Pinoy martial artist trains Charlize Theron

News Philippines Jan 1, 2006 at 2:29 pm

LOS ANGELES–A “ 27 year old Filipino American, Xingu, trains Charlize Theron for film, “Aeon Flux.” Xingu is an instructor/professor of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art form whose music, dance, and acrobatic components separate it from all other traditional martial arts.

Xingu had the opportunity to train Theron as she personally wanted to learn capoeira for the film as she would be doing her own stunts. She found out about capoeira through her boyfriend Stuart Townsend who is a big fan of the art. So through word of mouth, that’s how they found out about Xingu.

“Training Charlize was a pleasure,” says Xingu. “She worked really hard and is a really humble person as with all the celebrities I’ve trained…they are usually very humble.”

After gaining 30-plus pounds for her Academy Award-winning turn in “Monster,” Theron was eager to take on the physical challenges of “Aeon Flux.”

“I got very excited about how far I could actually push myself, and how many new things I could learn to do on my own on this film to really physically feel like I was this character,” she says. “I got excited about pushing my body to that limit.”

Theron insists that stunt work is a necessary part of finding the character. “It was important to me – if I could believe in mysellf doing these things, then it wasn’t so unrealistic,” says Theron. “That was a question that I asked myself every time we did a stunt. The physical aspect sometimes is so much more important than my lines of dialogue – and that’s the case for a character as physical as Aeon. I know I am being helped at times by a wire and mats – there has to be a security blanket – but I think it is important to get as close as you possibly can to doing it yourself. I think it helps tremendously with playing a character like this.”

Capoeira is recognized as the national martial art of Brazil. Compared to other martial art forms, capoeira is playful as it is more of a game between two players who are inside a circle of fellow capoeiristas that play instruments, sing, and clap to beat of the the music. The idea of the game is not to harm the person you are playing with, but to have a dialogue without speaking. Players do this by creating a consistent flow of movements that display an array of emotions from delicate moves to explosive ones. The acrobatic flips, cartwheels and kicks in capoeira was a perfect match for the film “Aeon Flux” as Theron exhibits gravity defying stunts in the film.

:Aeon Flux” is a futuristic sci-fi thriller set 400 years in the future. Theron stars as Aeon Flux, the top underground operative at war with the totalitarian regime governing what appears to be a perfect society. Aeon is on the front lines of a rebellion that will reveal a world of secrets behind the perfect society. “Aeon Flux” is based on characters in the pioneering MTV animated series.

In recent years capoeira has subtly left its mark in the entertainment industry. Mazda used the capoeira song “Zoom Zoom Zoom,” in a commericial, the films “Ocean’s Twelve,” “Helix Loaded,” among others incorporated capoeira. Xingu has single-handedly been involved in spreading capoeira to the entertainment industry world. He has been in numerous theatres, music videos (Shakira, Green Day, Prince, Yolanda Adams, Dj Looneytunes, etc.), commercials (Sears, Diehard Batteries, Epic Records, Citi Bank, Eastpack Back Pack, etc.), and films. Xing’s clients include Charlize Theron, Bill Bellamy (Def Comedy Jam), Lee Thompson Young (new UPN show South Beach produced by Jennifer Lopez, Friday Night Lights), among others.

Xingu started training celebrities and students in the year 2000 when his master gave him the title of Professor and gave permission to teach. He started to teach in the San Fernando Valley and was the only capoeira teacher in the area and is still to this day. Xingu teaches capoeira at the Tarzana Karate Dojo located in Tarzana, California.

Xingu has also taught for many programs to help the youth of the community, Such as the Upward Bound Program, P.S. Arts, Music Center, Los Angeles Unified School District, City Of Beverly Hills and others.

Beside capoeira, Xingu does eskrima (Filipino martial arts), Savate (Australian martial arts), yoga and weight training. He focused on the study of capoeira because he was attracted to all of the unique elements the martial art incorporates. Xingu has always said that Capoeira helps individuals because it helps them get over their fears and understand who they are inside.

For more information on Xingu visit