Capoeira in my Life – Engaging and Learning from Many Mistakes - ExpatJoy

ExpatJoy - Passionate Global Living with Sandra Bissell


Capoeira in my Life – Engaging and Learning from Many Mistakes

‘Capoeira enchants me. I no longer can let it go from my life.

It’s an art form I learned from our ancestors.’

( This is the beginning of ‘This Art’ song.)

Back in 2004, I trained Capoeira under master Brasilia, in the city of Sao Paulo.

It was at his space on Avenida Pedroso de Moraes that I first listened to “This Art” song.

At that time, I was particularly hungry to learn from the great Master, after having practiced Capoeira in the United States and Japan.

It felt so good to be in Brazil and sing in my native language finally.

Still, I felt uncomfortable saying ‘our ancestors,’ and I avoided songs that I assumed as not appropriate to be sang by an Asian looking woman like myself.

Over the next decade, I continued studying and practicing Capoeira under different Masters both in Brazil and abroad. Teachers whose skin tones were lighter, darker, and even the same as mine.

Twenty years of studying and practicing this art form hasn’t been enough to help my struggles with upside-down positions.

On the other hand, it has made it easier to sing ‘our ancestors’ songs because as I let go of fear of judgment, while opening up my heart to engage and learn in the Capoeira community,  I uncovered our common ancestrality as human beings instead of different races.

I’m grateful to each of these masters, each Capoeira person who has being part of my journey.  Thank you!

Ps.I believe that ‘This Art’ song was written by Mestre Barrão.

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My name is Sandra Bissell.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to live as an expatriate for more than 2 decades.

Some of my passions are people, my family, good conversations, traveling, ethnic food, dancing and Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian-Martial-Art-Dance.

Originally from the countryside of São Paulo state, in Brazil, I have enjoyed life in Kanagawa and Aichi prefectures, in Japan, Boston and San Diego cities, in the United States, São Paulo, Brazil, as an expatriate in my own country, Zurich – Switzerland and most recently Stamford, Connecticut, back to the United States.

As you may guess, I feel the most comfortable within the international community.
ExpatJoy - Passionate Global Living with Sandra Bissell


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