Capoeira in Pirate Brothers

“Pirate Brothers” lead star Verdy Bhawanta demonstrated some Capoeira moves. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

by Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

The Indonesian action film Pirate Brothers may be the first in Asia to feature a Capoeira master in its lead role. Verdy Bhawanta is a stunt man and one of the foremost figures of the martial art in his country. The film also stars Robin Shou a long time Asian American actor of Mortal Kombat and Death Race fame. Verdy was recently in Manila to promote the film and conduct live demos of the Brazilian martial art. Pirate Brothers is showing in SM cinemas since November 23, 2011.

“Pirate Brothers” lead star Verdy Bhawanta demonstrated some Capoeira moves. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Host Kristinedera of YES FM and Starlink Managing Dir. Shirley Calibara. Photo by Jude Bautista

Historically it was deemed so dangerous that the Portugese banned its practice inBrazil. It wasn’t until the 1940’s when it was recognized as a Brazilian martial art and was legalized. Verdy (pronounced as Ferdie) is the founder of Capoeira Negaca inIndonesiaand official instructor of Assosiation Capoeira Argola De Ouro International. At the same time he was also cast doing stunt work for Indonesian TV series such as Legend Of Kopinghoo, Wewe Gombel and Jaka Tingkir. His fame rose when he became the endorser of Red Bull which is called Kratingdaeng inIndonesia. Other endorsements include Hemaviton and X mild.

That lovely face on the left is Mrs Kumpletos Recados of RHTV watching with the mesmerized crowd .

“Pirate Brothers” lead star (left) Verdy Bhawanta demonstrated some Capoeira moves with Fantasma (right) Brazilian Capoeira Professor of ESCOLA BRASILEIRA DE CAPOEIRA in the Philippines. Photo by Jude Bautista

Verdy had been into several martial arts which began from his childhood. He eventually got in Capoeira at the age of 20. His passion for it is very evident in his exhibition here in Manila with Fantasma, the leading Capoeira instructor in thePhilippines. He explained what attracted him to it, “I love martial arts, I learned jiu jitsu, I learned Thai boxing. I love Capoeira because it has music, culture and philosophy. It is unique in movements. Like here you see my family, Fantasma we’re very close. Capoeira is like that. It’s really popular too that’s why people like to see it in the movie. Before Capoeira was rare nowadays a lot of people are doing it.” He shared that this was his fourth trip to Manila having been a guest instructor in the martial arts’ events organized by Fantasma who has also been his guest in Jakarta.

“Pirate Brothers” lead star (right) Verdy Bhawanta demonstrated some Capoeira moves with Fantasma (left) Brazilian Capoeira Professor of ESCOLA BRASILEIRA DE CAPOEIRA in the Philippines. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pirate Brothers” lead star Verdy Bhawanta in mid-air defying gravity. Photo by Jude Bautista

According to him the movements had to be adapted to fit the style of action movies, “The movement of capoeira in movies is kind of different. You need to train for movies also. It’s different when you’re alone. Capoeira doesn’t show a lot of jumps. The real capoeira doesn’t show a lot of jumps. I love to do the tricks.”

Fans register for the raffle of Pirate Brothers merchandise

Pirate Brothers” lead star Verdy Bhawanta in mid-air defying gravity. Photo by Jude Bautista

He started out as a stunt man following the footsteps of his idols, “I looked for a job as a stunt man because I love movies. Everyone wants to be like Jackie Chan. I also like Tony Jaa from Thailand. I really dreamed to be like them someday so I trained hard. Then from doing stunts I went to doing ads.”

from left: Lead star Verdy Bhawanta and Brazilian Capoeira Professor Fantasma. Photo by Jude Bautista

“Pirate Brothers” actor Ryan Tedja rises in the air via his Wushu style. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Brazilian martial art made him more noticeable, “When I first came in they were using Wushu, Chinese Kung Fu. So they noticed I had a different style in capoeira. There were a lot of opportunities especially with advertising.”  In one of those shoots for a TV commercial he met Asun Mawardi a brillant director who gave him a break, “He’s not only a director but is also my good friend, my mentor as a man. He inspired me in a lot of things. In acting he helped me a lot especially in his movie. It was his idea to use my first name as the character in the film.”

“Pirate Brothers” Indonesian cast from left: Creative Motion Pictures GM Gina Maria, actor Ryan Tedja, Director / Producer Asun Mawardi, Host Kristinedera of YES FM, Starlink Managing Dir. Shirley Calibara, Lead star Verdy Bhawanta and Brazilian Capoeira Professor Fantasma. Photo was taken at SM Megamall during their mall tour. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pirate Brothers lead star Verdy Bhawanta loves Manila. Photo by Jude Bautista

Working with Robin Shou on Pirate Brothers was also a big influence, “Everybody knows him and I was a big fan of his. Everybody knows Mortal Kombat his movie. When I found out he’s going to take the role I feel really happy. I didn’t know what to say when I first saw him. He’s a big actor but also a good man. He doesn’t act like a Hollywood actor, he’s very humble. I learned a lot of things from him also. He showed me the way because I’m a new comer.”

Seated from left: “Pirate Brothers” lead star Verdy Bhawanta demonstrated some Capoeira moves with Fantasma and Standing from left: Starlink Asia Managing Dir. Shirley Calibara and YES FM's Cesar Basa

“Pirate Brothers” lead star (left) Verdy Bhawanta demonstrated some Capoeira moves with Fantasma (right) Brazilian Capoeira Professor of ESCOLA BRASILEIRA DE CAPOEIRA in the Philippines. Photo by Jude Bautista

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