Capoeira for MS?

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This was originally posted in 2006. This was the first post on Martial Arts for Multiple Sclerosis. We thought that this would be a great beginning post for our revamped Web Site. Please comment below.

The concept of using Capoeira to help with the rehabilitation for M.S. seems ridiculous to most people. With all of the acrobatic movements, how could someone possibly even attempt this when they have problems even walking? As a Martial Artist for 25 years and a Capoeirista for 14 years, with M.S., I have found it essential in my recovery efforts. To explain this a little more, I will give you a VERY short description of my history. I had started my Martial Arts career at a very young age. I had exposure to many arts from all over the place but my focus was always on very strict, very traditional Japanese arts. One day I found Capoeira. It completely changed not only the way that I looked at the Martial Arts but, also my life. The openness and friendliness of this art was nothing less than amazing. The concept of the game was foreign to me but I couldnÂ’t get enough of it. Later, when I was diagnosed with M.S., I was devastated. My M.S. is particularly aggressive. It wasnÂ’t long before I had to start using a wheelchair. From there, it didnÂ’t take long before I had become functionally quadriplegic as well as almost completely blind, (I was only able to distinguish between light and dark.) Then, one day, someone came to me and asked me to teach him. It was simply incredible that someone would come to a guy that couldnÂ’t really even move and couldnÂ’t see to do anything even if he could. Since I had always thought of my art as a gift that was meant to be passed on, I accepted the challenge. Considering my inability to function, I had to relearn how to teach as I went. This is where my Capoeira experience started to help. The friendliness that Capoeira taught me made my teaching environment an amazing place to be. It didnÂ’t take that long before I had other people coming to me to join my class. This inspired me. With some radical treatments for my M.S., some very hard work and, the love of my students, I slowly began to recover. Once I was at the point that I could stand again, I started to ginga. This is the core movement of Capoeira. The more I did it, the more I was able to recover. This movement works virtually every part of the body, especially the core area of the body, used for standing and walking. The fun, playfulness and, friendless of Capoeira made it possible to do this without even a second thought. Even though itÂ’s hard work, you donÂ’t even notice because itÂ’s just plain fun. Many softer Martial Arts are frequently recommended to help with M.S. These are definitely good but, I, as someone who has also studied many of these arts, very highly recommend looking at Capoeira. It WILL help with your M.S. and change your life.

Com muito axe,

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