Local capoeira students host demonstrations this weekend

POSTED: 10/20/11 2:06 PM

St. Maarten – Thirty-five local Capoeira students will receive their belts during a Batizado or “baptism” ceremony this weekend. The ceremony is part of a three day event being organized by Soualiga Capoeira that includes capoeira masters from Brazil and the United States of America. The visiting masters for the weekend event include the overseer Master Efraim Silva, Contra-Mestre George Palmares, Mestre Pinga Fogo and Mestre Beck.

This is the seventh Batizado ceremony. All students were graded using the ASCAP grading system. Two of the 35 will get green belts – the first level – and the other 33 will get several different colors.

The group getting belts this weekend is one of several who learn the Brazilian martial art of capoeira at several locations across the island. Because of the number of practitioners there will now be two grading events per year. One group will be tested in October and the other will be tested in June.

This year’s Batizado will be the first time that the high level students who are preparing to become instructors will organize the event. Two of them Karesa Stay and Kennedy Drapin are one step away from being instructors, making St. Maarten the first island in the Caribbean to produce 5 “Estagiere” level capoeiristas. This year’s Batizado is also the first time the event will be split between the French and Dutch side.

This weekend’s Batizado is also open to the public and will consist of public demonstrations, classes and workshops for all levels including newcomers.

“If you are into dance, martial arts, acrobatics, music, culture and more you definitely don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. The general public is kindly invited to come out and support the young members of the group, who have worked diligently all year in preparation for this event,” local Capoeira Professor (Graveto) Tyrone Phelipa said.

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