Monday, December 11, 2006

Physical Preparation and Nutrition for Capoeira Seminar

We will be hosting a seminar at Hacasa about 'Physical Preparation and Nutrition for Capoeira' at the 26/1/2007.
It will include many subjects:

Building a proper warm up

Creating a personal training program for the capoeira professional

Designing and implementing a group training program to support technical capoeira

Nutrition for the capoeirista

For more details (For the Hebrew readers) go to:
The spaces are limited, be quick and sign up.

Also, my good friend and colleague Robb Wolf from NorCal Strength & Conditioning (check them up at: NorcalSC) has just published a very interesting debate between two HUGE nutrition authorities - Dr. Loren Cordain (Paleo diet) and Dr. T. Colin Campbell. (China study)
The debate is about Protein. Requirements, sources, importance, and data around it. I gulped it down in one sip, I'm sure you will enjoy the piece just as much.
Protein Debate
Also, check out the monthly e-zine that the NorcalSC are issueing -
The Performance Menu
I've written some material for them - in the first issue which you can download as a free sample at their site, and another upcomming piece in the January 2007 issue. Check it out, its a goldmine of information for health and sports man.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Style in Capoeira is bit of a missing element in recent times. Recent? I'm talking about the last 10 years or so. There are so many amazing moves being done today by capoeiristas, great interaction and communication being performed in Rodas around the world, but very few stylish Capoeiristas. Actualy, one can count the capoeiras with style on his fingers and without taking his shoes off. Its realy a sad state of affairs. The original, authentic, expressive feel capoeira once had is lost, and people dont even look up to the ones who still dedicate time and effort to polish their moves.
From my view, and I've been traveling around quite a lot in the past 10 years going to capoeira events around the world, most people are looking to complete the moves techniquely, but when it is done, they move on. That is actualy just the begining stages of doing something in Capoeira. You still need to put emotion into it, polish it, look for the cleanest, smoothest, sharpest execution. Lets not lose sight of what makes Capoeira be Capoeira. Contemporary capoeiristas need to learn a lesson from the Angoleiros, almost the only ones left in the Capoeira world that are still after the 'feel' of things and are not stopping at the point of perfect technical execution. Maybe the reason is they kept their art simple and though maintained authenticity and originality. With all the diffrent new things going on nowdays in the Capoeira world, how can we stop for a moment, and improve upon some of the most basic elements? Take a step back and look around. This is what will make you special and diffrent. Stop being one of a crowd, look for your self in the perfection of your art. Lets get back to those amazingly creative Rodas of the early 90th... See you there.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Advanced group training

This was last night's capoeira training session for the advanced group in Hacasa:
A. Running around with joint mobility to diffrent body parts.
B. Strength routine as a pre-fatigue procedure. 3 sets of 10 chinups, 10 handstand push ups, 10 pistols per leg. All done continuesly with minimal rest. The intent is to create fatigue before the
capoeira training for the students to learn to deal with diveresed situations under fatigue.
C. Dynamic stretching 15 reps per legs, diffrent directions. holding a back bridge for 60 seconds.
D. Various Aus, and flowing in and out of bridges as a more specific warm up and control.
E. Ginga+Ginga variations 5 minutes total, no rest.
F. Individual work in front of the mirror of various combinations of kicks flowing into floreio on the floor. reps between 20-30, no stop.
G. Pairs work using the diffrent combinations worked in part F but in an interactive situation.
H. Pairs interaction work, using the diffrent combinations just like in part G, only in an unknown structure and organization, though working on your reaction and 'game's vision'.
I. Training roda using the material from the whole training. Small, 6-7 people rodas and emphesize on quantity of games.
J. Going out to the street near the training center for some hill sprints. We did 3 X 250 meter up the hill sprints, going off every 3 minutes. You basicly have to run up the hill as fast as you can, and come back walking, every 3 minutes you go for another set. This is for working on some anaerobic endurance after the technical part of the training is over.
K. Isometric stretching for front and side splits, 30 seconds each X 3 sets of each of the 3 positions.

The training took us exactly 120 minutes. It was pushed to the limit, even one of the advanced students threw up a couple of times before the isometrics were over, just after the sprints. Good work from everyone, not a word of complaint and a lot of spirit and motivation to complete everything in the best way possible. We are going to do this for at least 3 weeks straight, at least 4 times a week. Pain is good.

Monday, November 20, 2006


The biggest slogan running around the media these days about Las Vegas is: 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'. I've learned it is with this exact mentality that people come to visit this Beautifull but frightening place.
It is everywhere. You can smell it in the air. Its in the gazed look on the faces of people staring at their money saying 'goodbye'. Its on the poor girls faces dancing in small tubs compeletly naked to the eyes of onlookers. This place is all about desires.
I was floating on top of it all, sometimes diving down, lightly or aggresivly touching it. I've never experienced such an energy in my life. This is the first time I've looked at people letting go completely and falling into their desires with such an intensity. It was an experience alright.
I think half of it is seeing those PC-polite-held back americans walking the dark side... You know what they say: 'The higher you go, the further you fall'.
Anyways, I'm not going to blab anymore about it. My thoughts still needs further digestion. I'll leave you with these words only. Love you all, and miss you, friends, wherever you are right now. Write me some comments, I know you are reading, but lets hear it. Ido.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Little supermen

I gave class last night at a local gymnastics facility. Its huge compared to Israely standarts, but I think that localy it is nothing to write home about. In the morning the main activities there are pure gymnastics, but from the afternoon and into the night lots of stuntmen, circus performers, acrobats, Free Runners (Parkour) and Capoeiristas come by. They all trade information and train together helping each other out and learning new skills. The stuntmen practice some falls and do some acrobatics, the freerunners build huge towers off of gymnastics cubes and flip or jump down in various ways, the Capoeiristas do their own thing and the gymnasts practice the events. To say this is heaven for me is an understatement. I didnt know where to look wanting to absorb so much info.
All of those diffrent diciplines are realy great and each has it own difficult and amazing stuff, but the true supermen in my opinion were the 10 year old gymnasts. They run around buffed with amazing bodies playing their sick game with mr. Newton. They laugh off in the face of danger and every challange is met immedietly with perfect execution. They go from an event to event (gymnastics events) criss-crossing the gym with various flips into and off stuff making it look like its the natural way to move. When they see a freerunner or an acrobat doing something new and of interest, they aproach him, stand still, watch and then humiliate the poor guy that was practicing this skill for years with an even better execution in their first try. Gymnastics is the mother of all those arts and of body control. People, we have supermen walking around us, lets start training.

Monday, November 13, 2006

International humility...

LA is where it all happens. Every mind in the western world is effected by what goes on here, and you feel like a little bug buzzing around the city waiting to be squashed by a random onlooker.
Last night, while sitting in Starbucks with my friend, sipping our ginger green teas a woman comes up to us. We were both deep in conversation talking shop (Capoeira and training) and we didnt notice her aproaching. She goes: 'Hi guys! Can I ask you some questions?'
We: 'Sure, whats on your mind?' (Puzzled..)
She: 'Are you guys actors?'
We: 'Thats right, we are!' (full of shit and ourselfs)
She: 'I'm a casting director for this new TV show, and I have to ask you first how old are you guys?'
We: '31 and 26'
One day in LA and you get a job offer. And its not for my good looks or acting skills... Just goes to show you: things are happening here if you are in the lookout for such things. 26 years in Israel, and never someone aproached me on the street with such a job offer, one day in LA, though...
(To be fair I have to say, someone aproached me once on the street in Tel Aviv and offered me to buy some fresh avocados..)
Anyways, I wanted to say a couple of words about humility. Humility is an international concept, although I can now clearly see that it is not the same everywhere. The thing is, we judge each other by our own humility standarts, while the other person in front of us works by a completely diffrent set of rules and values. Humility in the US (or at least LA, and YES I'm generalizing) is talking about your self, showing how small you are. The funny thing is: its still talking about yourself... As an Israely, it looks completely fake to me, although, it comes from a very real and sencire place. Israelies look at humility in a diffrent way: just shut up. Dont talk about yourself, although you have a lot to say. The funny thing is: we still think highly of ourselfs, we just dont say it... Brazilian humility is also diffrent: its about posture (round shoulders, making yourself smaller than you realy are, look at Angoleiros), and thinking of yourself in simple terms. Although they are the most macho country in the world, I think their humility is misunderstood by many.
We have a lot to learn from each other. Judging has its drawbacks, but judging is what made me think of all that I'm writing here. Well, enough babble.. I'm off to my morning training.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What a ride....

I've finally reached LA. It took me 36 hours to get here from Israel, and it was quite a ride.
Everything started at the Ben Gorion airport in Israel. I was aproaching the nice lady at the desk and handed her my passport for inspection. After a moment she asked me for the address I would be staying at during my visit to the US. I had no idea I needed to present such an address, nor was I asked to do so the last time I came here. Also, I had no address to give her, and couldnt think of a way to come up with Parafina's (the guy who brought me here) address in such a short time. After some self brain-storming I thought of another friend who lives in LA, and gave his mother a call. After 5 minutes she called me back with his address, and I passed it along. I thought everything was going to go smoothly from now on, was I mistaken... After another 10 min, my friend's mother called me again, saying I shouldnt give his address cause he has not finished his green card registration process and though, he is not completely legal in the states. Never mind, too late.
I went on board and we left for Canada. After a few hours in the air, some air turbulances started. Not a rare sight if you fly often. Only they didnt stop. They went on for a few hours, obviously making us use too much fuel to deal with them. After 14 hours straight in the plane (instead of 12 hours) the pilot informed us we will be landing in Montreal instead of in Toronto. This shortened the time I had to catch my conection flight from Toronto to LA to nearly ZIP. But I still had a chance. After a few minutes on the ground, we were informed the plane was ready to go, but then they discovered a problem in the tire.... Shit. They lifted us on a jack and changed tires, and we were off to Toronto. We reached there 40 minutes after my flight already left. A ground crew gave us special vouchers for transportation from the airport to the Hilton and back and a Hilton hotel voucher for one night. I went to the Hilton, ate a bad dinner and went to sleep for a few hours to wake up at 0500 and go back to the airport. My flight to LA was a bit late, (The Gods dont like me these days) and I finally reached the US. Thats it. I'm finally here. Last night we went to hang out around Holywood and near Parafina's house at Sherman Oaks. Its realy shiny over here. Good looking cars, woman, clothes. Good looking everything. I cant believe the industry connections Parafina has here, as he practicly knows everyone that is someone here. His friends cycle includes ex-bodybuilder star Kevin Levrone and Tae-Bo creator Billy Blanks. He has some very connected students who train with him and help him out. Some of them are stunt-men, music creators for the film industry, actors, producers and casting directors. The availability of knowledge (and good knowledge) here amazes me. You can go train with the stunt-men learning to fall from hights, and take a realistic beating, you can go over to the gymnastics gym and train with olympic calibar athletes, you can go take a boxing class from a world champion, etc... (I intend to go through all of these while I'm here)

Thats it for now, people. Let me know what you think through the comments section, also, you can email me at


Monday, October 02, 2006

Art and creativity...

Lately I have this new bug. Art. I mean, I've touched art my whole life one way or another, but always in a second place kind of way. Looking at capoeira was more through the philosophical, warrior, sports eyes than through artistic eyes for me, although my capoeira is very much aesthetics oriented.
Now in the past couple of weeks I've started to touch more the artistic side. It is simply what makes me tick now. I want to see beautiful capoeira with true self expression, and not only strong, quality and even communicative capoeira. Thats not enough any more.
In order to do that, and in a typical 'idoish' style, I've decided to get inspiration and knowledge in other places besides capoeira and to bring this into my own capoeira. I'm learning a lot of diffrent artistic manifestations and their special creative touch. I'm after creating something that is not present anywhere else - the most creative capoeira ever. The idea is to improve and touch every aspect of capoeira in that sense. The musical aspect, the movement and dance, Ginga, artistic interaction, Capoeira show, rythem, facial experssion, and more.
Of course there are many examples of very artistic capoeiristas over the years, (most are CDO or angoleiros, some are from old-school styles and groups) but I want to bring my own thing to the table, and this is another reason for me to cross train in other arts.
Keep tuned to future projects concerning this new craze, some photos and videos and other material...

BTW, a new workshop is being organized by us in Hacasa, a workshop of rythem and movement in an old-new context. It will be held in Hacasa during 4 subsequent Saturdays and will be instructed by Michael Feigenbaum from the Mayumana group.
It will combine afro-brasilian rythems with some newer funk-hiphop feel into a dance and instrumental play. Should be a blast. Special prices for the Hacasa students and limited 15 spots for every cycle of the workshop. Keep tuned for more details, first meeting at the 14th of Oct. Registration at the office: 04-8373340. Leave a message and we'll get back to you. See you there.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Today's goodtime...

My good friend and training partner Cueca came today to pass the day with me.
We started with some joint mobility for a wake up call, then went on to perform 3 sets of the elbow lever 20sec per arm and ecc one armed chinup. After this we went on to do some balance work on the slackline and handstands on the floor. We changed between those two stations back and forth for 4-5 sets. Then we had a nice protein banana shake and went down to the beach. We met the whole gang at the beach and played a game of american football at the sand. It was physical and a nice change of pace for us. After the game we went on to the grass and fooled around with some acrobatics. After seeing that we werent going to train seriously that day, I suggested we do 5 diffrent acrobatic exercises for 5 reps each and go to eat. We completed it without rest just going back and forth between me and him. We then went up to my house and had some grilled chicken and veggies. We drank some organic green tea outside and kicked back for a couple of minutes. We then went on to take a quick shower and did some myofascial work on the foam roller and tennis ball. After going through the whole body, we did some dynamic strength-stretch work with the elastic bands and finally isometric stretching. That was a nice day of training today, covering diffrent aspects of physical work and whole body control. Sometimes people need to open their minds up and vary their routines a bit, not only for better results but for longevity in sports and art - motivation wise and not only physical-wise. This world is so interesting. Art is so interesting. Sports have so much to offer. Physical culture and culture are such huge subjects. Dont make your life and training boring. Explore.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Holyday season?? Sickness season!

I don't know if you've noticed, but the holyday season brings with it not only joy, rituals, family and laughter but quite a large share of illnesses and sickness. This is not a coincedance, its a statistic fact. The reason is mainly our bad dietary habits during this time, combined with a lack of physical exercise compared to normal times. One of the worst things you can do is increase your sugar-carb intake and combine it with a sedentary lifestyle. So, if you want to minimize the amount of harm you are inducing with your holiday meals, here are a few tips:

1. Take your Fish Oil capsules before the 'bad meal', it will help to lower the glycmic effect of the whole meal and provide some good nutrients along the way.
2. Eat your protein first, it is best to fill yourself up first with the good stuff, and help with the digestion process by providing the protein in the first place.
3. Take an insulin mimicker agent after your meal - 300-600mg of R-isomer Alpha Lipolic Acid, Vanadyl Sulphate or even Chromium Picolinate. It will help to transfer the newly digested carbs to replenish your glycogen stores and not to fat cell storage.
4. Don't eat yourself to death, as in large quantities it is very hard to deal with the glycmic load, even if the nutrient breakdown is a good one. Just dont eat too much or else nothing would help.
Some interesting abstracts:

Cardiac mortality is higher around Christmas and New Year's than at any other time: the holidays as a risk factor for death.Phillips DP, Jarvinen JR, Abramson IS, Phillips RR.

The "Merry Christmas Coronary" and "Happy New Year Heart Attack" phenomenon. Kloner RA.

Mortality spike at New Year but not Christmas in North East England. Milne EM.

Dying to go on holiday.Alsop JC, Langley JD.

Shana Tova, and happy holydays to everyone!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Soft tissue work

Last night I've done some soft tissue work on my whole body using the foam roller and a tennis ball. This is the 'poor-man's' deep tissue massage, and helps you to create a better elasticity and health in your soft tissues.
I started the protocol in my feet and went up through tibialis, calfs, hams, quads, glutes, hip flexors, lower back, upper back, rotator-cuffs. I was a bit sore before it, felt a lot better after, took a hot shower, and had a slow digesting protein before bed - for a slow, consistant supply of amino acids over the whole sleeping window. One of the best choices here is cottage cheese mixed with some nuts and sweetend with some stevia. (natural sweetener)
I woke up this morning feeling a lot better and recuperated. By the way, soft tissue work hurts like hell. Imagine someone digging his fingers through your skin with a varied pressure of 5kg-65kg (my bodyweight), you can play with the amount of pressure by shifting and moving on the foam roller or ball. Try it, even if you can only afford the tennis ball option. A good place to start is:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Early training before breakfast

This was today's morning workout:
A 15 drops GSE in water
B Joint mobility
C Groin static-dynamic flexibility
D Ginga and variations 10 min straight
E Dynamic leg lifts 10 rep each X 4 positions
F Armada 3 diffrent fintas X 20 rep / 60 sec rest
Mei Lua 3 diffrent fintas X 20 rep / 60 sec rest
G Handstand, no walking 40 sec X 3 sets / 60 sec rest
H 6 min of alternating static splits 30 sec each position
I Dousing 3 buckets on head
J Breakfast: 2 fish oil capsules, chicken breast, small salad, multivitamin, 1 cup organic tea

I'm a bit sore from last nights acrobatic and s&c workout, but after the mobility work felt better.
I have so much inspiration for so many fields and diciplines, I can hardly sit still. Saying that the last thing I have to worry about is a lack of motivation is an understatement. I feel sorry for the people who don't have a natural curiosity and a healthy understanding that you need to cultivate your motivation. I have a lot of students that are exactly like that. They expect me to fuel their curiosity without understanding I wont be there forever to play that role. Reading, writing, experimenting, keeping an open mind, seeing, smelling, touching, etc are your main tools in the job of creating the right state of mind that will allow you to work hard.
No one is able to work hard with no motivation. Not for the long run. Keep pushing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Morning ritual

This morning ritual:

A. Wake up
B. 15 drops of GSE in a half cup of water
C. Gymnastics warm up with joint mobility, balistic flexibility and general movements
D1. One ring-one handed Curl&Bridge slow and controled, 1 rep per arm / 3 sets
D2. 20 sec one arm elbow lever 1 rep per arm / 3 sets
E. Dousing with 3 water buckets on my head in my yard
F. Shower and a good scrub with my new russian scrub (peels off the dead skin)
G. 3 capsules of Omega 3 fish oil, Hacasa brand (People interested in the best fish oil product on the market - kept in refrigeration from the moment of creation until it reaches you, call our office at 04-83773340 and we'll ship it to you)
H. Breakfast - 3 eggs fried in a drip of olive oil, half a tomato, one cucumber salted with atlantic sea salt
I. A cup of organic green tea, not sweetend of course
J. 1 multivitamin/mineral

Short and sweet, and to the point. This is the way to wake up and feel alive and in full throttle within minutes from getting out of bed. Try it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fucking pigs

Ben Gorion airport, Israel, 4 AM...

Its been said a million times before, but I cannot sit quietly or I'll explode. People are disgusting. I mean Israelies. Its realy fucked up and I wish it was some prejudice, but it is true. Israelies are pigs and they have no limits. You see people gobbling down huge amounts of food and beverages, cup after cup, kcal by kcal. 'Whats that, lady? You have whisky over there? Why didnt you say so.. I hate whisky, but it is the most expensive drink offered in your cart, so why dont you pour me a cup. Well, make that a bottle.' Only in El-Al would you see people comming up to the stewardess grabbing her by the sleeve asking for a 4th extra. Or the sight of the flight staff begging some old stubburn moutha to sit down and belt up because we are practicly touching the ground in landing sequence.. That is truely fucked up, people, and I have to say, I'm ashamed.
I hate those human pigs, treating their stomach like a garbage can, and thinking the world owes them something. I hate even more the fact that it is part of almost every man and woman today, in me, you and he. Our culture has led us to become something we truly hate and despise, and all for the price of instant pleasure. So dont go selling me that: 'Dont worry be happy' and 'live for fun' slogan BS. I dont buy it. Not any more. You want a cure? You want to finaly look at the mirror and to be able to live with yourself in peace? (Besides seeing a shredded 6-pack also)

I have two words for you: SELF CONTROL.
But thats for another column.

By the way, go back in the blog and have a look at the pictrues I've added. I was finaly able to transfer the Russia material into my PC and upload it. Have fun, and lets hear the people's voice... (If they are out there....)


Rostov on Don airport, just before departure...

The human organism is an amazingly adaptable one. Its in our nature, in our genes, in evolution, in our spirits and hearts. You get used to anything. Anything.
I forgot how diffrent Russia is during my stay here. I got used to it. The most contrastic parts were upon arrivel and now - departure time. You enter the airport, hear the diffrent langueges flow through the air, and they carry warmth and are soothing to your ears, unlike the sharp, crisp, aggresive pronounciation of the Russian languege. But its more than that, much more. Its in the way you break every legal rule here, because you know you would be reaching into your pocket and paying the policeman anyways. Its in the registration procedures you have to go through as a tourist a couple of times a day, for the govermant (I should write Govermant here, just like the english use the capital G for the word God) to know your whereabouts at any given moment. (Its an old Soviet procedure that still exists, and no, I did not register at all when I was here, we just payed off the guy at the airport...)
The human spirit takes a beating here. The individual is not important, transparent. The system and order are the centrum of all.
I'm inspired by the Russians dislike of comfort but I'm also afraid of the side effects. Or is it the other way around?
My gift to these people is Capoeira - in a nutshell, the art of freedom. They need it so much, they just dont know it yet. Capoeira is such a strong medication it will even conquer the hearts of Russians. It has done so in other places, taking over the way of life, creating a comunity, effecting everyone around it, anyone that is willing to touch..
You wait and see, motherland R. Once your sons will get a taste of freedom, there is no turning back.
I was told that in Russia there is a hierarchy of freedom - starting with the only true freeman here - Putin, the president, and going down to the simple person on the street, that has his limited freedom. Well, it may be true, but you can create a protective bubble around you and live you life as a pseudo freeman. Capoeira is such a bubble.
I now know it is a strange place for us foreigners - beautiful and enigmatic, but at the same time heartless, dark and cold. This was my first time here, but if I had learned anything from the Russians, it is only the begining of a long lasting addiction. Dasvidanya.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Morning training...

My recent morning routine, just after waking up and before breakfast:

A. full body mobility routine
B. dynamic stretching lower body + upper body
C1. ecc one arm chinups 1 rep per side lowering 4-10 sec
and going up with the help of the other hand pinky finger only
C2. 15 sec one handed elbow lever one rep per side
D. extra training - this varies from morning to morning,
sometimes some jumping pistols, some times muscleups or
some kind of handstand work or pressing

The intention is to reach the one arm chinup again in both arms, and to improve control in the one handed elbow lever - to 60 second total time without touching the floor.
Usualy afterwards I do some dousing with cold water - 3 buckets on my head or swimming in the sea.
Then come breakfast - some kind of a protein rich in L-tyrosin - omega 3 eggs or red meat with a handfull of nuts and my morning supplements. This is the ultimate breakfast choice for someone looking for energy in the morning, as opposed to the 'old school' and wrong view of a carb loaded breakfast. This bad choice would lead you to play the 'insulin-blood sugar' rollercoaster game the whole day, while feeling drained of energy and tired. Try it.

Russian sauna and real presents...

We went to a russian sauna today. Just 5 guys. the real deal. We got a VIP sauna suit with a changing room, dinning room, showers, bedroom, a cold pool and of course a quality sauna. First we ate some good food. I had some chicken breast with a cooked cabage thing they have going on here. We drank a special tea mix they make by themselves here, very good. Afterwords we got to work.... first a warm up of 5-10 min in the sauna until you start sweating heavily. Then a quick shower, then back to the sauna for another 5-10 min, then cold pool, (steam comes out off you when you go into the cold water) then the 'Banshi' came. This guy was a buffed dude. He wears a hat and holds up two branches full of leaves of an oak. You lie down on the topest floor in the sauna, and he starts to hit you and blow very hot air on your body. It is almost unbearable. You sweat very heavily, and you have to wear a special hat to protect your head from over heating. After 5-10 min of torture you go to the cold pool again, and then come back to a second round. The guys with me were amazed that I did not scream, as apearently most men scream the first time, but I couldn't give up so easly after I busted their butts in training... The whole experience was great and we had some great laughs and quality conversation. This is what russian men are made off. They have this special bond going on between them, and I thought it was all about drinking your head off together, but now I realize there is more to it. It got me thinking about the way pleasure is percieved here. They do not run after pure pleasures here. Their pleasures are mixed with some pain. It makes it much more interesting and builts charecter. I love it, and I could realy get into it, as this is the way I see it also. As we drove home I could feel my limbs dig into the car seat. I'm gonna sleep like a baby tonight.
Walking to the apartment from the car, I got a present from Vadim, who is one of the guys I realy connected here with. He gave me a 'shapochka', a knitted hat. He told me it was very special to him, and that a good friend gave it also to him. I replied that it means a lot more now that he said it. As a kid, when I had to give someone I liked a present, I would think: 'what can I give him that I wouldnt miss too much'. When I got older I understood that it is the other way around: 'what can I give him that I would miss in the future'. True presents are hard to give. The sacrifice itself makes you remember the man involved, and makes it so much more special.
I'm glad I made so many friends here. There is no faking going on in Russia. These are true, frank, hard people with pig sized hearts. I'm going to come back here in the future. I'm sure of it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cossacks and real training...

I went today to see the city of Novocherkask. It's a 300,000 people city near Rostov that used to be the capital of the Don's Cossacks. (The Don is the river that Rostov is located on his right bank)
The Cossacks did not let any Jews or Armenians live or even enter Novocherkask at the old times, and due to that isolation from strangers the city remained very small and never grew to fullfill the destiny the Cossacks hoped it will have. Instead Rostov took the glory and became the 1 million citizens city it is today.
The Cossacks were strong people. They were great horse riders, and used beautifull and sophisticated weapons in their wars and resistance to the Zhar Peter the Great.
In Novocherkask we went to a boxing gym. When we got in, the only man present was the 60 year old trainer and his helper. The boxers were out running to warm up. The room consisted of a ring, two old leather heavy bags and a swedish ladder in the corner.
When the boxers came back it was interesting to watch that the same technique I have learned from my Russian boxing coach in Israel is taught here. The room was packed and the guys were sweating heavily and working hard. This gym is situated inside a university and the students need to complete some sports courses requirements. Boxing is one option.
Inside the gym I got into a conversation with a nice russian kid that speaks good english (russian standarts), and he told me he is a 1st dan Karate practitioner as well as a competing boxer. He was very nice and descirbed their weekly training and strength work with the bar, dips, pushups, the Gyria and some lower back hyperextensions. Its interesting to see this completely diffrent training methodolegy and physical culture. Let me tell you, while those poor souls over at the west are doing some machine biceps curls and leg extensions, these kids are realy training here. Swedish ladders, Gyrias and heavy plates are everywhere, and used heavily. The full ROM back hyperextension off a back of a gymnastics horse is a staple. Bodies are forged here with Iron, sweat and blood. No air conditioning, gym gloves and pull down machines for us, thank you. This is the real deal, 'Brotan.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Morning training at the beach of Haifa, Israel...

I usualy spend my mornings training by myself. Sometimes I do it in my house, other times I like to get out and get some fresh air. My training consists of a some joint mobility, dynamic stretching, and elements from Capoeira, slacklining, some kind of of strength training, gymnastics and other diciplines.
One morning a few weeks ago, I was training as usual at the beach and a strange guy came up to me to ask what the hell was I doing and if he can take some pictures. I recieved them today. Enjoy, and please, people, lets hear some comments...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The true Russians

I've been here for a few days now. I mean realy BEING here. You don't come to Russia for a nice 'visiting outsider' trip... You need to embrace the whole experience. (No Vodka, though, for me... You know me, I'm a good boy)
While doing my routine of living with 3 russian guys here, sharing an old apartment in a tall, dark building in one of the North parts of Rostov, I've learned some basic truth about life here and about the people:

1. They are hard on the outside, but something completely diffrent goes on the inside. Some are crule, due to the life they've had, but some are good hearted in a way that touches me a lot more than the soft spoken type.
2. Russians drink a lot. I mean they drink. Alot. It finally hit me why... They don't have anything else to fill their lives with. They don't know what to do about it, so they drink.
3. Rostov have some of the prettiest female faces I ever saw. I'm walking down the street getting a stiff neck (neck...right...) from all the turning around. They are very similar, but beautifull.
4. Comunism and the Soviet mentality still exist. Its in every corner. In the old people. In the younger ones. In the 'Baboshka' (old woman in Russian) house manager that sits in her small carton made cubicle in the entrance to the building. In the number of doors you need to unlock in order to go inside your house. Its in the languege and the slang. Communism did not happen here by mistake. It's in their blood. (for at least another 100 years)

I'm going to down a cup of pickel juice and hit the hard mattress... No other way to pass your quality time here. Russia trusts no tears.

Monday, September 11, 2006

My first Russian meal

- 2 Tiny slices of tomato
- 1 invicible slice of cucumber
- 10 grams of 'going up you nose real fast' hot-hot mustard
- 1 small chicken breast chunk
- 5 black beans
- A 20 grams jar of some kind of a pink salty as hell fish eggs

The rest I didn't want to touch, since it was all processed.
The man in front of me with the huge forearms just dug in with a spoon and ate a small package of Margarine while humming in delight...

On a plain to Russia

How do you know you are on a Russian plain heading there?
A. No AC, and man, the air is thick, if you know what I mean...
B. Scratched metal parts were painted on with a cheap white oil-based paint.
C. The flight staff consists of at least one thick-blond-ex-shot-putter lady.
D. No plain walls for us. The inner walls of the plain look like a persian rugg. Gives you a headache when combined with point A.
E. You know that bi-lingual airflight magazine in the pocket in front of your seat? its not bi-lingual here....
F. 'Here is a grape juice for you, sir!' Don't like it? want a coke or god forbid water? we are sorry, comrade. The party is always right.

Gott'a love 'em, I'm psyched. Here comes Rostov.


Natbag Airport, Israel, on my way to Russia...
People. So many diffrent shapes and forms, sometimes its hard to believe we are one specie.
One sleepless night, last week I found myself staring at the TV screen, watching a National Geograpic production, marveling the quantity of diffrent forms of Jellyfish in the world. But people are also very diverse. We have them at a smaller selection of colors and the size of the packaging doesnt vary as much, but that's only on the outside. If you take into consideration their knowledge base, souls and charecters, mankind is the most diverse and interesting specie of all.
So next time the optimistic guy standing next to you blabs out: "we are all alike, brother", you had better take it with a grain of salt, my friend. Don't take my word for it. Look around.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

We have a winner!

Last night was the final stage in the world capoeiracapu competition. In the men´s devision, Grito who went on to compete in the finals didnt enter the top 3. The games were realy physical stressful and intense, and he went hunting for two of the best guys in order to win. Unfurtenatly, the game´s interaction wasnt quite good enough.
Animada did the same, going for the best players in the women devision and taking no prisoners, and she took them all down one after the other, while doing some amazing floreio and acrobatics.
When the winner was announced, she couldnt believe it, and went on to take a 500 e$ price home.
We are on our way to a beach roda outside of Bilbao, and would arrive home tomorow.
C u there,

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ok, the Afternoon rodas were cancled today, so at last I have some time for an update.
Bilbao is an amazing city. From what I have seen so far, one of the prettiest cities in Europe, if not in the whole world. Countless attractions, interesting architecture, and a very clean city. You can feel the effort the people here invest into their city, always cleaning and developing , without hurting the óld europe´ feel they have here.
The food is a bit of a problem for us, as the three of us are strict Paleo, so we spend a lot of time traveling around the city looking for the better option, we do find it in the end, though.
Capoeira wise, the event is great. We wake up at 08:30 everyday, eat some breakfast and go to the first training at 10:00. We train till 13:30 and then go to lunch. From 14:30-15:30 afternoon Roda in the center of Bilbao, and 16:00-18:00 some more training. The competition and Mestre´s rodas are everyday from 19:00-22:00.
We made a lot of friends here. (CDO style... have to be friendly...) A lot of diffrent and sometimes strange capoeira groups and style are present, so its fun.
The mestres.... The mestres are the icing on the cake. We are blown away by Espirro Mirim. He is hands down the most amazing physical Capoeirista I have seen. He takes the term ´body control´ to new hights. If you have seen some videos of EM, dont make the mistake of thinking you´ve seen anything! The real thing is the true deal, and the devil is in the details.
Mestre Paulinho Sabia is another amazing technical capoeirista. he is very generous with his vast technical knowledge and a very nice person overall. He is so technical, I sometimes wonder if he measures his steps, as they are so even..
Mestre Garrincha gave a very interesting class today with rythem and coordination skills. I liked his simple aproach. I think I´ll use it with some training I´m going to give in the future.
Mestre Boneco is the true official álpha male´. he is tall, handsome and strong. I hear he is over 40 years old, but he looks younger than me. The man is an energy bomb. His classes are wham-bam-´thank you for your time guys´, and he is an example of how an instructor should lead a class. He is highly physical in his aproach, and its a nice contrast to some more philosophical teachers that are also present.

Speaking of philoshophical, mestre Acordeon is a warm, charismatic person. His control of music, voice and instrumental, is stunning. He plays all the instruments in his 14 CDs including piano, acordeon and guitar. He hugs everyone and gives advice from the heart.
He also showed during one of the mestre´s rodas he is no old weakling: some of the younger mestres in a act of disrespect, tried to take him down in an Arrastao. (double leg takedown) Acordeon just flipped him over with a WWF ´Suplex´ move. Did I mention this younger mestre is over 100kg of muscles and tattoos?
More, later, have to go to the roda in the Guggenheim now...

Grito and Animada are in the finals!!!

I`m very short on time, so I´ll make this brief and to the point.
The event is amazing. Great capoeira in various styles and ways.
Both Grito and Animada qualified for the finals which will take place
I´ll try to update later about the results...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

CapoeiraCapu Spain 2006

Hello and welcome everyone! Friends, students, random onlookers and enemies... (I have so many, I might as well address them properly...)

In this small space and meeting spot I will publish my thoughts, photos, news and critisicm of the world capoeiracapu capoeira festival in Spain.

For the ones who dont know, Capoeiracapu is a mega capoeira event, that will be held in Bilbao, Spain during the 5th-9th of July.
The event includes workshops with 24 diffrent mestres representing various styles, school of thoughts and opinions of Capoeira.
Also, a big part of the event will be a world capoeira competition with 100 male capoeiristas, 100 females and 30 groups representing their country or capoeira group.

We are traveling 3 from Israel, me and 2 students : Grito and Animada, and are planning to have a great time and learn as much as we can from the experience.

Meanwhile training for the event is going nicely, we are training 2-4 sessions a day including acrobatics, floreio, pairs, rodas and just lots of physical activity and capoeira.

Stay tuned for more during the next couple of days as I update this blog with some photos and more txt.

Ido de Haifa. CDO>