capoeiraI saw the movie “Only the Strong” where an instructor decides to teach Capoeira to troubled inner city high school students.  This was my first introduction to a brazilian martial art that incorporate music, rythmn, and fighting practice into one art form.  I found a local Capoeira Club in San Jose within a couple of weeks.  I started attending regularly and got my first belt in that year. My new friends and I would go to night clubs for dancing and form circles to “battle”  (show off) against the “street dancers”.  When I moved away from this first club,  I started my own club by hiring a Mestre (“instructor”) who travel from Sacramento to Grass Valley a couple of times a week.  We held classes in a dance room above the Center for the Performing Arts.  I got my second belt the following year.


Capoeira was as immersive as it gets and such a fit for me.  In a “hoda” circle we sang portugeese songs, played drums and string instruments while two fighters danced in a musical acrobatics with continuous rotation way . . . legs and arms wailing just missing the opponent as this was a “no contact” support.  I had no idea that this multisensory activity spoke to and improved my neurological condition.  It was fun, it was a group of athletics, it was truly a performing art.  Every young and old with learning disability should look at martial arts and my personal favorite,  Capoeira.  Capoeira is motion therapy with sensory integration.