I had the strange experience yesterday of being able to do a move in capoeira I hadn't been able to do the day before. We were working on a move that started with queda de rins, an arm balance I actually could do before I started playing because it's basically side crow in yoga. However, we were doing with our legs straight. I couldn't quite get my legs straight and both off the ground on Monday. On Tuesday, I could. (The next step, still beyond me, is caracol, in which you flip your legs behind you.)
I am getting better, and I know this not just because of my own judgment, but because two teachers whom I trust have told me so. This doesn't mean my other teachers aren't truthful, or I suspect them of a dreadful conspiracy to falsely build up my self-esteem, but some teachers are more heavy-handed with the "that's great" as a form of encouragement than others.
Improvements to queda de rins aside, what has changed is not that I can suddenly do backflips and other fancy floreios, but that I've been relearning the basics, correcting a lot of the technical flaws I didn't know were there. For that, most of the credit is due to my teachers. Sure, I show up and practice, but they're pushing me to correct what I didn't even realize were errors or weak spots. That, cats and kittens, is why you can't teach yourself capoeira.
I am excited that many of my capoeira friends will be in town next week for the Capoeira Angola Palmares big event. It will be fun to play against them and to see how their game, too, has changed.