one of these reasons:

  • You got tired and want to have a breath, the Chamada will give you a couple of seconds of rest, although (as I will explain later) rest does not mean that you can relax…
  • The players did not have a compatible game. Sometimes two players have difficulties getting along with each other and do entangle themselves in ugly little trouble. To calm down a situation like this, a Chamada comes in handy.
  • One player got hit. If unintentionally, the Chamada will help focus the concentration, if intentionally, the Chamada will help calming down the mood.
  • One player wants to test the abilities of the other. Usually a beginner or not-so-advanced player wont see and know all the subtleties of a Chamada. So the Chamada is also a good test, how good and advanced a player really is. There are a lot of youngsters out there who are able to do the fanciest movements or don’t have to be afraid of any opponent, but they get lost in a Chamada.

Are there rules about the Chamada?

Shortly said: there are no real rules about the Chamada. There are actually different ritualistic positions for the Chamada and it is good to know as much of them as possible. As there are many different positions it is good to try to remember every position – and the possible dangers of those. Generally, a Chamada is divided into the Intro, the Dance and the Leaving of the Chamada. All these are ruled by the one who “calls”. He calls the other player, who has to come, he does give the Dance its speed and rhythm, and he does say when the Chamada goes to an end and in which direction the game shall go on.

Oh, I forgot, there is one rule-of-thumb which is just very smart for the average player: do not call the mestre. As I said before, the Chamada is also some kind of test. Some Mestres do have issues with students calling them into the Chamada, and you don’t want to find out the hard way, do you?

The most important thing…

…is that the Chamada is still happening in the Roda. And in the Roda you have the general rule: be aware. Nobody says that the Chamada will end a peaceful way. There is always a possibility that a Tesoura is coming in the middle of the Chamada. And if you approach, be aware, that the knee, the elbow or the head of the caller are always very close. You come into close contact with the other person. You actually do touch the person for a longer time (which is not very common in an Angola game). So every step during the Chamada is dangerous and does call for a high level of attention by the player (so much about relaxing, as I said earlier in this post).

The approach

You are playing in the roda. Suddenly your partner does make a couple of steps away from you and lifts both hands, facing you, waiting. You have to approach. There is no rule how you should approach. It is mostly group-specific. Some groups do have the rule that the one who is called can show his acrobactic abilities for a while and then approach. Some teachers do attack you when you do not respond to their Chamada immediately. In most cases it seems to be ok to move on the ground, approaching slowly.

It is always important to be highly attentive when you approach. It is sometimes said that the approach and the leaving of the Chamada are the most dangerous situations. I disagree. As long as you are in close contact to the other player, engaging in the Chamada, attention and alertness are the things you have to rely on. And this is not only the fact for the approach and the leaving, it is also important between these two situations.

While you are coming closer and closer, do use your arms to defend yourself against upcoming knees, feet or downcoming elbows, until you are in a position when you are very close to him and are still quite save.

The Dance

Then the Dance begins. If you have the passive part, you follow your partner. Be alert, he might set up a trap. If he sees that you are alert, he might refrain from trapping you. You will feel the tension in yourself, and if your partner is good, he will seem not to be tensed at all!

Getting out

And the end of the Chamada, the person who called will show the Way. He will point to the direction in which the game should continue. You are not obliged to go that way, because it might be a trap, too. But most people still follow the game, of course being alert (again).

Which types of Chamadas are there?

When I think about it, I might know something like 6 or 7 types of Chamada. I know there are much more, but I think I know the most common ones. Describing them is impossible. I will just post links to different types of Chamadas. But while watching these videos, do mind that there are the little subtleties which are very important for the Chamada. When you go into the Chamada, you usually know and think about the exact position of your hands, your feet and your head – and the position of the same of your partner. Especially if you are the one who has been called AND if the one who called you is a Mestre!

Videos

The first video does show a teaching session, showing one of the classic Chamadas. Mind that the way this guy teaches this is not reaaaally the nicest. A Chamada has much more of a dancelike and ritualistic appearance than just five steps forward and back, and showing to the ground. The second video, which is displaying three Chamada situations, is much nicer (at least for an Angoleiro 😉 ). It does show two other common types of Chamada (the one where the Caller turns his back to the called person and the one where the called person has to bow down and is in close proximity and in the ideal position for a knee hit). The video does also show that not only the person calling can attack. Both persons are in danger of getting a take down or a serious hit. The third video I found about this is really nice, cause it shows Mestre Joao Grande in action. In this video you see the 4 most common types of Chamada. But there is also another lesson to learn from this game. At 2 minutes 30 you see that he lifts his hands into the air, calling the other player into the Chamada. What the other player was supposed to do is also lift both his hands, which is of course quite a danger. And Mestre Joao Grande does directly show why, because then you are vulnerable to a Cabecada. Much more interesting for us here is that the Mestre called the other player, let him approach, and directly attacked him, thus stopping the Chamada ritual and continue playing “normal”. A Chamada doesnt have to end in the normal ritualistic way. It can end at any given time with an attack.

More information?

Is there more you know about the Chamada? Other things I forgot to tell cause I got lost in this huge bulk of text (hey, I’m not a professional writer!)? Is there anything I could learn about the Chamada and you could tell me? Please do! It’s kind of sad that there is so little information online to be found about the Chamada. And if some of you did find good information, Just post the link! That would be great!

I hope this post did help you understand a bit about the Chamada. I know that it is also pretty undetailed information and that it does not really go into the philosophy of the Chamada (and there is most definitely a huge bulk of philosophy behind it), but hey, at least I set a beginning with this post, right?

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