---Movement Semantics--- Is the name of a course that I run at the University of East London and in various other venues, for all those willing to learn about Capoeira movement.
Movements of Capoeira, like many other arts are named after and take inspiration from nature and our surroundings.
Over the past few years its been good to see that more people in the fitness industry have opened their eyes and minds to the benefit of movement to supplement their health.
As the movement field begins to trend and become in fashion this has slowly led to a resurrection of interest in 'traditional' art forms such as Capoeira by the mainstream- Capoeira which in its nature is movement and music based, is formless, improvised and ever transforming evolving, fusing dance, acrobatics, continents and cultures together. Its is one of the most unique and most cross over arts there exists today.
I can see this trend evolving very quickly like most other things in our information age. Movements are just taken from everywhere and anywhere by those claiming to be ‘movers’, ’movement specialists’, ‘fitness gurus’ and ‘experts’ ect with no reference what so ever to anything and are repackaged and sold just like any other product out there. Then when questioned about them all ties with the source are cut.
So by right many people have started to develop their own 'methods' and 'brands' taking a little from here and there but not tying themselves with anyone or thing instead claiming to be learning from everyone and everything - but branding it their own. ok… cool. No contradiction here so I will move forward.
This at its surface carries no problems.
Do what you want, this is not about ‘owning’ or ‘ownership’ we understand that no one can claim ‘movement’ and by right no one should be able to but we must all be very careful about this. I urge all creators, trainers, teachers of these programs to have a conscience and please think study and research, with the same enthusiasm as learning and perfecting your movements.
Unlike some I believe in the specialist -
If I have a problem with my health I would like to visit a specialist. If I for whatever reason need surgery I would like to see a surgeon. If I need advice on constructing a house I would like to hear from a specialist.
Now depending in the culture you identify with and your beliefs and perspectives your ideas of what a specialist may differ.
In my experience and perspective a true specialist in any art form, In anything, is a being that has have to have touched upon other arts forms and ideas outside their own. As ultimately everything is interconnected, all is one and one cannot work without the other this is common sense and I beleive most masters of their art and craft know and are aware of this.
At one point in our human history Maths, Science, Art and Spirituality was connected and treated inseparably, as one. One could not be without there other.
In ancient Kemet (known today as Egypt) it would of taken 25+ to be regarded as a master mason. After all university is the study of the ‘whole’ the universe. Imhotep the grand master mason was chancellor of the King of Egypt, Doctor, First in line after the King of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary nobleman, High Priest of Heliopolis, Builder, Chief Carpenter, Chief Sculptor, and Maker of Vases in Chief masters. Look at the works of Leanardo da vinci and other artist of that time and you will find that art was regarded and intertwined with science.
This is especially true to those arts that derive from indigenous ancestral cultures. Traditionally in the east this can be seen through the martial arts as many elder Masters/specialists of the martial arts and Yoga not only have experience of their art but of physical education, anatomy, medicine, different healing arts and music.
Capoeira is no different many teachers are multi skilled whether they are also working educators, teachers, musicians, healers, percussionists, dancers, fighters, shamans or Ogans.
In our field this is what is meant by 'specialist’ and why it takes so long to reach mastery and be regarded as a specialist.
The problem today is quite the contrary as there are not enough true, real specialists out there. This Unfortunately this directly a result of our modern out of control ‘profit over all’ Capitalist model, as it takes time and dedication to become a specialist and so in the short term is not regarded as ‘profitable’. So instead, in order to save time and money workers are trained quickly with just enough knowledge ’to do their job’. In south London where I am from this is what we refer to as a ‘jobsworth’, and this is true of all fields today ‘jobsworths’ are found not just the fitness field but from health to politics and right through to the banking industry, this is also the reason we find it so hard to reform. As no one knows ‘how to’, with their little and limited knowledge of the field. Leaving them scared to make big decisions which could actually change things for the better but are not taken in fear the possible negative affects of change to their own jobs and on the greater scale to their industry and society on a whole.
These ‘certified’, ‘qualified’, ‘trained’, ‘professionals’ are created as a by product of the McDonalds style assembly or production line where they're literally 'kept in line' as every worker does and knows their task alone and are easliy replaceable, in case they decide to leave, if they complain, ask for pay rise, taken ill or decide to revolt.
So please continue to study, train, research and spread your knowledge the best way you can. There is more to ‘movement’ than what meets your eye right now.
It's important for those who want to teach and pass on their knowledge to understand the root and origins of what they do the best they can as here lies their essence.
This is not about ownership or a claim to own but rather knowledge understanding and acknowledgement of what it is that you do and are doing.
For us artists and ’movers' movement is like prayer. Our Movements have intentions they carry messages, meanings our stories and those of our ancestors.
Hear me, hear them, learn then spread the message with respect.
With love, peace and power to you all always,