In a fit of New Years lets-do-something-new-ness, Ju and I have signed up for an introductory Capoeira course with these guys - and it was the first evening tonight.

It was really good fun - that seemed to be the defining principle. As other people have noted, Capoeira seems to avoid the po-faced seriousness of many oriental martial arts (oh yes - you can practice with a feeling of "joyful exhilaration" all you like once you've spent half an hour in agony on your knees ;)).

We arrived early and watched a few minutes of the previous class - which was finishing with a big happy sing-song. Then after lining up and paying for the 5-week course, the instructor, Boneco, got us doing a warm-up: lots of jumping up and down and sweeping movements, then leg lifts and some spinny sort of kicks (not being a punchy kicky guy I don't really know the proper names for these things). Lots of partner practice followed - which I found really nice, coming from aiki-land where this sort of thing dominates - and then we worked up the hall attempting to do semi-cartwheel things with various degrees of success.

...and suddenly an hour and a half had passed, and the class finished with everyone standing round clapping and singing whilst some of Bonecos students played a tamborine and a Berimbau. Everyone seemed to be having a really good time - I'm looking forward to next week already :)