I 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.