Free tonight in YK? Try capoeira, the musical martial art

Capoeira
Meta Antolin, left, has been a capoeira instructor in Yellowknife since 2009.
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Yellowknifers can get an introduction to the Brazilian martial art of capoeira on Thursday evening.

From 7pm till 9pm at Break Away Fitness, at a cost of $20, instructor Meta Antolin will explain the basics of a musical martial art said to have half a millennium of history.

Antolin began teaching capoeira in Yellowknife six years ago, having previously lived in Brazil. She has been training in the sport for 25 years.

Now, she’s trying to find more students.

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“Because it’s such a transient community, I get sucker-punched every time I get a good group going and I have to start up another group,” she told Moose FM.

“But we’ve performed at Folk on the Rocks and I have a very strong core of students.”

Antolin entertained visitors to Wednesday’s Yellowknife community showcase with performances on her berimbau, an instrument used in capoeira.

“Capoeira is unique in that it’s got music to it,” she said. “If you do capoeira moves without the music, you are not playing capoeira. The music is an integral part of the art form.

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“You have to be aware of the music – what the rhythm is will tell you what sort of game to play. If it’s tight, if it’s fast, if somebody has a knife, if you shouldn’t be throwing any kicks at all. Then the songs start to tell the story – either about what the musicians want to see you play, or describing what you are playing.”

Hang on a second. A knife?

“Well, if somebody has a knife, I leave,” she added, laughing.

On Facebook: YK Capoeira

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“But there is a specific rhythm that – if you hear it, and you don’t know how to play with somebody who has a hidden knife – then don’t go and play.”

It’s safe to assume you will not hear that rhythm at the introductory session. Antolin told us you don’t need to consider yourself a musical genius, either.

“You don’t need to be musical to start,” she said.

“It’s 10 minutes of class time for the music and as soon as you make it part of your schedule, you get there.”

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