As you well know, both the boys and I practice the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira. In 2019 all three of us attended our first batizado and Logan and I received our Capoeira Apelido.
If you are new here and you are wondering why we chose Capoeira, check out these posts.
Logan and I started training Capoeira in 2015. In the year we started, a grading or batizado was held, however, since we were both newbies, we skipped the grading. 2017 was another grading year, unfortunately, at that stage, we had to take a bit of break from training.
In 2018, our Capoeira instructor started a kids’ class. This allowed Oli to join us in class. Oliver had his first kids-grading in February this year, roughly a year since he started training. 2019 was another grading year. Grading was scheduled for October.
Batizado literally means baptism in Portuguese. In essence, the batizado is an initiation rite for new students and a graduation ceremony for the more advanced students. The group welcomes the new students as Capoeiristas into the group.
The actual grading normally takes place, after a series of workshops with mestres or masters from other Capoeira schools. And the last day marks the end of the workshops and the batizado ceremony.
Related Post: Why Capoeira?
What is a Capoeira Apelido?
An Apelido is a nickname chosen for a student on or before their batizado. Some say the purpose of the apelido was to protect the identity of the capoeiristas. By only knowing a person’s nickname, you would be unable to incriminate a person. This is when Capoeira was still a crime. (Mestre Bimba, legalised the sport in the 1930s.)
The nickname is mainly given based on the characteristics of the player. To my knowledge, they are always uplifting and encouraging.
Logan was given Dinamite as his apelido. Which really translates as Dynamite in English. He really is a little bomb waiting to explode when he is in a roda. It is an honour and privilege to watch him develop his game!
My Capoeira Apelido
I was really a little nervous about what my apelido would be. Logan apelido was chosen early on. On the day of the Batizado, we all kind of knew what he would be called. My fellow capoeirista and friend started brainstorming ideas, thinking of a nickname for me the day of the batizado.
He finally looked at me and said: “I have it, we will call you Protea.” Naturally, Protea is Protea in Portuguese. It is, however, pronounced with a slight Portugese accent.
A Protea is a big flower. Which is exactly what I am at the moment. However, after reading up on Proteas, I found some fascinating facts:
A Protea is a wildflower. Coincidence? I think not!
Protea Flowers come in many shapes and forms. For this reason, the flower symbolizes diversity, transformation, and courage or strength. (Some sources says change and hope.)
Sugarbushes and Fynbos are an alternative name to Protea. This is because of the excessive amounts of nectar the flowers produce.
The Protea is evergreen and flowers in autumn, winter, and spring.
Because of their proteoid root system, they are able to survive in soil that lacks in nutrients.
Proteas are hardy and able to survive wildfires. Interestingly, they thrive after wildfires due to the scorching of their outer shell. This allows dormant buds to emerge once the fire has gone out.
My Capoeira Apelido is a Prophetic Declaration
In a sense, my Capoeira Apelido is a prophetic declaration of who I am. I have survived a number of wildfires in the last couple of years, Now it is time to bloom!
To add to all of the above, I strive for diversity, hope and transformation.