Self-Defense Hidden in the Form of Dance

Kick, punch, duck.

These are the most basic defense skills of martial arts.

A little known form of martial arts is called Capoeira, a Brazillian martial art that was brought to the U.S.

These Capoeira students learn more than just defense skills; they learn how to sing in Portuguese, dance, and many other things.

Penn Manor junior Selena Hasircoglu goes to Quest Total Fitness on Tuesday and Thursday nights for her Capoeira class.

She, along with Russell Thorsen, are the only Penn Manor students to go to the class. Hasircoglu said that, at the most, about 15 people participate in her Capoeira class.

“If you want to do it, you need to train hard, ” Hasircoglu said. “It’s a bit like dancing and f

Selena shows off a Capoeira move. Photo by Sarah Gordon

ighting combined.”

Hasircoglu saw a demonstration in Lancaster City and said she could see herself doing it.

In May, she met someone who took classes and watched another Capoeira demonstration during First Friday. Soon after, Hasircoglu began taking classes.

Hasircoglu says she gets what she wants out of it.

“It’s a lot more than just physical work and cool moves,” Hasircoglu stated. “It’s also peaceful. The mind you set going into the circle and fighting is invigorating.”

She said in class a warm-up is always the first activity. After, they practice sequences, different combination and moves. Later, they do handstands and various acrobatic moves. The class then circles up and fights or the students sing to wrap up each class.

In September, Hasircoglu went to her first Batizado or baptism, where the students would receive their first cord or advance to the next cord.

She passed with flying colors and received her green cord. A cord is like a karate belt with the green cord as the first belt. For each cord, the students add the color of their level onto it. For example if someone is a level two, then the cord will be green and yellow.

Hasircoglu and Thorsen are always available to discuss this little known art.

By Sarah Gordon

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