It’s easy to take clothes for granted when practicing capoeira.
The right capoeira shirts however, not only provide comfort in training, they also give a great opportunity to let others know about capoeira while showing your style.
In picking a shirt, the first decision starts with the type…
What’s the big deal about shirts? They’re all the same right?
There are a couple of options when it comes to capoeira shirts. Each of them makes a difference in your comfort when training and playing capoeira. The first option is what the shirt is made of…
- Cotton or synthetic – The material of the shirt makes a big impact when training. Cotton shirts are normally warmer and have thicker material. This makes them a good option for training when it’s colder outside. On the other end synthetic shirts are cooler and lighter making them good for hot weather training.
Cotton shirts hold more moisture, so they may get heavier and clingier if you sweat a lot during training. The synthetic shirts really don’t hold as much, but because of this, sweat will be everywhere else instead of the shirt!
After you decide the right material for the shirt, the next major choice is the style…
- Short sleeves or tank tops – Another option is the shirt style. To be specific, sleeves or no sleeves. Sleeves cover more of your arm keeping you warmer and reducing burns from movements like
queda de rins
. No sleeves provide more freedom for the
while keeping your arms cooler. I personally prefer sleeveless for the feeling of increased freedom I get from it.
- No shirt – While not really a type of shirt, it’s still an option. Shirtless will definitely be the coolest (temperature wise…) option, but not necessarily the most appropriate in all situations. It’s great for hot weather and definitely needs nothing you don’t already have. Choose it at your own discretion.
Having the proper type of shirt picked is the key for comfort while training and playing. Now learn the next important purpose of a shirt…
Aside from comfort, capoeira shirts can also be used for their designs. It’s a great way for students to represent their groups and also spread awareness about capoeira in general.
- Group logo – Within capoeira, there are different styles and a vast number of different groups. It can be hard at times to know what style or group someone is in without asking them or seeing them play. Logo designs solve these issues by showing what style or group they play with.
For instance, I train with Cordao de Ouro, a group started in 1967 by Mastre Suassuna. My shirts all have our group symbol, which is the same in every Cordao de Ouro group. It’s a good way to recognize others that train in the same group. It also promotes the group to others.
- Capoeira awareness – Outside of the world of capoeira, a lot of people may not have been exposed to or even heard of capoeira. Shirt designs can help with this too. A design with capoeiristas playing definitely draws attention to those who’ve never seen it.
Whenever I wear my capoeira clothes outside of training, I get a lot of questions from people. They want to know what the shirt means or what capoeira is. This gives me an opportunity to introduce them to this awesome art.
- Style – Capoeira shirts can also have a lot of style. Like everything else in this art, the shirts can be expressive. This makes the designs on the shirt a great outlet for that. They can represent different aspects of capoeira which are most important to you.
For example, if you really like the music of capoeira, you may want to get a shirt showcasing the
. Or if you like the history, a shirt with mastres like Bimba and Pastinha may be your style. Regardless, a shirt can be a form of your expression.
Now that you have a solid idea of what you want out of a shirt, learn where to buy them…
Where to Buy
- At academy – The first place I’d go to get a capoeira shirt is the academy I train at. This usually is the easiest option since you would normally go there for training. Also they should have shirts with the group’s logo making it perfect for training and shows.
- Conferences/events – Another option is getting shirts at capoeira gatherings or events. At all events I’ve been to, there have been a lot of shirts for sale from different people. This option offers more variety then shirts from your academy. However, events happen during a limited time, so if you find something you like be sure to get it while you can.
– Online really offers the best mix of variety and are available as long as they’re in stock. There are a lot of vendors that offer good capoeira shirts.
Virtual Capoeira offers a range of shirts with stylish designs. Check them out here!
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