Professor Leão Preto
Capoeira, Life and Faith
What changes have occurred in your life since she arrived at your home? Has Ms. Corona broken your spirit and forced you to give up on your dream?
Like other parts of the world, we have accepted the face masks, learned social distance practices, and managed coronavirus related fears. Some of us are fighting bouts with depression in response to isolation. We have endured public and private difficulties this year.
If you can dig deep, you will also find something pleasant that has happened in 2020. I am with you and have challenges with recognizing the wins among a surplus of losses this year.
My progress with Capoeira is one source of pride and frustration.
The conception of ideas to create another Capoeira group came with me when I left the United States. During the interview for my job, the hiring committee impregnated me with the possibility that students would enjoy learning Capoeira’s movements, music, and history. Although classes began in 2018, the official birth of Capoeira Mar Verde arrived in April of this year.
It has not been easy to get to this point. A hard push follows me on most days that I leave the house to teach locals, ex-pats, students, and tourists. How so? Keep reading, and I will explain the struggle.
I jog four miles to the beach, where I hold classes. Before Corona, I had a consistent group of students and Antiguans. Nowadays, I have three consistent adults, my children, and online attendance is low.
Due to my immigration status as a work permit holder, it's illegal to open a business. The classes I offer at the beach are free and open to adults and children. My immigration status, low participation, and the pandemic indicate that opening a Capoeira academy is not a wise choice in the current climate.
I continue to teach Capoeira because it serves as a tool to build community in Antigua. The three adult students and my children are committed to learning this art form created by enslaved Africans. Pre-corona, local schools, and resorts invited me to teach classes.
The impact of my work in Capoeira is solid, although the income remains liquid or difficult to obtain.
My training in Capoeira began in 2006. I taught students in the US, Brazil, Mexico, and now Antigua in my almost fifteen years of experience. Each of these leadership opportunities has handed me a rough message about the nature of martial art businesses.
Whether we discuss Karate, Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, or Capoeira, the business is hard. This diagnosis is not restricted to the industry in 2020 when most studios are closed. The profit margin during non-pandemic times in the martial art industry is small.
I know the limited profitability firsthand from multiple experiences.
Transforming your passion into is a viable company is not simple. Many passion-driven entrepreneurs have to work a job to support their business. In some cases, the market requires that you acknowledge the limited revenue from a product or service.
How do you stay motivated when the market is screaming, "NO" to your dream? To keep me motivated in my work with Capoeira, I focus on impact and gaze at the income.
Trusting in things unseen is called faith. I maintain my limited liability company’s legal status in the US through faith that God will provide directions and relationships to create a profitable and impactful business in the future.
Sometimes we have to continue to push forward when it doesn’t make sense or cents. I have to trust that Our Creator planted the seeds of Capoeira in me to help others grow and for reasons that may exceed common sense.
The compensation that I receive from knowing that I am spreading an art with roots in resistance and community branches is how I receive payments today. I ask my students to pay me with their consistency and discipline. There will come a day when I accept an abundance of currencies to support the positive impact made on other people's lives.
I share this information with you in the spirits of faith, perseverance, and love in this blog posts' final sentences.
On October 31, 2020, we will host a virtual Capoeira event. This event, Capoeira Mar Verde’s First Batizado, will provide you with online classes taught by myself and two Capoeira Masters. As part of this event, we will host a guided meditation and Capoeira class on one of the jaw-dropping Antiguan beaches.
My three adult students and children will earn their new belts as students of the United Capoeira Association's Capoeira Mar Verde.
If you’re itching to travel to the Caribbean, but the pandemic has you on house arrest, join us for the virtual experience via Zoom! I will not tell your parole officer. We will provide you with recordings of the classes if you are unable to attend live.
If traveling or Capoeira is not on your radar, consider a contribution of USD 25 to support:
Capoeira belts for six students
Materials to make the belts for these six students
Honorariums to pay two Capoeira masters’ virtual teaching fees
The delicious food we will purchase to celebrate and share with the students and their families
My wife’s kindness to cook the meal
And my dream of owning a studio (post-pandemic) where I can share Capoeira and serve as a guide to help boys and men to achieve fulfilling lives.
Contribute, Participate, and Support us at this link!