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Friday, October 19, 2012

........ to B & TdC 2012

Batizado (baptism)

“The Batizado welcomes new students into the school and strengthens community bonds as recognized and nurtured by M. Bimba. Students are baptized by the floor i.e. that is, they play against higher level capoeiristas and are subsequently taken down by a rasteira to signify a continual process of humility and improvement in the game."

Troca de Cordão (exchange of the cords – belts)

“The changing of the cords signifies the level of a capoeirista. Some capoeiristas will receive a new corda before or after a game played against a Mestre in which they have to show their advancement and earn the right to wear the new corda.”

The Batizado is the most anticipated event/ experience of the year; a combination of graduation + prom night + annual day. New students are excited and the older experienced ones anticipate something new and feel a sense of pride and joy moving on to the next level. It’s a day that demonstrates and acknowledges one’s hard work, perseverance, blood, sweat, tears of joy and possibly some nicks and cuts and, most of all, a sense of accomplishment for that time period. I am still a novice in the universe of capoeira i.e. I’m 2 Batizados old so I have, thus far, experienced 1 year as a newbie and 1 year as an experienced student. Now is my time to move levels up.

There is a lot to experience and gain from the weeks we spend together as a group and with our guests. This year we have expanded to many centres with our line-up of senior instrictors. The tree is growing branches and leaves with each leaf being represented by us – the students. This batizado will marks 6 long eventful years of Capoeira India, it will include students of our Master Reza ‘Baba’ Massah and students of our Sr. instructors, it will include 2 weeks of absolute high energy, talents, workshops, music, festa, the planning and THE EVENT itself.
Apart from the obvious, we become 1 large albeit loud, chaotic, moody, funny, crazy and high on axe familia. We learn so much about 1 another from just spending time or taking charge of certain responsibilities together. The hidden talents and skills make an appearance. There is an almost relaxed to hyper-adrenaline change in the weeks leading to the event. Seniors step up their game and are given independent responsibilities or sole ownership of many crucial points for D-day; here our experiences as students kick in which we emulate as seniors. Our teacher (Baba) serves as a constant guide and support during this time. He is truly a 1 man army probably on an entire plant of Gurana‑ a‑day (you would if you need to deal with us brats). We fight, we play, we work and then we retire for the evening with a chilled bottle of beer and laugh at each other with each other at what we did and what was left out. These stories remain with us until we create new ones the following year to replace the old ones.

The main day is an unbelievable experience. It has its share of high octane energy and peaks and valleys just like any event or show does. But the difference is that where we would have 1 pair of hands, 50 more show up to help you iron out the creases. The Batizado is conducted as a planned and choreographed show (apart from the rodas) with a few impromptu modifications. But the beauty is that we are all soooo well versed that there is just no glitch and we blend in. ‘Tis true when we say “Just bring your energy.” Really that’s all that matters. When you are so happy and going through such a rush, the audience hardly ever realizes what happened behind the scene. They are already wowed by us. Another notable feeling I go through is quite similar to the 1 I experienced during my school sports and annual days. Your family comes beaming with pride and wondering what all are you going to perform. We turn into little children asking them to spot us and make sure to take the signature pictures for keepsake. Family dynamics never change. Each ‘kid’ will always be ‘the star’. The rush during the Batizado also changes your game and your experience as a capoeirista. You will go through waves of excitement, a moment of humility in games where you have been taken down, moments of exhaustion followed by a split second change to absolute axe, moments of trance where you are sucked in by the bateria and their resounding music. The songs sound different and even your body feels different. You invariably try new moves, moves you saw, moves you dared never try or thought you just couldn’t do it. Your perspective and understanding of capoeira or the people in your capoeira family changes; however slight. It’s a journey that’s just started. Sometimes even playing a game in a new venue, new floor, new people with many others watching, changes you. It’s a learning cuz this brings you out of your comfort zone of playing within your circle of friends and in your class where you train.

There will be some hilarious moments created by either you or your friend. Either way, we have enough to carry forward to the weekend and discuss them to stomach crunching laughter. The weekend away is the 1 time EVERYONE makes it. Everyone plans and pours over their calendars to accommodate these special days and not miss out. Sure, we have had our parties and outings but nothing beats having 40-50+ odd people from everywhere living, eating, dancing, singing, laughing etc. all capoeira. And if there is a swimming pool or a beach… eeevveeennn better J. A detailed analysis of the JUST CONCLUDED event will happen and planning for the 7th Annual Batizado e Troca de Cordao will begin…

Welcome to 6th Annual Batizado e Troca de Cordão. Love and Axe