Why is Capoeira great for kids?
Capoeira provides a multi-faceted outlet for children in the prime of their self-discovery, creativity and imagination! Through the beautiful combination of martial arts, music, dance and language, they learn about themselves and make amazing discoveries. Our instructors encourage discipline through a means of self-responsibility and choice-making, not punishment. Our students learn about the Afro-Brazilian culture and have opportunities to learn Brazilian Portuguese through the practice of capoeira and its song. As a part of our program, children are exposed to musical instruments and song that cannot be found anywhere else. They also receive workshops in folkloric dances of Afro-Brazilian culture. Capoeira encourages growth on many levels and helps to teach and instill the value of loyalty, responsibility and self-confidence. In addition to the benefits above, Capoeira helps to build a strong and positive character and personality through self expression in a fun and playful environment.
What is my teaching method/practice?
In my 20+ years as an educator in various venues and art forms, never have I come across a more incredible, fulfilling and enriching experience as I have teaching capoeira to children! I enjoy teaching adults too, but there is something so magical about the discovery, the creativity and the ownership that I see children gain by training in capoeira. With every new experience and growth spurt, each class is exciting and challenging for the students and myself. I believe in teaching the whole person, no matter what age -through experience, discovery, practice (lots of practice) and integration. In class we make connections to what they are learning in their classrooms at school, what they see in their daily lives, other cultures and practices they may or may not be aware of and of course, themselves. Being “well-rounded” is no longer enough in our quickly changing world. Owning a sense of malleability, adaptability and creativity in all types of situations is extremely valuable. It is also important for our children to learn about how their bodies work at an early age, for longevity and understanding of the physical self. Injuries and long-term damage occur too often in instruction of children. Everyone has their own kinesiological fingerprint too! I teach my students basic anatomical and kinesiological awareness through imagery and metaphor. Movement is the single common language we as humans all share. Through movement practices, like capoeira, there is much to be learned!
What to Expect:
You can expect an exciting and invigorating class for your child! Class will last for one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays and just under two hours on Saturdays. You may also hear them humming or singing our songs in the car after class.
Items to bring:
- Non-restrictive clothing (please wear long pants and as much white as possible)
- A snack for your child to eat after class
- A happy face and positive attitude
Director of our Capoeira for Kids Program
Melissa “Iuna” Rex
Melissa is originally from southeastern Pennsylvania and arrived in the land of the sun in 1999 for her graduate studies in Dance at Arizona State University, where she received her Master of Fine Arts degree. Read more…
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We start students in our program as young as three years old! Children that are not yet in a regular school program tend to do better if they have another class, pre-school or activity that has them accustomed to a classroom setting. Of course every child is different, so it is helpful for us to meet your child to determine which of our weekly classes would best fit him or her. Our kid’s capoeira program is designed to continue training through the age of fourteen. At that time, when teens are growing taller and stronger, they graduate to the adult capoeira program.
Axé Capoeira values family, community and interaction on many levels. We encourage parents to stay and watch if they like – we just appreciate cooperation in refraining from calling out to your child in class. Sometimes if your child is shy and likes to run to Mom or Dad in a new environment, it is helpful to let them experience class on their own, at least in part. So many of our parents have become friends with each other which builds our community stronger!
Capoeira is like nothing else in the world of martial arts, and Brazilian culture is truly unique! Do some research online with your child – there are lots of videos on youtube and vimeo. Here is a link to an instructional video from our sister school in Toronto that can help your child get started: https://youtu.be/H-llQ2_hiD4
For your child’s first class we recommend arriving about 10-15 minutes early to meet with the instructors and mingle with the other children in the class. It is important for him/her to be well nourished and hydrated. Class will be very physically active and engaging. We look forward to meeting you and your child!
Não (no), your child will learn vocabulary for the movements and the songs we sing, as they study with us. Sometimes a second, or third language can be intimidating, but this is their prime time to get started! Our instructors are also studying, or are fluent in Brazilian Portuguese, and we offer a language class on Saturday mornings at 10am to help our students continue their language development.