We started capoeira after we had discovered that our eldest son, at the time aged 8yrs, was being bullied at school. This was not physical bullying, but emotional and psychological bullying, which eroded his self-confidence and self-esteem until he pretty much had none left.
On top of this, we discovered that both our sons have sensory issues. My eldest is sensory defensive and is easily over stimulated, especially with audio stimulation. His brother is the complete opposite and is sensory seeking. All this may appear that they are either hyper or unfocused.
After the bullying incident, my husband and I started looking for something outside the school sports for our boys to, in hope of boosting their self-confidence. We stumbled across Capoeira Valente and when called and spoke to Kirsty and Mark, they had me sold immediately. Their understanding of what I was looking for was incredible and made me feel confident in giving this a try.
Needless to say capoeira has been a life saver with my boys. Firstly, through my eldest discovering that he can do all the amazing moves and get his own body to do things he would have thought he’d never be able to, his confidence in himself has sky rocketed. My second, is now able to find the stimulation that he craves and has spent half his life upside down pretty much since the day we started. The family at Valente is incredible. One it is such a diverse group of people accepting of each other’s differences. It’s a warm and inviting family where everyone is there to push harder and face new challenges. What you learn in training and in the game of capoeira will you apply to every aspect of your life.
Recently we had a reassessment done for our first born to see where all the interventions (and we have done many) have taken us. In our feedback session we were told that in no uncertain terms are ever to stop him from doing capoeira. I must say, I was rather taken aback by how adamant the therapist was about this. There are just too many benefits. I think I could write an entire webpage on the benefits. Muscle strengthen and toning (and this isn’t big bulky muscles, but deep core lean muscles), crossing the midline in almost everything you do in capoeira from the basic ginga move to your high flying kicks, working both the left and right sides of the brain such singing a song (in another language) and keeping rhythm with your clapping and drum beating all while watching and strategizing the game of Capeoria being played. Then there is balance and the vestibular system (a lot of the movements require moving from upright to being upside down and turning etc). There are many more benefits, like I said I could go on forever.
Needless to say, my boys are hooked. They are extremely passionate about it. They have talents in the art in VERY different ways and this just speaks to who they are as people. Capoeira has created this space where they are able to be just who they are and accepting and welcoming of who others are. My husband and I have learnt so much, just by travelling the journey with our boys, that we have now embarked on our own journey. Already at the age of 41, overweight, I am amazed at what my body can actually do and have realised that there is absolutely nothing you can’t do if you tell your brain you can!
If you are looking for a sport to do as a family or something to help build confidence in your child or yourself or you’re just looking for a fun challenging workout, Capoeira is it! I was rather nervous to start as I was not sure how my body would be able handle it more and importantly whether I could break down some psychological barriers. The motto at Valente …. Seja Valente (Be brave) says it all and I promise the Valente family are there to support you. They have to my family….