Instead of joining a gym like last year's attempt at a New Year's resolution, how about getting in shape by trying something that's fun and challenging rather than smelly and tedious? Capoeira, the form of fighting created by Afro-Brazilian slaves 400 years ago, is the perfect way to have fun while firming up. Experienced capoeiristas employ high kicks, spinning leaps, handstands and cartwheels when engaged in the roda (pronounced hoda), or circle, resulting in what looks like a combination of martial arts and break dancing.
Sam Good, who teaches capoeira and physical education at Penn Valley Community College, offers weekly classes to the public for $40 a month. Good recommends that newcomers wait for an introductory Friday session, the first of which starts at 6 p.m. on January 9 in room 103 of the Penn Valley Fitness Center, 3201 Southwest Trafficway.
He also suggests wearing comfortable clothes and shoes for what he describes as an aerobic workout. The session includes extensive stretching, simple kicks and basic dodges as well as an opportunity to help provide the rhythm for the workout on Brazilian instruments such as the berimbau. It's a great workout because, Good says, "Your body is constantly in motion to represent the dance aspect of the art." For a detailed schedule, see grupoberibazu.com or call 816-759-4222.-- Michael Vennard
The Great Indoors
Bartle Hall fills with bait.
When you fish, winter is a painful time of year. The weekends and evenings are darker, colder and much more fishless. For such weary souls, the 50th Annual Kansas City Sportshow is back at Bartle Hall, bringing a fishable trout pond with it.
While exhibitors sell tackle, boats and RVs, personalities such as TV fisherman Harold Ensley and catfish expert Cat Daddy Shumway will sign autographs and give advice. Those looking to bait their hooks with knowledge should attend seminars, such as the lecture on wild-animal calls, which are headed by the neon-camouflage world's equivalent of rock stars. Widows and orphans of the sport can find refuge in the rattlesnake wranglers and the acrobatic-dog troupe, appearing daily. Adult admission is $9. For more information, call 612-827-5833.-- Chris Sebela