For many of us Rexburg seems like a small town without very much to do. For the most part that sentiment is right. Sure the school has activities every now and again, but the city is definitely a small town. Which is part of its charm. However, did you know this town is home to one of Idaho’s only capoeira (kaa·puh·weh·ruh) martial arts studios? If you’re looking for things to do in Rexburg, files this under the ‘intriguing’ category.
What on Earth is Capoeira?
Now, I’m assuming most of you haven’t heard of Capoeira before. But don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for. Capoeira is one of the only martial arts to have originated in the western hemisphere. The story is that Brazilian slaves created Capoeira as a way to fight and defend themselves. Most of the time their hands were chained, so capoeira was designed for them to be able to fight with their legs without being suspected of violence. That’s because Capoeira is designed to look like a dance. Played in a big circle, capoeira looks like a game to the untrained eye. But to those who practice it, capoeira is a fast-paced sport of dodges, kicks, and acrobatics.
South East Idaho Capoeira
Nikki Ruby, or Vampiera (yeah, her nickname is vampire in Portuguese, how cool is that!), is the head teacher of Sei Capoeira. Nikki started practicing martial arts back in college and quickly fell in love with the practice and culture of capoeira. After years of practice, Nikki realized that Rexburg is a Capoeira desert. She felt so isolated from the culture that she fell in love with that she decided to take matters into her own hands. Nikki started teaching in January of 2020, but the pandemic quickly cut off most activities in Rexburg. Despite it all, she was able to keep teaching online and in small classes outside. Now she runs the state of Idaho’s first capoeira only studio. Vampire is so devoted and talented that she can even teach capoeira and acrobatics while pregnant. Can you imagine doing a cartwheel while expecting a baby? Because I sure can’t.
The majority of martial arts studios are directed towards kids (something about our culture and Karate Kid makes them associate martial arts with young children). This is where Sei Capoeira differs. It takes martial arts seriously. They have separated classes for adults and children, so your kids can have a great introduction to the sport, but adults can focus on exercise and progressing in the sport. They also focus on more than just the movements. Capoeira has associated songs, history, and instruments that Sei Capoeira students learn to fully appreciate the sport. The schedule is great for students too. Adult classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at night. But they allow you to pick if you want a one day or a two day per week membership. They also hold extra trainings on Saturdays for whoever wants to practice.
Personally, I’ve been taking Capoeira classes for a little over a semester but I can already mark my improvement. I used to be the least coordinated, most inflexible guy in the world . I kid you not, I can’t even keep a rhythm. But since taking Capoeira I can not only play well, I can move better. We’re working on backflips right now, and I honestly think that I might be able to pull it off. I’d suggest Capoeira to anyone who was looking for something to do or a new group of friends. Sei Capoeira is such a fun way to get out and have some fun.