A Roda is not always a safe place. In Capoeira Angola your space is petty limited. It is almost impossible
to be not enangered when a person in a two-meter-diameter-roda does make a fast kick. For the safety of you and
your partner it is recommendable to slow down the game, even if it gets faster in between. And even if you don't
care much about the other person you are playing with the rule applies "what goes around, comes around". Play fast
and you will get a fast response. Thus, it is sometimes just smarter to play at a slower pace.
Players of Capoeira do regularly state that Capoeira Angola is much more expressive and playful than Regional
or Contemporary Capoeira. This would not be possible in a high speed game. The higher the speed of the game the
more people (especially beginners and not-so-advanced players) concentrate on not getting hit, hitting the other
person and maybe even performing a good game. And the first things dropped would be the playfulness and the
individual expressions you can do in a roda. Thus, a too fast game which keeps on staying too fast is often seen as
an "ugly game" Angola roda, more because of the lack of grace and mandinga than because of the speed.
Here I will quote my first teacher. During training he liked to tell us "I have you rather doing the
movements 3 times right than 30 times wrong". He used to say this when the students sped up in training and started
being sloppy with the movements. This does easily apply to a game. The faster a game is the less time you have for
precise movements, the sloppier you get. That can lead to accidents involving you and/or your partner. Or, it can
just lead to the movements looking short, un complete, ugly. Having time during the game does give you the chance
to do your movements right, precise and with grace.
Health: It is indeed healthier to play slow than to play a fast paced game. This does
count for the individual game as well as on the long term. Why? The faster the game the higher is the danger that
you don't listen exactly what your body tells you. An Au you might go into might be started wrong and risking your
back or your limbs. In a fast game the chance to correct this fault is lower than in a slow game. For example: in
an Angola game which was a tad too fast a friend of mine did almost cripple himself doing an Au malandro (I think
some people call it an Au batido). He had so much speed that his upper arm moved forwards while his hand was
planted and his upper body falling backwards – to make it short: for a split of a second his elbow was on the wrong
side of the arm… In terms of long term effects of fast playing wearing off of knees and wrists is one of the most
prominent Capoeira illnesses. Jumps and rapid stressing these vulnerable body parts do have a bad effect in long
term (although: I am talking here out of a mixture of experience and pure logics. I have no statistical or medical
data for this. But it would be interesting if somebody would investigate this!).