Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cafe Axe

As mentioned previously in many of my blog posts, I've been studying kali and capoeira for a few years here in Oakland, CA. Last night both disciplines had a chance to converge at an event designed to bring folks together during the new moon. Unfortunately, it wasn't under the best of circumstances. Let me explain.

I've been studying Kali in a space called Cafe Axe in the heart of downtown Oakland. Apparently they proprietor of the space has been receiving threats from an Oakland Police Sergeant who seems to want the place closed down because there are too many minors (read, ethnic minors) hanging out around there. The owner has apparently taken her case to the mayor's office and has been brushed off without having the chance to voice her concerns.

Last night's event brought together many of the current and future users of the space to hear the plight. We also learned that $7000 needs to be raised within the next two months in order to keep the space. It's almost like the plot of Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, only without the funny-looking outfits.

Finding space to do anything in Oakland is very difficult. I should know, I've been working with Shab for the past few years trying to locate suitable spaces for teaching and events. Losing Cafe Axe would inarguably be a bad thing.

I'll probably be contributing some internet related knowledge to help the cause in some way, shape, or form over the next few weeks and hopefully it will help keep the doors open.

To close out last night's event two demos were organized. One featuring me and my Kali teacher Gura Michelle, and another featuring my Capoeira class. The strangest part was that one had nothing to do with the other in that I had no idea that out of all the great performers in the Bay Area, these two classes would end up participating.

Maybe it was a signal for me to get involved in something. So, here I am at 4 in the morning typing up my thoughts, and purchasing the domain name. Yes, it looks like there is a lot room for me to help online.