Goals Without Capoeira


I have a new goal. The next time I give a lecture, I want to do it without mentioning Capoeira! Last week, I gave a dynamic talk to first-semester medical students that discussed strategies to increase positive self-awareness and manage anxiety.

Afterward, several students said they enjoyed the talk. The presentation's content came from many of my personal challenges. I have had moments when I didn't love myself and refused to talk about my problems with others.

When any of us struggle with feeling good about ourselves or managing responsibilities, it is difficult to ask for help. Do you agree with this statement?

For men who have been told to be tough all their lives, admitting to problems and perceived weaknesses is almost impossible. I continue to have my moments when I don't want to ask anyone for help.

I'm a man, and I should be able to handle whatever comes my way. Yes, I am guilty of saying this on multiple occasions. I said it to myself this morning!

Capoeira is my therapy. What is your go-to activity for dealing with stress?

From hurricanes to political conflicts, we need to find something healthy to help with managing our emotions during this moment in time.

When I’m out drilling kicks, flipping in the sand, or playing the music of Capoeira, I am at peace. On those days when I am in the zone or experiencing flow, it feels like I am honoring my ancestors and having a conversation with God. Training Capoeira feels right.

My connection to Capoeira is why it is difficult for me to provide a lecture or give any presentation without it coming up in some form. Similar to all speakers, I use stories to reiterate my points or explain a topic. Incorporating stories enables the audience to better connect with the material.

From the thirteen years of experiences I have in Capoeira, I’ve learned a lot about myself, leadership, and strategies to impact communities. In my second book, Capoeira, Black Males, and Social Justice: A Gym Class Transformed, I share about my previous roles as a gym teacher and an after school facilitator at a Chicago elementary school. The research presented in my book continues to shape my work today.

At the university, I offer Capoeira classes on Monday evenings. I volunteer my time to teach students and faculty members because my life has benefited from exposure to Capoeira.

I use Capoeira to teach history, self-defense tactics, acrobatic movements, music, and the courage required to influence community change.

So, while I have the goal of giving a talk without mentioning Capoeira, it will not happen any time soon. I will find a way to draw a correlation between it and my speaking topics.

For a deeper understanding of Capoeira and its value in school settings, buy my latest book. To learn the basic self-defense kicks, enroll in my online self-paced course.

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