Parents and children have a tough job choosing extracurricular activities. Today, our families have so many choices it can be overwhelming. From team sports to music and art lessons, our marketplaces are full of options for a family who is looking to enrich their child's education and life experience.
Usually, a fortunate child will have the opportunity to participate in one or two physical activities and then one arts related activity in a school year.
The parents have a few things to consider when choosing an extracurricular activity. What will their child gain from participation? How much time is required? What is the cost? It is rare for an activity to include a variety of diverse benefits. Capoeira is one of the few activities that achieves this.
Top 7 benefits of kids capoeira classes:
provide strength and flexibility training
develop character traits such as diligence and perseverance
encourage both team cooperation and individual competitiveness
teach Brazilian music
expose kids to a new language, Brazilian Portuguese
provide a positive social environment where both children and adults interact together
provide an opportunity for family involvement
Kids are naturally drawn to capoeira because of its rhythmic music, exciting interactions, and acrobatics. it can be fast paced and loud. Kids love things that are exciting and dynamic. Capoeira has that covered! Once a child is exposed to what capoeira can be like, they eagerly step up for the challenge of learning the movements and the music.
One of the first things an observer will note about capoeira is the physical ability of its participants. Capoeiristas move quickly. They jump, bend, and even flip. People often note how amazing it is that they never seem to strike each other and question if in fact they are really trying to do so. As an experienced capoeirista, I can assure that they are trying to hit one another. A good capoeirista is not trying to hurt anyone, but he or she is trying to be tricky and catch his or her opponent either with a kick or a take down. A good capoeirista is also trying to accomplish this with style and grace, not brute force. These are the skills that all capoeira students learn.
Children who learn capoeira learn how to respect their opponents and also how to trick and trap other capoeiristas while not just blasting each other with blows. All of these skills require strong and limber bodies which are obtained through consistent training of the sport. During classes students exercise and participate in challenging high cardio activities. This training is fun because all children love to run, jump, and play. The movements they focus on are play based such as frog jumping, bear crawling, and handstanding.
A solid capoeira program will have fit instructors who participate in these activities and who challenge the students. These instructors serve as amazing role models. They are adults to work hard to maintain strong and able bodies that are able to continue playing and improving in capoeira. Individually, participants are challenging themselves to learn moves and kicks, to become faster and trickier, and to be able to dominate their opponent.
Collectively, capoeiristas are responsible for contributing to their environment by singing, clapping, and playing instruments. They bring energy and inspiration to the other participants and are partly responsible for the overall group experience. During training, students work together to learn the movements and the music. They learn to encourage each other and to work as a team. Not many activities work this way.
The music and song of capoeira also offer unique challenges and benefits. The songs are in Portuguese and many times a capoeira school will incorporate the Portuguese language in to their instruction as well. This promotes a bilingual atmosphere for the students. The rhythms and instruments are taught to students at all levels. While the songs have a mysterious effect because they are in a foreign language, a student can discover the rich history of capoeira and its origins when translating their meanings. Many songs are about figures in capoeira's history and include folklore and imagery of the geographical regions in which it was created.
As students mature personally and in their development of this martial art, they continue to find new and interesting facts about capoeira. Capoeira continues to challenge students on all levels as they grow. Students are even stretched in their character and will be challenged by the difficulty of the art. Once students are committed to learning the art, they then find themselves attempting more difficult feats with their bodies and minds. This can be an exceptional challenge and the work it will take the student is guaranteed to increase his or hers diligence and mental endurance. Students of capoeira learn that really fun things can require great amounts of work and effort. They also discover how to enjoy the experience of learning.
Capoeira has many difficult components that will require students to accept that they may not excel the first time they try something. They must keep trying and working so they can experience success and that delayed gratification is far more satisfying than an immediate one. Delayed success can be a difficult thing for one to appreciate in our world today. Capoeiristas learn this through consistent practice that is necessary to learn skills like playing instruments, learning flips, and being able to trap opponents within a game.
The final benefit could be the most valuable to some families. Capoeira is an art that is multigenerational! Anyone who wishes to learn the art is able to experience it. This means that families can participate together in capoeira. Not every family will take advantage of this possibility, but the ones that do will be greatly enriched. Families are strengthened when they play and learn together. When children hit adolescence, family unity and communication might be tried and it is through hobbies and activities that individuals within that family will connect. Capoeira can be a great family strengthener. It not only keeps the individuals healthy, but also maintains a healthy family unit. Whether a child participates independently or with his or her whole family, capoeira can make a powerful difference in the quality of that child's life. This is why my girls train capoeira and why your kids should too.