T Nation

Capoeira Instruction

I’ve been meaning to get into a martial arts for a while, and I’ve decided upon capoeira (Lateef Crowe’s video decided it for me). Before you go off on me, I’m not doing this to learn actual self-defense (Muay Thai’s for that), but to develop coordination and acrobatic skills (among other things).

I figure that you can’t learn this on your own just from videos and books, so I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find a school in or near Riverside, California (about an hour east of LA)… preferrably cheap (if you think I could learn the basics from a YMCA type place, just say so, cause I can’t afford $100/month).

Also, if you know of any bjj/muaythai/kempo (any good self-defense art) schools nearby, that’d work too :).


Also, I just found out that one of my dad’s coworkers runs an aikido dojo with her boyfriend (a 7 degree blackbelt or something)… would Aikido be ok?

Capo and Aiki are pretty dissimilar… 7th degree black belt means nothing, whats imporatant is who his teacher is/was. Why don’t you go check out the aikido school as see if you like it? I’m sure you can find a capo school in your area also

There’s 5 in San Diego and like 10 in L.A., but they’re all too far away.

I’m pretty sure the aikido gym’s good (and way cheaper than the BJJ one I had picked out), I just wanted to make sure that they had enough of a similarity to capo… cause after watching all the videos posted on here, I’ve decided to try it.

I think you’d be surprised at the self-defense aspect of Capoeira - takedowns, head butts, knees. They are different ‘games’ and most people see only the ‘friendly’ games played outside the academy. And of course it depends on your mestre’s teaching style etc.

At any rate, while both Capoeira styles are great, if you really want to work on coordination and especially acrobatic skills, opt to study the Regional style.

I don’t know of a school in or near Riverside, California, but you should e-mail some in LA & perhaps they could educate you. They might hold classes that are not necessarily at the main academy although closer to where you are. (For example, our main academy is in Toronto, but also offers smaller classes in three surrounding suburbs.)

When you mention Capoeira vs. Aikido, I’d say try both & see which one you feel drawn too. Capoeira is unique - it’s a study not only the physicality of the moves, but you’re exposed to the culture (music - singing & instruments, history, philosophy & language). I respect all martial arts (I was also drawn to Muy Thai), although Capoeira was the one that continually captivated me for as long as I can remember. Only you can decide what is appropriate for you.

shoot me a PM to remind me and I’ll find you whatever you’re lookin for in the morning…

I wouldn’t look to aikido if you aim to learn acrobatic skills and the like. Aikido’s most dynamic moves are variants of falling, really, and don’t have the same energy that capoeira does. Aikido is a relatively good self-defense art, but defense is all you’re really able to use it for as it’s almost entirely a reactive style.