Staying fit and healty

17 October 2017 | Life Style

Capoeira is a form of martial arts with roots in Africa and Brazil. It encompasses dance, combat, music and rhythm and it is slowly becoming a popular hobby amongst many youth in Namibia. Fabio Morris offers Capoeira training to some youth in Windhoek's Zoo park and says it's a very important character builder for many young people.

Morris who has been practicing capoeira for the past 16 years and is a part of the Cardao de Ouro capoeira group. He says as a kid he had breathing problems and his family members suggested he does capoeira to help get rid of his health problems and that is how he fell in love with capoeira. “Capoeira has really changed my life and also improved my health dramatically. It is one of those sports which are good for your overall health,” says Morris.

He started training capoeira in 2015 when he realised that many people were not participating in it. “I wanted to create awareness about capoeira because it was not very popular in Namibia. There was an old group that taught capoeira in Namibia before I did but then they just disappeared and that is why I started offering training here to bring back capoeira in Namibia,” says Morris. He emphasised that the martial arts in capoeira is great for building a person's character and says that it is good for physique development and mental wellbeing. “Capoeira is a really great sport, almost all your body is being exercised when you are training. It has a lot of benefits and targets some major muscles in your body and is good for body coordination. It's a science,” he says. Besides maritial arts training, trainees also get music training during their capoeira classes. The trainees are taught how to play the berimbau a musical bow of African origin, pandeiro (tambourine) and the atabaque a tall hand drum. The capoeira trainer says that the martial style can be practiced by anyone and anyone is welcome to join his classes. “Our doors are open to everyone and they can join whenever they can. Capoeira has the potential to positively impact your life and change it,” he says.

Elton Shomeya, who is a part of Morris's capoeira classes, says that the classes have been a great addition to his life and says it has helped him focus more on the goals he set for himself. “You develop a lot of discipline when you participate in capoeira and it just toughens you as a person,” says Shomeya. Morris says there are three types of capoeira which are Angola, Regional, and contemporânea. “We have different styles of capoeira and we practice capoeira Regional and Angola which are the older and more traditional form of capoeira. Sometimes groups all over the world can even identify which club you come from based on your style of capoeira,” shares Morris.

There are 21 capoeira trainees that are currently exercising with Morris and he says the numbers are likey to grow as the sport gains more popularity in Windhoek. “Capoeira is way more than just about fighting but it is also about socialising and fostering discipline amongst the ones who are practicing it,” says Morris.

Morris offers classes at Zoo Park free of charge on Saturdays and Sundays at 16:00 at Zoo Park.

Shona Ngava

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