Brazil Capoeira New York

A Capoeira Anecdote


In case you ever wondered if capoeira is a real martial art, here is a funny anecdote from this weekend:

I was out for a late-night snack with some friends in the East Village. While walking down Ave A, I felt myself blindsided and body-checked by someone walking the opposite direction, knocking me a bit off my balance. Instinctively, my foot instinctively just happened place itself just behind my assailant’s achilles tendon. Rasteira.

I look up and make eye-contact with my would-be assailant. It turns out to be a young woman more on the silly side of sloppy. Her eyes say, “not a threat, no disrespect.” The placed (but not pulled) rasteira says, “appropriately non-violent defense to perceived hostility.” Or in other words, “I’ve got options if there were actually belligerent intent.” Disengage rasteira. All of this happened in a matter of seconds. Situation diffused, we go our separate ways.

Of course, if I had really been paying attention, I wouldn’t have been blindsided in the first place…

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