Capoeira is community. And the people who form this community are often deeply touched by the learnings of Capoeira. In this light, we created a social media campaign #humansofacbx to showcase the lessons learned as expressed by some of our students and the impact Capoeira has had on them. Additionally, for families and supporters of ACBX to learn more about the faces we see actively engaged with the work of ABADA-Capoeira Bronx.
NADRA “GRADUADA BAIXINHA” BASKETT
Nadra, ‘Graduada Baixinha’, works closely with our kids at the studio and is part of our Board of Directors. She is one of our most committed people and one Professor Coco’s very first students. Without further ado, Baixinha:
My “government name” given to me by my parents is Nadra, my apelido (Capoeira nick name) is Baixinha which means shorty in Brazilian Portuguese. My apelido is a very important part of my Capoeira identity. I live in Westchester where I work with young people with disabilities. I come to the city to practice Capoeira, workout and socialize. ACBX is truly my second family and we often have other Capoeira and non-Capoeira related functions in our beautiful studio (though most things eminently lead to Capoeira).
I first heard about Capoeira in a magazine article that heralded Capoeira as a wonderful workout craze. I was looking for a way to spice up my workout routine and due to the fact that I did gymnastics in high school, I felt Capoeira would be a great fit for me. It took me many years to find a Capoeira school in traveling distance that would fit my schedule. I finally found one where I trained for about a year and a half. My instructor then stopped teaching and I met Prof. Coco at a local gym. For months, it was just Prof Coco and I in class. Eventually, the group began to grow and the capoeira family began to form.
Capoeira is a way of life for the Capoeirista. Once you begin your Capoeira Journey, it colors every aspect of your life. The Capoeira philosophy becomes a guide to how you approach life challenges.
There is a well-known saying in Capoeira that, “Not everyone is for Capoeira but, Capoeira is for everyone.” To me that means that, regardless of what you perceive your physical and/or mental limitations to be, if you have the desire, Capoeira has something to offer you. This is the message I hope to share with every and anyone who has even a curiosity regarding capoeira.
The hardest and most important lesson Capoeira has taught me is to never underestimate anyone, especially myself.
✨We ♥️ you and appreciate you Baixinha🙏
ANJA “PIMENTA” CABRERA
“My name is Anja, my capoeira apellido is Pimenta, which means ‘pepper’ and I am an alumna at ACBX.
I am a college student, majoring in the Arts & Design field, and a part time youth coach at a rock climbing gym. If I‘m not training, working, or at work I’m usually out in nature, hiking, rock climbing, or adventuring with my dog. Which is how I came across ACBX in 2017.
I had already come across that big CAPOEIRA banner back in 2013, that was outside of a church, but never occur to me to just go inside. It wasn’t until the summer of 2017, while walking my dog, that I saw that big CAPOEIRA sign again, and this time I made sure to go inside. If I only knew, that all I had to do to start this journey early was to go inside that church, I would’ve met my ACBX family earlier.”
✨Could you describe why you think capoeira is so important?
“I think it’s important because it is history, philosophy, art, poetry, a whole culture carried down, since the 16th century. We are playing a game, started by Afro Brazilian slaves. Learning and playing afro indigenous instruments. Understanding and singing songs in Portuguese. I mean, it’s culture being carried down.
Capoeira reminds me how to control and balance myself, during a game and in my everyday life. From balancing my handstands, to balancing a healthy way of living. I have become less timid, it has given me the confidence of playing in a roda, in front of an audience to having the confidence of speaking/teaching a class. It’s a challenge my cardio as well as my creative thinking. I try to go by what I learn in a roda, and try to apply it to my everyday life.
What I hope to impart is the essence of capoeira. The earthly way of making instruments. As well as the respect, discipline and responsibility you learn in this martial arts form.”
✨Best lesson learned from capoeira?
“Play with soul, not your emotions. And it’s not about talent but the consistency and dedication you put behind it.