Essential Capoeira: New Capoeira Book Comes Out

8 01 2008

From Blue Snake Books:

Essential Capoeira, by Mestre Ponchianinho(Essential Capoeira: The Guide to Mastering the Art; Available January 29, 2008)  Fun, different, and above all effective, capoeira is a unique dance-fight-fitness program enhancing strength, stamina, and flexibility training for the entire body. … In clear, accessible language, author Mestre Ponchianinho explains the aims and benefits of the discipline, along with its history, origins, and philosophy. He continues by introducing the two main styles along with the techniques of the most famous mestres. Easy-to-follow warm-ups, basic moves, defense and escape moves, kicks, training combinations, strengthening exercises, ground movements; and more advanced acrobatic movements are all described and illustrated in step-by-step photographs. […]

Ponciano Almeida began studying capoeira in Brazil at the age of four and was teaching with the Cordao de Ouro school by the age of fifteen. An instructor and performer who appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he lives in London.  [Editor’s note: Most likely no relation to Mestre Acordeon, aka Bira Almeida, or it would almost certainly have been mentioned here.]

What do you guys think?  I’ve never actually read a “technical” capoeira book before.  One reason is that I’ve always thought it wouldn’t be worth it for me to get one, because I would either have learned the same things in class; not be able to use what I learned from the book if it didn’t fit with my group’s style; or just not have time to train according to the book on top of the time I was already using to train in class.  On the other hand, I’m sure they could be very useful in terms of clarifying technique and details of how you do the moves you do know and can make use of, and it’s always a good idea to expose yourself to how others do things.  The mandatory history/philosophy/cultural analysis section that seems to accompany most things written on capoeira might provide interesting, additional insight as well. 

That first line worries me a little though—“dance-fight-fitness program”?!   Not that Nestor Capoeira is in one (knock on wood), but if there were a grave, he would probably be rolling in it right about now… Still, I’m definitely not one to judge a book by its cover, especially before it has even come out!  Plus, the author was in the fourth Harry Potter movie, which, you know, is just cool. 😛