| Capoeira is a discipline practiced by captured Africans while in the belly of the beast. It is the graceful simulation of defensive and offensive moves with your partner. So thorough is this martial art, that it survived the middle passage and has made its way back to the land of its origin, via dedicated students who breath new meaning into the art.
Obadele Kambon is one such student/teacher. A son of the revolution and now an active member, this soldier escaped the clutches of Babylon by the skin of his teeth and decided to make Ghana his home.
A former resident of Chicago, U.S.A., Obadele experienced a different side of Chi-town than President Barrack Obama, of the same state. For Obadele as for most black men in urban America, the law knows no justice, just us. And so the law pulled him over one unsuspecting night, seized his licensed fire arm, his car and kicked his pregnant wife to the curb while they hauled him in on some trumped up charges. This led to a year of the most frightening ordeals in and out of court. During the process he witnessed first hand, how the system was derailing countless brothers in the same manner. 95% of the cases that he observed in the courts led to a minimum of 5 years detainment for charges all very similar to his own. A literal factory of turning free men into prisoners/slaves. Though things were steeped against him, he stood the course, spent that dough and beat them bleepin charges. Now he sips palm wine on the shores and laughs at them fools, with no desire to give them a second chance.
Obadele's natural aptitude is to teach. He owns and operates a web-site, abibitumikasa.com, where he offers classes on most relevant subjects of interest for the modern day revolutionary. Included are a number of African language courses, knowledge-of-self courses and repatriation courses, to mention a few. He also teaches a course on the Diasporan experience in the University of Ghana, as well as a Twi (the local language) course for new comers. Yes, this Chicago born soldier has mastered the local tongue well enough to teach it! But Sundays, at 2 p.m. Obadele can be found on the football field in the center of Legon University, working it out with several students.
Capoeira appears to be a dance with elements of martial art, but do not be fooled. It is a martial art in every regard. The training is rigorous but the results are invigorating. Most are exhausted by the end of the 2 hour session, but all return for the grueling exercise again and again. It clearly helps to build self confidence, develop coordination and build a stronger, better you. Each class is just 10 cedis and promises to be wonderfully challenging.