Yep, in addition to being satisfying, exhilirating, and liberating, capoeira
can also be frustrating at times. These are a few of the things I've struggled with, and how I deal with them:
- lack of back flexibility! Aaaargh, I thought one of the benefits
of being a female in capoeira was that you're more flexible than the guys. And I'm very flexible in my legs, hips, arms, and
wrists, but my back just doesn't bend that way. I can do a bridge, but not comfortably. This affects numerous moves such as
the escorpiao, anything hollowback, the macaco, and the caracol. I should just stretch my back more, and work on bridges.
- lack of grace. I feel like I'm spastic, sloppy, and off-balance
most of the time; I don't have this natural grace and smoothness. The most helpful thing here is practicing in front of a
mirror, because I can see what I'm doing that makes me look so awkward, and correct it. That, and focusing on controlling
- sidedness. Everyone has some degree of sidedness in capoeira,
but mine seems especially annoying. It's very frustrating having a killer armada to one side and the other side is all rocky
and weak and off-balance. The only way to fix this is to practice more to my "bad" side... and that really does
work. My aus have pretty much evened out, but I still feel a strong preference in other moves.
- you know those times in your training when you really don't feel
like you're making any progress whatsoever? The new moves you're working on aren't working, you don't feel like your game
is developing, and you're kind of in a rut? Yeah, it can be discouraging. However, every time I hit one of these phases, I
just keep training... and just when I'm really frustrated, I'll get a breakthrough move or insight into the game
or something that gets me excited about my progress again. The important thing is not to quit.
- my darned inability to macaco! What is it with this
move that I just can't get??? I mentioned the back flexibility issues... but I don't feel the motion of throwing my hips upward
and launching both legs at the same time. BAH. Ah well... at least I have the SHACACO!!! :-p
- stinky dialogue in the roda. It happens to everyone, those games in which
you're just not "clicking" or communicating well. Sometimes the problems can be fixed by a break - volta ao mundo or returning
to the foot of the berimbau to restart - but other times you're just off. The strategy I use is to try to simplify my game
and really focus on seeing what the other person is doing and reacting accordingly, so that there aren't collisions.
- arrogant capoeiristas. Those who think that their group is the best, or that
their way to train is the only way, or that they themselves are the hottest thing in the roda. Most of the really likeable
and respectable mestres and capoeiristas I've met are also the most humble and open-minded.
- capoeira politics: mestres who won't train you if you've trained with other
mestres, group rivalries, ugly incidents in rodas that don't get resolved amicably, students of one group beating up on students
of another group. Capoeira politics haven't affected me personally all that much, but it's annoying to see... however, it's
a part of the art. I try to get along with everyone and so far I've been pretty successful...