I’ve been back at capoeira for two and half weeks now, and it’s great to be back. I’m already more in shape than that first class back - doing knee dips no longer makes me want to punch the instructor in the face* - and, boy, my upper body is in much better shape than my lower body, thanks to PT. My quads are quietly crying in the corner.
However, my form is also different. I really was missing a lot of core strength, which is not a euphemism for “abs.” I mean the entire of muscles that’s below the arms and above the hips. One of my teachers noticed that in armada I no longer lean forward, which you’re not supposed to; the body is a counterbalance backwards against the forward-reaching leg. I did martelo de solo on Monday for the first time in, oh, close to a year. It’s a kick that has given me trouble since I learned it two years ago; to be honest, I’ve been kind of faking it. (Did my instructors notice? Yes. They worked on it with me, but I literally couldn’t generate the liftoff from the hips and torso it requires. I felt stupid.) For the first time, though, I actually was able to get it. When I did it properly, it felt entirely different. There is still a lot of room for improvement with it, but that was a huge step.
I will be hiking on Sunday, and I am curious to see how that feels after three weeks of capoeira.
* It’s the general principle (“knee dips suck”). I wouldn’t, of course.