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Old 10-20-2004, 10:14 AM   #1
Donald Woodson
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I went tooling around town yesterday, just checking out the various gyms, dojos etc., and the local YMCA had a flyer offering Capoeira. I tried to google it, but I guess I'm not spelling it right, because I can't find anything on it. The flyer says it's a Brazilian/African martial art.
Does anyone know anything about it? Is it standup, kicking, punching etc, or grappling/groundfighting? Or a mixture?
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Old 10-20-2004, 10:27 AM   #2
Brian McCarrie
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Capoeira was developed in Brazil and is a mixture of dance, gymnastics and fighting. There is no ground fighting. My daughter took a Capoeira class this past summer and it was pretty cool. You have to be strong, flexible and good rythmn helps too. If you're looking to learn how to fight, it might not be the best art to practice. If you're looking to do some cool kicks with flips and cartwheels and stuff then you might like it. They should have a free class, check it out.
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Old 10-20-2004, 11:18 AM   #3
Donald Woodson
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Oh ok. Cool kicks, flips and cartwheels would not be my choice for a fighting skill. Sounds like great exercise though.
I also found a book on Krav Maga yesterday too. That seems to be much more my kinda fightin'. I haven't read it all yet. I've thumbed through it and some of the stuff I already know, and some that I don't. But this particular book seems to be missing some pretty basic stuff too. Stuff that should be in everyone's repetoire (IMO).
Problem with KM though is, the nearest dojo to me is clear on the other side of Missouri. Nothing in the St Louis area, and nobody in my neighborhood wants to play with me.
So I'm pretty much stuck with reading, movement reps and visualization as far as Krav Maga goes.
There is another gym in town that teaches Muay Thai though. It was closed yesterday. Somebody did tell me that a couple of UFC hopefuls work out there. Might be fun to watch.
Think I'll pass on the Capoeira though.
What would really be cool though is a nearby Crossfit gym, with a side of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
There are some disadvantages to living in the boonies.
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Old 10-20-2004, 11:21 AM   #4
Brian Gibson
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If you are looking for fighting skills, then Muay Thai(or at least some Western boxing) with an equal helping of bjj would be the way to go.
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Old 10-20-2004, 11:29 AM   #5
Keith Wittenstein
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Donald

Keep searching the internet because I am sure there are sites for it like http://www.capoeira.com/

It was developed by african slaves in Brazil. It is as much about dance as it is about fighting. The story I heard was the slaves disguised their martial arts practice by adding music and turning it into a dance so that they could fool their guards into letting them practice. There is no actual contact but they do lots of spinning kicks and cartwheels, handstands and other amazing gymnastic feats.

If you want to develop some of the gymnastic elements for crossfit in a fun way, then I say go for it. For example I've seen capoeira classes where they practice walking across the floor on their hands and handstand pushups. You'll develop flexibility too. Part of the crossfit dogma is to try new sports and play.

FYI, a majority of breakdance moves were stolen directly from capoeira.

Joining a capoeira class also increases your likelihood of meeting beautiful Brazilian women, if that's a concern of yours.
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Old 10-20-2004, 11:46 AM   #6
Keith Wittenstein
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Donald

Ahhh, I see you are more interested in fighting. That changes everything.

Go find a place to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Visualizing Krav Maga moves will do you about as much good in a fight as visualizing new sneakers will help you in a race. You have to spar. You have to practice the moves under real conditions with a person really struggling to resist, defend and counter attack. Visualization is a usefull tool for certain jobs, however mere visualization will leave you unprepared to really address a situation with many more variables than you have trained for.

Boxing, Thai Boxing, BJJ are all effective because they emphasize live sparring. They emphasize application of techniques under conditions that can simulate as safely as possible real life fighting. Eye gouging and nut grabbing are great but the fact that you can't practice those moves safely reduces their probability of success under stressful scenarios. Whereas punching, kicking, joint locks and choking can be practiced with non-compliant partners repeatedly and at full intensity and can therefore be perfected. That increases their likelihood of success in a fight.

I know Krav Maga does some sparring too, I don't mean to dis KM, I just want point out that visualization and memorizing techniques without applying them full force is not as effective as live sparring.
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Old 10-20-2004, 11:50 AM   #7
Donald Woodson
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Thanks for the link and the slaves vs. guards history. That's interesting, and ingenius!
But I think I'll keep my embarrassing handstand walk attempts in the seclusion of my basement.
As far as the beautiful Brazilian women go, sounds nice, but I'm married. Plus there's probably not a lot of them running around here. "Corn fed and country bred" seems to be the norm around here.
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Old 10-20-2004, 12:34 PM   #8
Donald Woodson
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That's my problem Keith. I have no one to play with. Did lots of full contact sparring when I was a kid in Shotokan and TKD (with safety kicks). I'm well aware of the lack of a training partner being a hinderance to proper training.
You mentioned Muay Thai. Not real familiar with it. Seems I saw it one time and from what I saw, it was basically just a flurry of alternating roundhouse kicks. Am I wrong?
Anyways, I'm really more interested in fitness and health improvement/preservation at this point in my life, but it would be fun to go for a roll on the mat again.
BJJ is another one that's rare in these parts.
Around here, it's the NASCAR drivers that are considered "athletes". :biggrin:
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:16 PM   #9
George Koupatadze
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Donald,
Muay Thai is considered by many to be the best stand-up fighting art/sport. MT paractitoners have always dominated people from other stand-up arts/sports be it taekwondo, karate, or any others. Beleive it or not but it's hard to find a Muay Thai gym up here in Chicago. There are some gyms in Illinois but all too far from me. If you get a chance, you should definetely check out a MT gym. BJJ is another great art but you probably won't find any instruction where you are at. Krav Maga is OK but I would chose MT and BJJ over it. Good luck!
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:18 PM   #10
Keith Wittenstein
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With the rise in popularity of BJJ and mixed martial arts, it's hard (but not imposible) to believe that there isn't someplace to train near you.

Did you look at bjj.org? http://www.bjj.org/academies/#IL

Muay Thai is a form of kickboxing from thailand. It's pretty brutal. It emphasizes use of the fists, backfists, elbows, knees and kicks. Unlike boxing, muay thai allows striking from the clinched position which is extremely effective.

I think you would be well served by spending a few hours with google and looking up muay thai, boxing, brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts. There has got to be someway for locals to beat each other up in your area. Be sure to check local universities and ymcas and law enforcement agencies.

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