The Kingston University Capoeira club is looking for new members after a decrease in interest during the pandemic.
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art. It is known for its complex manoeuvres which are heavily focused on acrobatics.
The club has been running at the university for 11 years, and QMC Capoeira, the school that runs it, has been open for over 15 years. It is the most awarded capoeira club in the UK.
KU club president, Canon Kingston Manuel, says that interest in joining the club has been affected by the pandemic and that numbers need to increase for the club to survive.
He said: “Before the pandemic our numbers were increasing and due to the pandemic, the numbers have fallen. We have been pushed to a situation where we need to recruit more than eight people to the club in a short time period.”
Coach Marcus Cabeça says that the difficulties which they have faced as a club have been hard to overcome.
He said: “Last January I had 20 people booking classes with my club. This January I had four, so that’s a huge difference. For the university club, the pandemic has been hitting really hard. A lot of students are from overseas so obviously with the uncertainty for them, they are looking at other priorities.”
Due to current restrictions, the Capoeira lessons have had to take place on zoom. Cabeça went on to describe the changes that have been made to the sessions to accommodate members from home.
He said: “We’ve redesigned the classes for the online sessions so that people can do them indoors. I’ve also made sure that we can get people sweating during the sessions. We use some music and also we use the features of Zoom to talk more about the history of capoeira, and I’m also bringing some masters of capoeira to do some workshops for the students, which is easier as I don’t have to get them in from Brazil.”
The welcoming nature of the club has been emphasised by the number of overseas students that have joined.
Jakub Ujczak is a Kingston University student from Poland. He is a member of the Kingston University Capoeira club and says that new members should not be concerned about the physical demands of the sport.
He said: “It seems that the most important is the first step, as lots of people seem to feel intimidated by a first impression of the entertaining nature of capoeira which looks dangerous, maybe too demanding for non-trained bodies, whereas the environment created by the society and by Marcus’s club is very welcoming and adjusting regardless the space you have, your martial arts or physical prowess.”
Manuel also suggested that the community feel created by the club is a great feature.
He said: “By being part of this club, I was able to improve my physical capabilities such as agility, speed, strength and stamina. Apart from that, the club helped me to be more confident, proactive, organised and I learned to handle responsibilities given by the club very well.
“There are many students who are looking to improve their skills. I believe joining our club will lead them in a successful, positive path.”
As well as the university club, the QMC runs eight classes weekly. Three of these classes are for children, and five for teenagers and adults.
If you would be interested in joining the Kingston University Capoeira club you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also take a look at their Instagram account.