Capoeira. In English you would say the circle, he’s aware, Capoeira, lives. Where all of the action takes place, but also their heart will say it’s a small world, preparing you for the big world. You’ll see the culture. You’ll see the ritual.

You’ll sense the quality of Capoeira and the situation. Circle is something very rooted into the African culture. No matter what you do, dance, gathering, always a circle. And since Capoeira has roots in Africa, Capoeira is done in a circle and the stick is called a hodder. Also you’ll see violence, hit and dance. You’ll see in very clever way. In God’s way you’ll see the jute layers are actually nylon. Of course, we have in a hodder of the circle, we have the instruments. That’s where the Capoeirista express themselves in a hodder. We have the two betting bowls. We have the pandeiros. We have the conger. We have the singer, the hands clap. And that sets the energy and the mood for the Capoerista to break abuela. Every hodder is led by Inkla, a Capoeirista, or higher court, I’d say or professor, or even structure. No one below the level should control, or lead, a hodder.

You would have to have the control. Who really needs the hodder is the main instrumental, we call betting bowl, it’s very much the soul of the art form. It’s the we have three betting bowls. Whoever plays the is the person who leads the hodder. But all people that participate is really important in the hodder. Winners screwing up hodders not as big nowadays. Today I’ve been to a hodder, no exaggeration, it had so many people. I would say I’ve been to a hodder that has 70 to about 100 people around a hodder. When I was growing up was about 10 or 20 people, no more than 30 people. Sometimes, I’m talking about Capoeirista, but of course if we do Capoeira on the street we get a very big audience because people start coming around and watching the hodder. That time was more spectator watching the hodder than actually Capoeirista.

But nowadays, it’s more Capoeirista than actually spectators watching the hodder. So everyone has the opportunity and the chance to play in the hodder. Especially when it is a lot of higher court. Instead of the low courts you cannot remove a professor. This represents that we have a presence of a lot of professors and makes very difficult for lower court to play in the hodder. And that comes in and says this is what happens so make sure everyone has it’s opportunity and chance to play. That’s what Capoeira is really all about. Bringing people together, teaching people the good sense of working together, teamwork, that’s what Capoeira really is.

And also, just to add to what he said. Every Capoeirista should be able to not only go into the hodder and be able to kick and flip and be able to play Capoeira. Every Capoeirista should be able to sing and play all of the instruments. That’s what makes, in a way, a complete Capoeira player.

That’s when you’re on your own. In school you learn techniques that teaches you this and teaches you that, but when you come to Capoeira it’s you. It’s you express yourself. And until you leave the hodder, you’ll be living life.

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Peter A Soto is a Black Belt with more than 20 years of experience, athlete, teacher and webmaster. Based in the city of San Diego, California.