Freelance capoeira artist Maria Frolova
Hello! My name is Maria and I am a coach at one of the biggest capoeira schools in the world.
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art with elements of acrobatics, dance and combat. Have you tried it? If not, you are missing out! I don't know anyone who is indifferent to the brainchild of my life.
Capoeiristas are amazing people, you will not see such people anywhere, in any sport. It's a martial art - but if you get hit in the head with your foot, you apologise and take your partner to the emergency room. It's acrobatics - but no one will ever scold you for not pulling your toe.
Capoeiristas are free artists, they make their bodies very sturdy by performing day in and day out movements that are very much like dancing, but with this dance you can get hit on the head if you don't duck in time. I train children from the age of three and adults. I see a lot of different people with different abilities every day, and capoeira is equally good for everyone. When I came for my first training session, I was surprised and amazed at the kindness with which all the guys treated you. I come from a professional sports background and have been competing for many years. The relationship between athletes in a singles sport, where everyone competes against each other, and in capoeira is very different. Here you are welcomed with kindness, with joy. If a newcomer doesn't understand something, they will always explain and help, not only the coach, but also the classmates.
How surprised I was that I could play musical instruments and sing, even though it had never even occurred to me before. Capoeira brings out different talents in people and it's just amazing.
I train every day, and every time I admire the fact that there is always something to learn here. The process of learning capoeira takes a lifetime. I have taken part in master classes in Brazil, in Europe - with trainers who are well over 60 years old. And they are still perfecting their skills.
Capoeira has a belt system. Each belt denotes your capoeira level. For each belt you have to meet a certain level: the higher the belt, the cooler you have to be and the more responsibility you have. As in many martial arts, we do not have a client-trainer relationship, but rather a student-trainer one. We treat our coaches with reverence. For every student, the coach is like a parent. For the trainer, in turn, the student is like a child. I have students twice my age but I treat them with enormous trepidation, occasionally even bursting out the phrase "well, my children, today is going to be a tough workout". No matter how strange it may sound, but the attitude is just that.
The school where I teach and study at the same time, as I have written before, is the largest in the world. The main difference between us and many others is that our instructors are not just colleagues, partners, but also friends. We enjoy training with each other. We train not because we "have to", but because we really want to and we enjoy it. We train together, travel, learn new things and support each other.
Maria Frolova, trainer at Real Capoeira SchoolTelegram Bonita
Photo: Maria Frolova's personal archive