工作、家庭和巴西战舞如何寻找平衡

by Charlie Brown

Olá, pessoal! Thank you for reading our previous “Crônicas de Capoeira” article. This time we are featuring one of our oldest Capoeira Mandinga Shanghai students and a great singer: Charlie Brown.

In this episode he shares his vision about capoeira, family, life at work and how he managed to find a healthy balance between the three. Enjoy the reading!

小伙伴们,我们又见面了。谢谢大家阅读和关注我们之前的“Crônicas de Capoeira”专栏。这次我们邀请了我们最早的曼丁加巴西战舞学生,有着非常优美的歌声:Charlie Brown.


他会带我们走进他眼中的巴西战舞,关于家庭、工作和巴西战舞,以及如何在这三者中寻找平衡。祝大家阅读愉快。

My name is LIU Xin 刘欣, capoeira apelido “Charlie Brown”.

MY PERSONAL STORY我的个人分享

Can you tell us a bit about you? 能不能简单的介绍一下自己?

I was born in China and spent my childhood here. I moved to France in my teens. I grew up, studied, and started my professional career in France. Except for two years in the US studying for my Master’s, I lived in France the whole time before coming back to China with my job.

I feel an intimate connection to the destiny of China as a people and as a culture. At the same time, my ways of thinking, my values, my world views and my experiences are very French, I am a typical product of the French system… 

Basically, I am a Chinese heart and a French mind in a Chinese body… 

我叫刘欣,巴西战舞的绰号是“Charlie Brown”。

我在中国出生,青年时代随家人搬去了法国。在那里长大、学习和工作,并开始了我的职业生涯,除了在美国学习硕士的2年,我在回到中国以前都住在法国。从骨子里,我觉得自己还是个中国人,深刻的理解中国文化,同时我的思维方式、价值观、世界观和我的经历更像法国人,体现了法国教育的成果。

How did you discover capoeira and how did you journey start? 你怎么了解到巴西战舞的,你的学习之旅是怎么开始的?

My first encounter with capoeira was quite accidental and almost comical.

I picked up good interest in breakdancing during my two-year stay in the US. When I came back to France for business school, I intended to continue practicing it on campus, but it was not available. During the campus student fair, I saw something that looked sort of like it, and the president of this tiny student club dragged me into it “you will see, it’s very fun, it’s like breakdancing, just a little different…”

Of course, this “something” was capoeira…

Then we started doing one class per week in school classrooms, with tables and chairs pushed against the walls to make space. Unknowingly, this ersatz breakdancing club of mine was the start of my life-changing capoeira journey.

我的巴西战舞初体验是充满戏剧性的。

在我在美国学习的两年,我发展了对霹雳舞的兴趣。当我回到法国继续商学院的学习时,我想在学校里继续练习,但是学校里并没有提供相应的活动。在一次学生展上,我看到一些活动和课程很像,这个小小组织的团长热情的和我介绍:“你知道的,这个活动很有意思的,就像霹雳舞一样,只有一点点不一样……”

当然,“这个活动”就是巴西战舞。

后来我们每周一次,在学校的教室里开始练习,把桌子和椅子搬到墙边,空出场地。谁都不曾想到,这个霹雳舞的替换版本成了改变我的巴西战舞的漫长路程的开始。

What attracted you the most about capoeira and what made you stick? 巴西战舞最吸引你的地方是什么?是什么让你留下来了?

What first attracted me was of course the apparent similarities with breakdance, not much the “weird sounding” music and the “strange” instruments. Over time, my interest in capoeira grew.

Our capoeira activity became more serious after I graduated. Our teacher and the leader of the group established a proper class in a sports room in Paris. We had classes two times a week. Our teacher was a student of Lucia Palmares, she was the first ever female student of Mestre Nô. Our teacher would bring us to Lucia’s classes, to other groups’ activities and events in Paris. We remained a group without a “grupo”, no official affiliation whatsoever.

With more experiences and more knowledge, little by little, I was getting more serious about capoeira. I started to appreciate more and more the movements, the rodas, the music and the culture. Within less than two years, breakdancing had become a distant memory…

What got me hooked is the movements, the dialogue and the challenge between two people through body language, with the danger and the thrills that come with it. (Unlike a breakdance battle where you are never supposed to touch). What got me hooked further is the music. The first time I learned how to kick queixada and the first time I learned the “Marinheiro Sô” song were memorable moments of pure happiness.

Over time, what “made me stick” is really the richness of the artform and the friendship of the people from the big capoeira family here and around the world.

最开始参加巴西战舞课程的时候,当然是霹雳舞的元素吸引了我,同时“奇怪的声音”和“奇怪的乐器”我并不是很感冒,但是随着时间的变化,我的巴西战舞的兴趣在变化。

在我毕业以后,巴西战舞构成了生活中更重要的兴趣,我的老师和教练的团队在巴黎找到了一个健身房,每周有2节课,我的老师是Lucia Palmares的学生,Lucia Palmares是Mestre Nô第一个女学生。我的老师也会带Lucia来给我们上课,参加其他巴黎团队的活动,同时,我们的小团体没有一个具体的名命,也没有正式的师从关系。

随着更多的经验和知识,一点点的,我逐渐更深入到巴西战舞中,更多的因素开始吸引着我,包括动作,roda,音乐和他的文化。在2年以后,霹雳舞变成了一个遥远的记忆。

吸引我的一个重要因素是人与人之间的通过肢体语言表达的对话、动作和挑战。(不像霹雳舞,都不应该触碰对方的)。后来,音乐成了另外一个重要的因素。我第一次学会踢“queixada”和第一次学会唱 “Marinheiro Sô” 都是最纯粹的快乐回忆。

渐渐的,巴西战舞的丰富的艺术形式和来自世界各地巴西战舞的伙伴们的友情,成了真正吸引我的因素。


What are differences you see between capoeira in China & France? 
你觉得中国和法国的巴西战舞相比,有什么区别么?

Capoeira in France, and in the Western world in general is quite well established. There are a lot of groups, many great mestres, numerous events & activities. It is easy to find “capoeira”.

China is still in the early stage of capoeira journey, there are very few opportunities. Even in Shanghai, we can count the number of groups with fingers from one hand. Capoeira is still a novelty here in China.

Another important aspect is the connection with the local people. In France, the practitioners and many teachers are locals, capoeira has become a fixture of the local cultural landscape. But in China, capoeira is still very “exotic”, the practitioners and the key people that drive the dissemination of capoeira are mostly foreigners and expats. There are some Chinese students, but many of them are the “international” type. Capoeira remains an imported, little-known, niche activity.

But I see a great future for capoeira in China. The same thing took more than 20 years with breakdancing. It has entered the mainstream culture, there are many Chinese break dancers competing and winning in events around the world. With the continuous efforts of all the great capoeira people in China, thanks to the unique appeal of this great artform, China will eventually become a big capoeira country. 

巴西战舞在法国和很多西放国家是有很成熟的系统,有很读懂的团体、大师和无数的活动,很简单就能发现巴西战舞。

在中国,则是刚刚起步,机会相比而言少得多。即使在上海,巴西战舞的团队用一只手可以数的过来,巴西战舞还是个新鲜事物。

另外一个重要因素是和当地人的连接。在法国,学生和很多老师都是当地人,巴西战舞变成了当地文化的一种延申,然而在中国,巴西战舞是个外来新奇事物,参加的人员多是外来人员,参加的中国人更多的有国际背景。巴西战舞还是一个新生事物。

然而,这样我也看到了巴西战舞在中国的前景。霹雳舞也花了20年才行成当前的局面,融入主流社会,已经有很多中国的霹雳舞表演者参与了很多世界级别的比赛,并且赢得奖牌。在中国巴西战舞的团队和人们的共同努力下,这个特别的艺术形式应该会让中国成为一个巴西战舞大国。

Can you tell us a bit about you work, if capoeira has helped you to find balance or rest your mind when difficult times at work…? 关于你的工作,巴西战舞如何帮你减轻工作的压力的呢?

I work in marketing. I must say that capoeira truly helped me a lot during the darkest times of my career. I don’t know how I could have pulled through if I didn’t have capoeira in my life. A little bit a background…

I came to Shanghai with my company at the time exactly 11 years ago. I had a solid academic background, a promising earlier career in France and big dreams for my professional future in China. But due to my lack of knowledge about the “unwritten rules” of corporate politics and a lot and a lot of bad luck, my leap of faith turned out to be a complete nightmare. I was unknowingly dragged into a (relatively) low paying, ungratifying dead-end job, under horrible bosses, in a hostile environment. After spending my whole teenage and adult years away from China, the reverse culture shock only made matters even worse. My professional and personal life was in a dark hole…

During my first two years in Shanghai, capoeira was my only source of happiness. The highlight of my week was the Saturday roda and the group dinner and the parties with capoeira friends. I am sure some people who know me from my early Shanghai days remember that I would sometimes show up 15 minutes before the end of evening class, just to have a taste after long overtime at work. I really needed this cure to keep going. Capoeira had become the light that reminded me of who I was and the good life I had before Shanghai. It reminded me to persevere and never give up.

我从事市场工作,巴西战舞真的帮助我度过了职业生涯中很艰难的时段,无法想象没有巴西战舞的时光,这里有个关于我的小故事。

11年前,我因为工作原因来到了上海,有一个成熟的专业背景,在法国的优秀职业履历和我在中国的美好未来的期望。但是可能是我对本地文化的不熟悉或者一些合作方法的不熟悉,以及很多很多的坏运气。我的美好愿望最终变成了一个完完整整的噩梦。我的工作被带入了低收入、无休止的死胡同的工作、可怕的上司在一个陌生的环境中。在过去20年离开中国以后,反向文化冲击让很多事情变得很糟糕。工作和生活成了一个黑洞……

在我最初在上海的2年,巴西战舞是唯一的快乐来源,最开心的时候就是周六下午的roda,和大家一起吃晚饭以及和朋友们一起party。上海的老同学们一定知道我会在课快要结束,还有15分钟的时候出现,就为了在长长的加班后有一点点放松和调节的机会。我需要这个调节来支持我前进。巴西战舞提醒我我是谁,以及我曾经是谁,让我厚积薄发,永不言弃。

After all these years of practice what makes you always come back? 这些年,什么让你一直回来练习?

Over the years, my professional life has improved dramatically. It has never been an easy ride since the early days, but I became more mature and more resilient, working hard and smart to further my career.
Now I have a more fulfilling professional life and personal life, I don’t really rely on capoeira much for moral support anymore. But I always come back to enjoy capoeira, for the friendship, the fun, the thrills, the experiences and the life lessons.

I don’t want to sound over dramatic, but I do believe you learn life lessons in capoeira. Like mestres often said, the capoeira roda is round like the world, it is the world. There is beauty, ugliness, friendship, hostility, respect, trickery, treachery, creativity, diversity, tears of joy and sadness… You need to learn about it, find your place in it, embrace it as a whole… We as students often find our true selves in the roda, about our personality, our beliefs, our values and what makes us happy or sad. Being aware of all this can help us to become better version of ourselves.

After all these years of practice what makes you always come back? 这些年,什么让你一直回来练习?

Over the years, my professional life has improved dramatically. It has never been an easy ride since the early days, but I became more mature and more resilient, working hard and smart to further my career.
Now I have a more fulfilling professional life and personal life, I don’t really rely on capoeira much for moral support anymore. But I always come back to enjoy capoeira, for the friendship, the fun, the thrills, the experiences and the life lessons.

I don’t want to sound over dramatic, but I do believe you learn life lessons in capoeira. Like mestres often said, the capoeira roda is round like the world, it is the world. There is beauty, ugliness, friendship, hostility, respect, trickery, treachery, creativity, diversity, tears of joy and sadness… You need to learn about it, find your place in it, embrace it as a whole… We as students often find our true selves in the roda, about our personality, our beliefs, our values and what makes us happy or sad. Being aware of all this can help us to become better version of ourselves.

在这些年,我的工作也有了很多起色。开始总是很难,但是我变得更成熟,更适应国内的工作和生活,认真工作。
我的工作和生活都有了很大的起色,也不需要巴西战舞做为精神支柱了,但是我还是会回来享受巴西战舞的活动,为了我们的友谊、为了玩的开心,为了惊险刺激的时刻,为了不一样的体验和人生。
我不想让故事听上去太戏剧化,但是我的确相信人们可以从巴西战舞中学到生活的道理。像大师们经常说的,巴西战舞的roda就像是地球,他的确是地球,是丑陋和没好,是友谊和敌意,是尊重和欺骗背叛,是创造性、多样性、快乐和悲伤的泪水,你需要学习,找到自己的位置,接受他,我们做为学生,经常在roda里面发现自我,关于我们的性格,信仰、价值观和重要的东西。对他们有意识,做更好的自己。

Someone like you with a busy professional career, having a wife at home when do you find time to train? 如果有人和你一样工作繁忙,还有家庭,怎样找到训练的时间呢?

We need to be aware about what we really want in life. It’s a matter of priorities and the doing the best we can. For me, family comes first, then my career, then comes capoeira. But these elements don’t just sit on top of each other on a list, they are sources of positive energy which empower each other. Capoeira makes you happy and healthy, which in turn helps your career and family life.
Now the real question is how to find time… My answer “don’t be lazy, don’t look for excuses, do as you can!” Of course, I still need a lot of improvement to truly walk my own talk…

 我们还是需要知道我们生活中最想要的东西,他们的优先级和如何尽力做到最好。对我来说,家庭优先,然后是我的工作,最后是巴西战舞。但是这些内容不是简单的排序,他们会互相提供支持,相辅相成。巴西战舞让你变得快乐和健康,帮助你获得更好的生活质量。
这样的话就变成了如何找到时间……我的回答是:“不要偷懒,不要找借口,尽力做到最好!”当然,我也要更加努力,做的更好。

Can you give us some tips for people with a busy schedule in Shanghai? About time management or the importance of taking some time your yourself to disconnect from everything and take this time for your body and mind. 你可以给那些繁忙的工作人一些建议么?关于怎么分配你的时间,关于怎么调整你的身心状态?

Some practical tips for those who are busy:

1. No matter how busy you are, try to at least secure the Saturday class. It’s important to keep to a regular presence, especially when there is the roda. The happiness and the adrenaline will slowly build a virtuous cycle in your psyche, sustaining itself without much additional mental effort from yourself.

2. You can train at home a little, even just push-ups or some moves (e.g. queda de rins) to stay in shape.

3. You can learn and sing capoeira songs at home, in the shower, while cooking your food…

4. If possible, you can go to capoeira class first and finish work at home later

这里有一些对于工作繁忙的人的小贴士:

1. 无论你多繁忙,尝试参加周六的课程。规律地参加周六地活动非常重要,特别是参加roda。肾上腺素产生的快乐会促使你来参加周六的活动,并形成习惯,不需要太多的压力和额外说服自己。

2. 在家也可以训练,光是俯卧撑等基础训练(queda de rins)就可以帮你保持状态

3. 可以在家学习巴西战舞的歌曲,烧饭,洗澡的时候……

4. 如果条件允许,可以先上巴西战舞课,再完成剩余的工作。

“Crônicas de Capoeira”  is a series where we share some topics or elements related to capoeira culture.  

It’s a great opportunity for you to share your vision, experiences or tell us how you feel about capoeira. Feel free to suggest any topic that you would like to learn more about. 

“Crônicas de Capoeira”是关巴西战舞文化的一系列文章。

这是个讨论和分享心得和收获的平台,大家畅所欲言,当然,也可以告诉我们你想了解的内容。

Previous article: Crônicas de Capoeira: Mandinga rhythm

Chinese translation by Gerente

中文翻译Gerente

  • Post author:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.