Run. Sweat. Crunch. Lift. Curl. This is life at a gym, rows and rows of machinery and monotonous workout routines filled with people who are so consumed by the desire to look good and feel healthy that they lose themselves in a robotic way of life. But this isn’t the only successful approach.
Arles and Celeste, instructors and physical trainers in Lindon, help their students achieve an emotionally and physically satisfying lifestyle through an alternative and holistic martial art: Capoeira.
Capoeira is a nationally recognized martial art in Brazil. Early slaves created it as a form of protection and they disguised it as a ceremonial dance in order for it to remain undetected. Now it’s a beautiful sport filled with lyrical strides and powerful attacks. It is a sport that doesn’t just require movement. Instead, it requires rhythm and feeling.
Celeste explained that approximately ten years ag,o Americans began returning to from church services in Brazil with a newfound interest in Capoeira. They contacted several Brazilians to discuss the possibility of bringing the martial art to Utah Valley. Eventually they came in contact with Capoeira Master, Jamaika. Together, they founded groups in Salt Lake and Lindon, now holding a total of 70-80 students.
Arles and Celeste are a married couple who instruct a semiweekly adult class of ages eleven and up. Most of these students are Americans who enjoy the beat of the Brazilian drums and the group connectivity. Classes consist of grouped cardio warm-ups, the learning and revision of kicks (which are all associated to their attributed Brazilian names), paired-off partner exercises and roda, the traditional circle where all students gather clapping hands and playing instruments while rotationally, two students show what they’ve learned by fighting each other without contact. During class, because of the range in experience, students are divided according to the level they’ve reached. This approach prevents any student from getting left behind.
Megan, a 19-year-old participant, shared her feelings about Capoeira. Having learned about the sport from a friend, she has only been practicing it for three weeks. Still, she expressed how much she has enjoyed the six classes and how much she’s already learned. She now has most of the basic moves down and is already able to assist some first-time students.
In regard to her plans for Capoeira, she said, “I really enjoy it and plan on staying with it for as long as I can.”
On the opposite end of the scale, David, a 23-year-old student, has been with Capoeira for four years. Within this time period, he has been able to advance from an inexperienced beginner to the high-intermediate level. Needless to say, he loves this method of exercise.
When asked about his choice in Capoeira. he answered, “I had been doing Karate for a while but didn’t like how many rules there were, it was ridiculous . . . So I went through the phone book and it came between Kung Fu and Capoeira.”
He went on to say that he loves the freedom he has found in Capoeira.
The Lindon group is eager to show this part of the Brazilian culture and healthy lifestyle to new students. With low rates, first week free and 20% discounts for college students, it is an affordable and worthy way to remove oneself from the repetitive and enslaving lifestyle of elliptical machines, weights and floor work. Furthermore, this group is an excellent way to explore the deepest of Brazilian roots down to the very footsteps of early lifestyles. Come use this dancing art as a social and healthy tool to gaining a better routine.
By Stephanie Oliveira
Utah Valley Capoeira
308 S. 1250 W.
Lindon, UT 84042