Once, I asked Mestre Edan, a capoeira master and the teacher of many great capoeiristas worldwide, about the key quality that transforms a student into an extraordinary capoeira player. His response was unequivocal: “To be an autodidact.”
Another concept introduced to us by Jim Rohn is “Don’t send your ducks to eagle school.”
“Good people are found, not changed. They can change themselves, but you can’t change them. If you want good people, you have to find them. If you want motivated people, you have to find them, not motivate them. (…) Don’t waste your time trying to turn ducks into eagles. Hire people who already have the motivation and drive to be eagles and then just let them soar.”1
As we discussed before, the capoeira group can be considered a leadership and personal development factory that people join voluntarily and stay for various reasons.
In the previous post, I wrote about the “Over the line” concept, where a teacher or a leader has to push people towards the common goal. It’s done through inspiration, motivation, information, teaching, and good leadership. But you alone cannot carry everyone across the line. You need to create a growth culture in your community. And what if you could create a generation of people where they start to help each other?
CULTURE: from the Latin cultus, which means care.
Culture is all a community’s beliefs, values, and attitudes, and how they influence the behavior of its members.
a strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.
When a train doesn’t have momentum, even a brick on the rails can stop it. But when the train gains momentum, it can crash into the cement wall, and people in the back won’t even notice it.
A reminder to myself.
I consider myself an intense person. Some people might say I’m crazy about capoeira. In fact, I’m crazy at whatever I do.
Malandragem is a Portuguese term for a lifestyle of idleness, fast living, street smarts, cunning, and resourcefulness – traditionally celebrated in samba lyrics, and deeply rooted in Brazilian culture and history. It reflects a way of navigating life with a certain cleverness and adaptability, often in the face of adversity.
Harsh language ahead. Beware!
I have always been sort of a geek. And even before going to my first capoeira class, I read the whole Wikipedia on the subject and came overprepared. I couldn’t do any movement, but I already knew about the traditions, lineages, styles in capoeira. Now I don’t recommend doing it extensively or having any high expectations before doing anything. Do your research, but “empty your cup” for new experiences.
I see there are two ways to understand identities. One level is where you associate your self with a work, school, group, or lineage. Another level where you associate yourself with habits you do day-to-day.