CDO binus: Brazilian martial arts on the campus

As published in The Jakarta Post
Sun, Nov 21 2010

Binus University may have loads of student activities – from martial arts like wushu and Merpati Putih to modern dance, soccer, theater, swimming, photography, cultural and language clubs, and many more.

Members of the student activity groups performed on stage during a month-long exhibition to welcome freshmen to the campus.

Apparently it was not enough. The emcees announced that they had a fascinating brand-new activity on campus: Capoeira, a Brazilian fusion of martial arts, dance, music, culture and movements.

It was originally carried out as a discreet form of fight by Africans shipped to Brazil as slaves by the Portuguese. They made up the movement to look like a dance. In fact, it was fighting skills training to fight for their rights and freedom.

Cordão de Ouro (CDO) is now on the list of Binus University’s student groups, using the name CDO of Binus University students. CDO itself means “the Belt of Gold”; which is under the consent of ContraMestre Papa-Leguas, whose base is in Nottingham, the UK.

Syauqi Ruhul, a CDO Binus member, said the response from the students was very exciting. “The high interest can be seen from the number of students registering to join CDO. This new activity is not just for the freshmen. All students are allowed [to join],” Syauqi said.

“During the exhibition, we give them not just the general information about Capoeira, but also show them the basic movements and the arts. We let them listen to the music and find the thrill within themselves.”

CDO is one of the world’s biggest grupos (the term for capoeira groups). “So if we join CDO, we’re going to be acknowledged and approved globally; especially if we travel overseas and want to have training in any Capoeira grupos there,” Syauqi said.

Another pioneer, Arif Budiarto, said he wanted to spread the wings of CDO among Jakarta university students.

“Since the grupo is somewhat new in Indonesia and we just held our official Batizado [a ceremony to welcome new students as capoeristas (Capoeira practitioners) and given a special belt called cordão] last year by ContraMestre Papa-Leguas himself, I think it’s a great idea introducing and developing Capoeira to Binus University students in particular,” Arif explained.

Setting up a new student group wasn’t as easy as it seemed. After some brainstorming with friends, creating a small board and holding discussions with people from the Indonesia headquarters, the proposal (on the establishment of this student activity) had to be handed to the campus’ student group supervisor.

“It’s not easy at all. We really needed to pass through a rocky path. The proposal was corrected over and over again. But we decided to be committed to it, we followed all the procedures and now that it has been accepted, we’re going to work it out even better,” Arif said.

As for trainers for Binus, they have advanced-practitioners from the headquarters of CDO Indonesia in the South Jakarta base-camp to teach. One of them is Kiki Desmaykha who has been training for almost six years.

Kiki emphasized that Capoeira has many benefits for people, intellectuality and psychologically, as well as a physical advantage, of course.

“Moreover, I really hope CDO Binus has a lot of wonderful enthusiasts devoted to-be-capoeristas during the time. Capoeira is a way of life, and I personally will just let the beauty of CDO in Binus shine so dazzlingly.

“In the end, CDO Binus is about a family telling society the pure value of Capoeira in our own way,” Kiki said.

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