The Process
The classes are built on are premises that being born on the gravitational field of our planet will inevitably generate fear-reactivity and an accumulation of unnecessary tensions of all sorts stored in the bodies. Along the growing up process, external pressures and challenges from society, educational system, family and so on, will inevitably be added into the construction of personal narratives, potentially further compromising a sense of connectedness. Play-Flight Practice brings awareness into the unconscious resistances towards gravity and the implications of the universal fear of falling on every facet of human expression. Tensions and adversities are necessary frictions to spark evolution but when stagnated and repressed in the body-mind system, it becomes a traumatic event, the source for a myriad of dysfunctionalities. The physical exercises, orientated in playfulness, focus on recognizing, acknowledging and recycling those harmful lifelong accumulation of tensions and stored blockages into a self-empowerment cultivation. Ultimately, the practice stimulates self-honesty and the embodiment of non-resistance, rescuing flow and a sense of unbroken wholeness as our original state of being.

The roots of Play-Fight Practice goes back in 1995 when Bruno Caverna was heading a Capoeira project for patients of a public psychiatric hospital in Rio de Janeiro in collaboration with Luiz Cantador. From the very beginning, the classes were characterized by a deconstructive approach, questioning the dysfunctional aspects of the more conventional Capoeira methodologies at that time. Along its evolutionary teaching process, Bruno would organically integrate principles and knowledge from his experiences in various disciplines such as Physiotherapy, Psychology, Contact-Improvisation, Pushing-Hands, Contemporary Dance, Somatics, Russian Systema, Watsu, Biotensegrity and more recently Freediving.
The label Play-Fight coalesced and took shape only in 2012, though, when Bruno traced back his teaching trajectory and realized that the practice could no longer fit into any known category. The chosen name was a way to acknowledge its Capoeira foundation, while at the same time honoring the extrapolative territory that would most coherently represent the essence of an ever-evolving holistic practice.

Play-Fight practice is a deep excavation into the nature of our human existential condition, interweaving the inherent life polarities like a symphonic interplay between confrontation and cooperation, form and formlessness, presence and absence. On a biological perspective, life can be regarded as an unavoidable relational play-fight dynamics that takes place uninterruptedly within ourselves from moment to moment as well as at each interaction in our surroundings. The cooperative aspect of the practice ensures that individual's integrity is imperative. On the confrontational side, the practice has the potential to reflect each other's blind spots and to expose concealed unconscious resistances and self-deceptive mechanisms, like a ruthless mirror that can potentially reveal the delusory myth of our acquired identities.
Facing own resistances plays a huge role in the practice. Personal resistance is often a gestural response of deep fears. While fear is a vital biological mechanism that supports the survival of the species, the lifelong acquired societal fears not only violate its original evolutionary design, but are highly detrimental for the organism. During the practice, a friendly terrain is architected to safely evoke and explore own resistances and the fears that accompanied them. A major evidence of progress happens whenever someone quits resisting own resistances and eventually stops fighting with themselves. A simple mental shift with tremendous beneficial implications.
Brutal self-honesty
The cultivation of brutal self-honesty is one of the main pillars of Play-Fight. It is an effective exercise that allows clear distinctions to be made, specially discerning the false ideas and images we construct about ourselves. In contrast, to define intellectually the "real" is seemingly an unachievable task, analogously in trying to capture the ocean with a net. The false, on the other hand, can be recognised and discerned rationally. The Play-Fight paves the road to a practice of deconstructive features by challenging and stripping away any fabricated ideas we may hold about ourselves. In order to cultivate self-honesty to such an extend of relinquishing the false for the falling into a state of no longer knowing who we are, requires commitment, trust and courage. Having the sense of (false) identity scattered may feel like falling into an abyss, and thus, existential fears, vertigo sensations, and dreadful feelings can be occasionally experienced whilst realizing that which we cannot not be.
This is one musical instrument that cannot be left out of the symphony. As simple as that, no connectivity no concert, no Play-Fight. Since the feeling of being connected is subjective, the challenge here is to orientate participants to discern the specific feeling of connectedness without which Play-Fight simply can't take place. Anyone working in aquatic environment knows by experience that resisting to the water flow (fighting attitude) is fruitless, unrealistic. Water is the ultimate inspirational natural element for Play-Fight, for humbly teaching us the way of non-resistance, the doorway to the specific type of connectivity we value, cultivate and sustain throughout the practice.
Bruno Caverna
Originally from Rio de Janeiro Bruno started practicing a vast array of physical practices at the age of 8, such as capoeira, contact-improvisation, contemporary dance, acrobatics, watsu, taiji, qi-gong and systema, just to mention a few. Through his auto-didactic nature, Bruno has been extensively researching ways of integrating elements of these diverse movement practices into a more expansive somatic understanding and training method (for dancers, movement practitioners and anyone seeking a path towards reconnecting with their body knowledge). During his journey, Bruno has been deeply fascinated by the mysterious ways water behaves and flows in its natural environment; the water studies next to the education in watsu have become a fluid compass for his life navigation, leading him to develop Liquid Body, the foundation of his movement practice. Since 1994 until now Bruno has been teaching/sharing passionately and tirelessly his life experiences with people from all walks of life in more than 30 countries. He authored Formless Arts, an umbrella and philosophical core for Play-Fight and Liquid Body practices, results of a vision that questions our crystallized concepts, while at the same time interweaving a multitude of disciplines and tribes through a common thread.
Play-Fight Practice Founder