- Jon Kelley
Aaron (pictured in back) and Anne Lauritzen appreciate the holistic aspects of what they teach children.
"One of the best reasons for kids to do Capoeira is because a Capoeira class is a martial-arts class, a dance class, a music class, a language class and a gymnastics class all in one hour," Anne says.
There's also quite a bit of history there. The art form and self-defense practice was originally brought to Brazil by slaves shipped from Africa to South America centuries ago. At the end of the 19th century, when Rio de Janeiro street gangs hijacked the practice and made it into a violent weapon, the Brazilian government banned it; Capoeiristas lived by nicknames to avoid persecution until the ban was lifted in the 1930s. (In recognition of that history, Aaron also goes by the name Mago.)
Aaron and Anne have been practicing and teaching Capoeira for nearly 10 years. As part of their mission to spread the word about what Capoeira is, they give free demonstrations at various elementary, junior high and high schools around Colorado Springs whenever possible.
"Part of the problem with martial-arts and self-defense classes is the emphasis on fighting," Aaron says. "There's enough violence in the world already. In Capoeira, there is very little contact or confrontation, and participants mostly learn dodges and escapes.
"It's the only martial art that makes sense between a child and an adult," he adds, "because the smaller player actually has the advantage."
New location as of May 1: 975 Garden of the Gods Road, Suites F and G, 231-6833
Free introductory classes, Saturday, May 5; youth ages 6-14, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; ages 15 and up, 12:15-1 p.m.
Visit capsprings.com for more.