Author Update: Gerard Taylor
Here’s the latest news from Gerard Taylor, the author of Capoeira Conditioning, Capoeria 100, and Capoeira, Volumes One and Two, The Jogo de Angola from Luanda to Cyberspace. He is truly an inspiration to all of us.
Well, it’s been a busy week this week, as the whole family is taking a fortnight trip to Bahia as of tomorrow morning. Even though I’ve written quite a bit about Salvador, I’ve never actually been there, as my Capoeira Mestres (Sylvia Bazzarelli and Marcos dos Santos) both come from Santos in Sao Paulo, where their Mestre, Mestre Sombra, has his academy. For that reason, when we have been to Brazil, it’s been to Santos, so this will be something different.
On the fitness front, I have defied my own ban on long distance running, and entered myself for the London to Brighton trail run in 2009. This grueling 56-mile (90km) event has been revived after a few years ago the London to Brighton road race was discontinued. The race has to be completed in 12 hours maximum, and there are various time stages throughout that you have to pass to be eligible to continue. Ultra distance running has long been one of those things I had to try before I die, and now seems as good a time as ever.
On the cooking side of things I am taking the Cordon Vert diploma for vegetarian cookery at the end of the summer. I just did two months as a raw food vegan, and although I’m back as a regular ovo-lacto vegetarian now, I think I learned quite a bit from that experience, not least that if you want to be a raw food vegan and eat out, it is much better to live in California, L.A or San Francisco, than Oslo, Norway.
I am working on books, still, in a methodical, some would say, slow kind of way. I’ve been testing the water with fiction, and have a couple of things on youwriteon.com. One called The Kingdom in the Forest and the other, The End Times. I also continue compiling vegetarian recipes with a view to some kind of publication. At work we are increasing our veggie output and are introducing raw fruit smoothies and other healthy stuff for the next semester after the summer.
Capoeira-wise, The Oslo Capoeira Klubb just did our batizado.
[Mestre Sombra With a Group of Students]
Mestre Sombra, Mestre Sylvia, Mestre Marcos, Mestre Ediandro, Mestre Valdir, Contra Mestre Michel, Contra Mestre Paulo, Contra Mestre Ceara and Monitor Fernando all attended. I wasn’t 100% satisfied with my own games. A few years ago I was diagnosed with M.S., which I responded to with a kind of, “I don’t do M.S” attitude. My balance isn’t too great though, which is kind of why I like to run slowly in straight lines for long periods of time. The batizado went really, really well and everybody had a fantastic time. It was vintage Association Capoeira Senzala de Santos style from the 1980s posse of Mestres, and when they all play together in good form, they are awesome.
[an 'annual encounter' of Association Senzala de Santos, with Mestre Valdir leading the roda]
It revived my enthusiasm for the continual challenge of Capoeira. After a short hiatus, I’m teaching again and working on that balance issue. Richard Pryor said something funny about M.S. along the lines of “It takes all the sh*t from a whole load of different illnesses and throws them all together.” You never know what it has in store in its little bag of tricks next. Still, I’m doing fine and I’m still in good shape. I still don’t do M.S, I just play capoeira like I had a couple of beers first
“My own way of getting things done is to just focus on a goal and go at it with the single idea that no matter what happens, regardless of any eventuality, that thing, that goal, is going to take place.”