Much More Than Your Average Martial Art!
Today, our families have so many choices when it comes to extracurricular activities that it can become overwhelming. From team sports to music and swimming to art lessons, our marketplace is full of options for a family looking to enrich their child’s education and life experience. Parents and children alike may have a tough time choosing extracurricular activities, but they don’t need to.
Families only really have a few core things to consider when choosing an extracurricular activity. What will their child gain from participation? How much time is required? What is the cost? It is rare for an activity to include a variety of diverse benefits while favorably satisfying these core components. Capoeira is one of the few activities that achieve this.
Capoeira (pronounced cap-o-way-da) is a high energy African-Brazilian martial art that combines self-defense techniques, acrobatics, music, dance, and culture! There are numerous reasons why Capoeira is an excellent extra curricular activity. These are our top 11.
Top 11 Reasons to Choose Capoeira
1. Your child will be active the entire time!
Our kids are not stationary in a set spot punching or kicking for the duration of the class. During classes, students exercise and participate in high-energy activities while constantly moving. Kids love this because the training is SUPER FUN, and parents love it because their child becomes more fit and coordinated all while becoming a more confident, respectful, and focused person.
Unfortunately, too much time with video games, Internet, and TV along with an overload of easily accessible sugary food and beverages have lead to a country where 1/3 of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Capoeira helps combat this childhood obesity epidemic in an enormous way. Your child will be busy moving back and forth, ducking, dodging, spinning, and jumping all while stimulating muscles they never knew they had!2. Self Defense and Anti-Bullying
Capoeira teaches control, never violence. Capoeira by nature, and our program, specifically instills unshakeable confidence and self-control which enables kids to verbally standup for themselves. Capoeira teaches kids self-defense as a tool for personal growth and development. Kids learn to treat others, as they want to be treated. They learn to respect all living things – from their parents to pets. Often, kids with violent tendencies before they joined our class change and become non-violent and respectful.
3. Acrobatics Training
Capoeira incorporates many dynamic acrobatic movements, which make classes much more fun and challenging. Acrobatics are taught at an age and level appropriate manner. Children start out by learning the basic fundamentals of acrobatics (such as cartwheels and back bridges) and then progress to learn more complex movements such as back flips, handsprings, hand-spins, aerials, and much more!
4. Music and Rhythm
Music is a core element in Capoeira. It actually helped keep the tradition of Capoeira alive through history while it was being developed. Capoeira music is always playing during the extent of class, but it doesn’t stop there! The kids actually learn to play all the instruments that they hear in the songs. Children start out by learning the basics of rhythm by clapping their hands with the beat. Then they move to learning percussion instruments such as the Atabaque (an African drum) and the Pandeiro (a tambourine-like instrument). The children will learn about and how to play a unique instrument called Berimbau, the most important instrument to Capoeira. In addition, learning and singing the songs (in Portuguese) is a part of Capoeira that brings us to the next benefit of Capoeira…
5. Learning a New Language
Capoeira was developed in Brazil and the language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese. Capoeira classes here in the United States are instructed in English, BUT children are still exposed to Portuguese in a very big way! The songs the children hear in class are all in Portuguese, and the kids actually learn the words to the songs and eventually what the words mean. Besides singing, the children learn to count in Portuguese, and all the movement names the children learn are also Portuguese words. Needless to say, if your child does Capoeira he/she will pickup the fundamentals of a new language6. History
Although it might not seem like the most “fun” part of a Capoeira curriculum, the history of Capoeira gives it meaning and soul. Children will learn a little about oppression, injustice, and the fight for freedom. They will also learn about multiculturalism, diversity, and respect for others. The way Capoeira originated and developed is actually incredibly interesting and engaging. It’s important for students to learn the history of Capoeira as it gives what they learn in class much more meaning and depth.
7. Opportunity for Family Involvement
You will love watching your children in class and you will love telling your child’s capoeira instructor how you’ve had to rearrange your living room to create adequate space for your child to practice their awesome new moves. It’s great and all to see your child really engaged in something so positive, but let me tell you something right now, capoeira is contagious! You might say “no way, I can’t do what my daughter is doing” but then somehow someway you find yourself in the Adult Beginner class next to Sally and Johnny’s parents getting an insanely awesome workout while having a ton of fun! From the side, you catch a glimpse of your child looking at you, with the biggest smile on his face, so happy and proud that Mom or Dad is doing what I do.
This benefit could be the most valuable to some families. Capoeira is an art that is multigenerational! Anyone who wishes to learn the art is able to experience it. This means that families can participate together in Capoeira. Not every family will take advantage of this possibility, but the ones that do will be greatly enriched. Families are strengthened when they play and learn together. When children hit adolescence, family unity and communication might be tried and it is through hobbies and activities that individuals within that family will connect. Capoeira can be a great family strengthener. It not only keeps the individuals healthy, but also maintains a healthy family unit. Whether a child participates independently or with his or her whole family, Capoeira can make a powerful difference in the quality of that child’s life
8. Community Involvement and Performance
Once people are exposed to Capoeira, many people are fascinated by it! Therefore, many Capoeira groups (including ours) do quite a bit of performing around town in community events, schools, festivals, and more. Whether your child is just starting out or is part of our advanced demo team, your child will have the opportunity to perform in public. This is a great way for children to build confidence in themselves and their capabilities at an early age.
9. New Friends
I can’t speak for other martial arts schools, but in ours, lasting relationships are built and genuine friends are made. The majority of our students (kids, parents, and adult students) spend time with each other after and outside of class time.
10. Life Long Character Building Skills for Success
Respect is engrained into everything we do. Often, children who come into our program with discipline or respect problems quickly fix their problem simply because they are surrounded by other children exuding respect, discipline, confidence, and friendship.
11. Learning how to Believe in You
Now, more than ever, kids need to learn to believe in themselves. They need to understand that they have the power and capability inside themselves to accomplish anything they set their mind to. We see their potential and we believe in them. Sometimes all it takes is someone else to believe in a child before they will believe in themselves. We help to show them their capabilities and how to be their best and achieve goals.
Kids are naturally drawn to Capoeira because of its rhythmic music, exciting interactions, and acrobatics. Kids love things that are exciting and dynamic. Capoeira has that covered! Once a child is exposed to what Capoeira is, they eagerly step up for the challenge of learning the movements, the music, and the elements that make Capoeira what it is.
On a personal note to you, the parent, we are parents too. We understand how much love you have for your child and how you want only the best out of life for your child. We use Capoeira as a catalyst to help instill the values that make your child the best he or she can be. We are here to work on the future and make it bright. Like the old proverb states, It takes a village to raise a child, and here at Tucson Capoeira -UCA we want to be a big part of that village