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5 Tips to Get Better Games in Roda!

Train for better capoeira games in roda. Here are some helpful tips to help you strategize your capoeira game time. Apply this approach and I guarantee your games will improve and you’ll have more fun in the process.

1.) Let your goals drive your games. Plan to achieve two simple goals in each game, one strategic and one fun. For example, a good strategic goal is to practice following one of your opponent’s kicks with meia lua de compasso, or look for the chance to pull off a vingativa. A great example of a fun goal is attempting a floreio like au sem mão or macaco. Change your goals for each game but follow the principle of one strategic goal and one fun goal. A fun way to get out of your own head with this is to have a friend suggest these goals right before you play!

2.) Watch your own progress! Have someone film you in roda. When you watch the footage later, find one good thing and one thing you can improve in each game. Pay attention to patterns in your games. Don’t stop there. Watch other players and analyze their games as well.

3.) Adjust your training. Once you have reviewed your games, ask your teacher how to improve your weaknesses. Use your accomplishments as building blocks to the next level. Break all the patterns you identified. For example, don’t always start each game with the same move. Or perhaps, try mixing different moves into common combinations and sequences in your games. Practice different responses to your opponents kicks.

4.) Balance familiarity with unpredictability. Try to have a consistent training partner that you communicate with so they can help you achieve your goals. Beyond your regular training buddy, you should try to play with as many different people as much as possible. There are all different types of capoeiristas- tricky people, acrobatic people, aggressive people, etc. If you don’t have access to many capoeiristas, try to play the same people in different ways to help push you from your comfort zone and progress through your plateaus.

5.) Pay attention to your attitude. There is no pressure to be perfect. To enjoy the journey more, train with intensity and purpose and relax with the self deprecation. Allow your curiosity to come through and ask questions after trying the new techniques presented in class. Have a proactive mindset. When it is time for roda, try to play as early as you can. This will help you get over those initial nerves and allow you to maximize your roda time with as many games as you can reasonably play. Ultimately, the two attributes that I've seen lead to the most success are a positive mindset and consistency. You have to show up every week with a good attitude. Remember: raw talent is one of the least important factors in success.

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

-Calvin Coolidge

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