Mestre of the month

Mestre Pastinha

‘Vincente Ferreira Pastinha’

(April 5th 1889 – November 13th 1981)

Mestre Pastinha played capoeira for more than eighty years. His father was a Spaniard, his mother an African. He was taught capoeira by an African from Angola, Mestre Benidito.
Benidito had seen the ten year old Pastinha, who was a very small boy being beaten by a stronger boy. Afterwards, he told Pastinha that if he came to his house he would be taught something very valuable. Benidito was of course talking about Capoeira Angola or n`golo as he called it. Pastinha was a brilliant capoeirista whose game was characterized by agility, quickness and intelligence. Pastinha was the great traditionalist. Pastinha wanted his students to understand the practice, philosophy and tradition of pure Capoeira Angola.

It is said that in the early days of Capoeira, Capoeira was called many things including:

 

 Capoeira is everything that goes through the mouth?

Brincadeira de Angola

Vadiacâo

Jôgo de Angola

Malandragem

Capoeira Angola

 

 

 

 

 

Mestre Pastinha once said:
I practice the true Capoeira Angola and in my school they learn to be sincere and just. That is the Angola law. I inherited it from my grandfather. It is the law of loyalty. The Capoeira that I learnt, I did not change it in my school … When my students go on, they go on to know about everything. They know: this is fight, this is cunning. We must be calm. It is not an offensive fight. Capoeira waits… The good Capoeira needs to be able to cry at the foot of the aggressor, he is crying but his eyes and spirit is active. Capoeiristas do not like to be grabbed, he does not like to turn the corner with his chest open. The good capoeirista must know how to sing, play Capoeira and instruments of Capoeira.

He was a composer who wrote many Capoeira songs. He also loved to talk and philosophise about Capoeira:

Capoeira is at a time a dance and a religion.
Capoeira is the special magic (mandinga) of slaves in there longing for freedom. Its’ essence/origins/philosophy doesn’t have methods, its end is inconceivable to the more knowledgable capoeirista.

…The code of honour is indispensable …. To be obeyed by the capoeiristas, therefore…. ” It is the control of the game “… for the judge… for the rules… regulations… and for the rhythm of the orchestra… ” That it prevents the violence and the accidents “…

Mestre Pastinha is without a doubt the most famous of all the Capoeira Angola Mestres but please let us not forget the other great Angoleiros of that time. For at that time to go to a Capoeira Angola School or academy was unheard of. One would pick out a “teacher” and hopefully he would teach you or it was also common to go to a roda and try to pick up some movements and practise in private. I believe that in this way Capoeira Angola was able to keep the individual style, mystique and unpredictability so comman to Capoeira Angola. This is opposed to a “teacher” offering his services to all who showed interest.

Mestre Pastinha opened the first Capoeira Angola School.
The Academia De Capoeira Angola, in 1941 in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Some say in response to the fact that regional players had lost contact with the roots and context of Capoeira, Promoting Competition and grading. The object is to try to keep as sincere to the roots as possible. Hence the addition Angola. He would say to his students…

Capoeira Angola can only be taught without force, but naturally. For the person to learn, you must make good use of free gestures. Each owns his own way to play and know one plays like me. In my students lies the wisdom of what I know, I can see it in them each one is his own.

Mestre Pastinha dedicated his school to preserving and continuing the long tradition of this African art form. Only after he died did he receive the recognition he deserved. In a brochure celebrating his hundredth birthday the state of Bahia declared him the heritage of Bahia.

Mestre Val Boa Morte

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Mestre Pastinha

Mestre Ezequiel

Toda Bahia chorou – repite

No dia em que a Capoeira de Angola, perdeu o seu protetor

Mestre Pastinha foi embora / Oxalá que os levou

Lá pras terras de Aruanda / mais ninguém se comformou

Chorou general menino / chorou mocinha doutor

Preta velha, feiticeira / Oganzí, Babálaô

Berimbau tocou Iúna / num toque triste de morte

A Capoeira foi jogada / ao som da triste canção

Da boca do mandigueiro / de dentro do coração

Mas não ouve na Bahia

Quem não cantasse esse refrão – repite

IÊ, vai lá menino / mostra o que o mestre ensinou

Mostra que arrancaram a planta / Mais a semente brotou

E se for bem cultivada / dará bom fruto e bela flor

Ai, ai, aidê / O aide, aide, aidê

AI, AI, AIDÊ

Mestre Pastinha eu canto pra você….

“Coxy’s Big Break” Channel 7 TV Show

TUNE IN – CHANNEL 7

SCREENING ACROSS AUSTRALIA

Saturday 23rd July – 5:30pm

On July 5th, Geoff ‘Coxy’ Cox is best known as a drummer for Brian Cadd and The Little River Band, visited Mestre Val with some of his family & students at his Capoeira Filhos da Bahia – Melbourne Academy.

Coxy is the Host of “Coxy’s Big Break” – a Channel 7 travel show where you can find great things to do in Melbourne and Victoria from the comfort of your armchair.

Watch Mestre Val Boa Morte, Monitor Batata (Jasiah Buckley), Monitor Beicola (Caleb Buckley) & Sebastiao demonstrate Capoeira for Coxy & share this amazing Artform with the rest of Australia!

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Mestre of the Month

Mestre Nô

Norival Moreira de Oliveira was born in Coroa, Itaparica, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil on June 22, 1945. At 7, Norival and his family moved to Massaranduba, a poor neighborhood not far from the church of Bomfim. Mestre Nilton and Mestre Cutica, brothers and highly respected capoeiristas who lived down the block, took young Norival to meet the elder masters Pirró and Zeca. Pirró, Zeca and Nilton organized and commanded many capoeira rodas in the streets.

Norival began playing in the mestre’s rodas and in 1965 he started teaching in his own academy. Mestre No founded Capoeira Academies Retintos, Orixas da Bahia and Capoeira Palmares. He has taught to thousands of capoeristas. He is founder, president, and grand master of Associacao Brasileira Cultural de Capoeira Palmares (ABCCP) an organization dedicated to teaching, promoting and maintaining the traditions of Capoeira Angola.

Today, Mestre No lives with his wife, children and grand children in Boca do Rio, Salvador. He teaches capoeira in Pituba and travels throughtout Brazil in the US and other parts of the world.

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Mestre of the Month

Mestre Paulo dos Anjos

‘José Paulo dos Anjos’

August 15, 1936 – March 26, 1999

 

Few of today’s Capoeira practitioners stick so close to the art’s traditions and originality as José Paulo dos Anjos.

Mestre Paulo dos Anjos was known as one of the most skilled and versatile Angoleiros of the century. He strongly resisted the attempts to incorporate the changes and fads of modern Capoeira into the traditional art. “For me, nothing has changed. I continue practicing Capoeira Angola according to tradition,” he used to say.
Mestre Paulo was born on August 15th, 1936 in the town of Instance in Sergipe. He moved to Bahia and started work young as a result of the early death of his father. Being the eldest of his brothers, he assumed the responsibility of helping to raise them with his mother. At 14 years old, Mestre Paulo made a name for himself in Salvador as a promising boxer. Later he met Master Canjiquinha, who introduced him to Capoeira. The young Paulo began to frequent the rodas of the Bahian cities, including the rodas of Mestre Pastinha’s academy. In street festivals, his technique and abilities began to attract everyone’s attention. From then on, time would transform him into a master, graduated by Mestre Canjiquinha himself. He also spent time with Mestre Gato Preto, teaching with him in Bahia and also in São Paulo.

With his own style of singing the Capoeira Angola songs, Mestre Paulo dos Anjos was venerated by all. He seemed to have an “orchestra” in his throat. He became widely respected in the Capoeira world and recorded some songs on a CD combining his unique style with the musical tradition of Capoeira. Alongside Mestre Gato Preto, he gave classes on Itaparica Island as well as other places in the metropolitan region of Salvador. His unique way of playing Capoeira helped keep alive the wit of his master and was enjoyed by all other masters alike.

In the 1970s, preoccupied with the direction of Capoeira Angola, Mestre Paulo dos Anjos decided to go to Sao Paulo in order to transmit the teachings of his master. He moved there for five years and in São José dos Campos, he formed the group Anjos de Angola (Angels of Angola). In 1978 he won the Capoeira championship at the Pacaembu Gymnasium in the state capital. However, Mestre Paulo found that he was very little understood in Sao Paulo, making it difficult to keep alive the Capoeira Angola tradition.

 Thus, he returned to Salvador in 1980 and influenced the movement of capoeiristas fighting for better working conditions. Upon his return, he also gathered his followers and told them of the wise decision that from now on he would work with underprivileged children, using Capoeira as a vehicle against ignorance and indifference. Indeed, Mestre Paulo was among the first to believe that through Capoeira, it would be possible to train people to learn critical and creative thinking, interacting positively with the world in which they live.

In 1987, he led the Brazilian Capoeira Angola Association and combined his Capoeira work with his activities as a civil servant in Salvador’s town hall. Many of his students have now become Masters and Professors with their own academies around the world. Past students are Virgílio do Retiro, Jaime de Mar Grande, Jorge Satélite, Pássaro Preto, Amâncio, Neguinho, Renê, Alfredo, Djalma, Galego, Mala, Josias, Cabeção, Jequié, Feijão, Vital, and Al Capone, among others.

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Mestre Paulo dos Anjos passed away on March 26, 1999 in Salvador, the victim of an infection contracted after a surgery in a local hospital. His death represents the loss of not only a very distinguished human being, but also an irreparable loss for Capoeira, especially the lineage of Capoeira Angola.

Mestre Val Boa Morte

Assisted By Elisa Osegueda ‘Passarinha’ 

MESTRE BIMBA’s MONTH

February @ Capoeira Filhos da Bahia School

Come & Enjoy learning “Mestre Bimba Style” CAPOEIRA REGIONAL

In commemoration of the Anniversary of his Death, we’ll be learning Mestre Bimba’s Sequences, Music & Games during FEBRUARY – from MONDAY 4th Feb – SATURDAY 16th Feb 2013!!

  • Capoeira Regional Workshops, Rodas, Music & more…
  • Come & Join in! Share in the ENERGY – Have fun!

So, let’s all SHARE THE BRILLIANCE of MESTRE BIMBA’s Capoeira with our friends & loved ones!

Mestre of the Month


Mestre Bimba

‘Manuel Dos Reis Machado’

November 23, 1899 – February 5, 1974

MESTRE BIMBA’s MONTH

February @ Capoeira Filhos da Bahia School


Come & Enjoy learning

“Mestre Bimba Style” CAPOEIRA REGIONAL

In commemoration of the Anniversary of his Death,

we’ll be learning Mestre Bimba’s Sequences, Music & Games

during FEBRUARY- from TUES 1st Feb – MON 28th Feb!!


SATURDAY 5th February: Mestre Bimba’s SPECIAL DAY

Capoeira Regional Workshop, Roda, Music & more…

Fun starts: 9:30am (kids class) 10:30am (adults)!

Roda 12pm | Music 1pm

Come & Join in! Share in the ENERGY – Have fun!

ALL Current CFdB students must BRING-A-BUDDY to attend the workshop (or send 1 BUDDY to participate)!

It is a FREE EVENT for all Buddies & New Beginners

So, let’s all SHARE THE BRILLIANCE of MESTRE BIMBA’s Capoeira with our friends & loved ones!

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The son of Luiz Cândido Machado and Maria Martinha do Bonfim, Manuel dos Reis Machado known famously as Mestre Bimba was born on November 23rd, 1900, at the “Bairro do Engenho Velho” in Salvador, Brazil. The nickname “Bimba” came up due to a bet between his mother and the midwife during his birth; his mother bet that he was going to be a girl and the midwife bet he would be a boy. After he was delivered, the midwife said it’s a boy, look at his “bimba” (penis). He started learning Capoeira when he was 12 years old, with a capitão da Companhia Baiana de Navegação from Estrada das Boiadas in Salvador called Bentinho, even though, in those days, the authorities were still persecuting Capoeira. He would later be known as one half of the legendary founding fathers of contemporary Capoeira. The other would be Mestre Pastinha, the father of Capoeira Angola.

The Birth of the Regional Style

At 18, Bimba felt that Capoeira had lost all its efficiency as a martial art and resistance, becoming a folkloric activity, reduced to nine movements. It was then that Bimba started to retrieve movements from the original Capoeira fights and added movements from another African fight called Batuque – a vicious grappling type of martial art that he learned from his father, as well as introducing movements created by himself. This was the beginning of the development of Capoeira Regional.

In 1928, a new chapter in the history of Capoeira begun, as well as a change in the way black people were looked upon by the Brazilian society. After a performance at the palace of Bahia’s Governor, Juracy Magalhães, Mestre Bimba was finally successful in convincing the authorities of the cultural value of Capoeira, thus ending the official ban in the 1930′s.

Mestre Bimba founded the first Capoeira School in 1932, the Academia-escola de Capoeira Regional, at the Engenho de Brotas in Salvador, Bahia. Previously, Capoeira was only practiced and played on the streets. However, Capoeira was still heavily discriminated by upper class Brazilian society. In order to change the slyness, stealthy and malicious reputation associated with Capoeira practitioners at that time, Bimba set new standards to the art.

His students had to wear a clean, white uniform, show proof of grade proficiency from school, show good posture and many other standards. As a result, doctors, lawyers, politicians, upper middle class people, and women started to join his school, providing Bimba with better support.

Capoeira Regional is Established

In 1936, Bimba challenged fighters of any martial art style to test his Regional style. He had four matches, fighting against Vítor Benedito Lopes, Henrique Bahia, José Custódio dos Santos and Américo Ciência. Bimba won all matches.

In 1937, he earned the state board of education certificate after he was invited to demonstrate Capoeira to the President of Brazil at that time, Getúlio Dorneles Vargas.

In 1942, Mestre Bimba opened his second school at the Terreiro de Jesus – rua das Laranjeiras; today rua Francisco Muniz Barreto. The school is open until today and supervised by his former student, “Vermelho”. He also taught capoeira to the army and at the police academy. He was than considered “the father of modern Capoeira”.

Important names to the Brazilian society at that time such as Dr. Joaquim de Araújo Lima , Jaime Tavares, Rui Gouveia, Alberto Barreto, Jaime Machado, Delsimar Cavalvanti, César Sá, Decio Seabra, José Sisnando and many others were Bimba’s students.

Bimba’s Legacy

Mestre Bimba was a coalman, carpenter, warehouse man, longshoreman, horse coach conductor, but mainly Capoeirista; a giant with strong personality! Unhappy with false promises and lack of support from local authorities in Bahia, he moved to Goiânia in 1973 by invitation from a former student. He died a year later, on February 5th, 1974 at theHospital das Clínicas de Goiânia due to a stroke.

Bimba managed to recover the original values within Capoeira, which were used amongst the black slaves centuries before him. For Bimba, Capoeira was a fight but “competition” should be permanently avoided since he believed it was a “cooperation” fight, where the stronger player was always responsible for the weaker player and helped him to excel in his own fighting techniques.

Mestre Bimba fought all his life for what he strongly believed was best for Capoeira and succeeded. After he died in 1974 one of his sons, Mestre Nenel , at 14, took over his father’s Capoeira academy. Mestre Nenel is still responsible for the remarkable cultural and historical legacy his father left him and he is the President of Filhos de Bimba School of Capoeira.

Bimba’s Academy Rules

Bimba strongly believed Capoeira had an extraordinary value as a self-defence martial art, hence his efforts to develop its learning in a structured and methodical way.

Bimba developed a Capoeira teaching method with commandments, principles and traditions , which are still part of the Capoeira Regional up to this day. Some of his commandments are:

  • To stop smoking and drinking since it interferes with the players’ performance
  • To avoid demonstrating one’s progression as a Capoeira player outside the academy
  • Avoid conversation during training, instead observe and learn from watching
  • Practice daily the basic fundamentals
  • Do not be afraid to come close to your opponent – the closer that you get, the more you will learn
  • Keep your body relaxed
  • It is better to get beat up in the roda than on the streets

Bimba also established his own Capoeira principles to fundament his Capoeira teaching method:

  • “ Gingar sempre”  (to Ginga always) “Ginga” is the Capoeira basic movement
  • “ Esquivar sempre ” (to Esquiva always)
  • All movements must have a purpose
  • To preserve a constant fixed position on the ground
  • To play according to the rhythm determined by the berimbau
  • To respect a player when he/she can no longer defend an attack movement
  • To protect the opponent’s physical and moral integrity

Consequently, Bimba created several traditions and rituals to support his methodology:

  • A chair was used in order to train beginner students/players
  • The “ charanga ” is the Capoeira orchestra, composed by a berimbau and two pandeiros
  • The singing, songs composed by Bimba to accompany the game
  • The “ batizado ”

The aspects that still makes Capoeira Regional so peculiar and outstanding is its method:

  • Admission exam;
  • The “ sequência ”  of the basic 17 Capoeira attack and defence movements
  • Practice of the different rhythms of the game
  • Specific movements: traumatizing, projection, connected and unbalancing
  • Practice of “ cintura desprezada ”
  • “ Formatura ”
  • “ Especializacdo ” and “ emboscada ”

Edval Santos - Mestre Val Boa Morte

ARGENTINA Buenos Aires

A letter from Mestre Val

ASOCIACION ARGENTINA DE CAPOEIRA

17th International Capoeira Encounter 2010

Hosted by: Mestre Marcos Gytauna – GRUPO ORIAXÉ

The event here in Buenos Aires was a great success. For me, the most special part was to share the same event with such great friends who live in different parts of the world but at the same time, are so close to each other’s Hearts (Mestre Marcos Gytauna, Mestre Amen Santo and Mestre Tonho Materia).

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MESTRE MARCOS GYTAUNA

Since childhood, Mestre Marcos Gytauna has been my best friend.

On January 10th, 1987, we arrived together in Argentina. We built our school and worked together until the end of 1989, which was when I left Argentina to return back to Brasil. At that time, I started touring around, all over the world until I decided to migrate to Australia. I arrived in Melbourne on November 10th, 1993.

Mestre Marcos Gytauna and I, together, we have a lot of stories – in and out of the Capoeira world – the funniest, the saddest and the happiest.

MESTRE AMEN SANTO

With Mestre Amen, we trained together at Mestre Alfredo’s School in Salvador, Bahia. We participated in many events and we did a lot of shows together.

I can’t ever forget that on my first day at Mestre Alfredo’s School, I had to play Mestre Amen. He gave me the biggest vingativa that even today, I can still hear my right elbow crack.

Anyway, we’ve always been friends. Especially now, since we’ve been inviting each other to our events since 1999, when he came to Australia for the first time.

When Mestre Amen was 17, he migrated to the USA. Before he made that decision, he was studying in his last year of secondary school. While we were walking one day, I was on my way to my Afro dance class and he was on his way to his folklore group ‘Viva Bahia’ practice, he was telling me that he was going to abandon his studies because they were giving him an opportunity to go to the USA and he was feeling that this was the opportunity of his LIFE.

The same thing happened to me and Mestre Marcos Gytauna. I invited him to come to Argentina 2 days before we left. I said that to him and with out thinking he accepted, even though in 4 days he was supposed to go to serve in the Brazilian Army. The result, already he has been here in Argentina for 23 years!

MESTRE TONHO MATERIA

With Mestre Tonho Materia, the same thing happened but he had to give up Capoeira for a while to dedicate himself to Music composition and his career as a singer. He did so well!

After training one day, I was walking with him in his neighbourhood and he said that he decided to stop Capoeira to take his music more seriously. It took him around 10 years. He never really left Capoeira because Capoeira was there with him in every stage around the world that he travelled with OLODUM and also with his solo career.

MESTRE ORELHA

I always admired that guy since he was the student of my friend, Mestre Bamba. When we trained together at Mestre Alabama’s School, in the early 90′s, I was already a Capoeira Master and he was a humble capoeirista, still a kid with so much potential. Mestre Orelha is a very smart person with so many stories to tell and a love for the Art.

So, it was good to remember all of that together in a BATE-PAPO with Mestre Marcos’ students after the OPENING RODA of the event.

Together, we remembered great capoeiristas that have already passed and many that still exist. We remembered moments in RODAS, FAMILY, FRIENDS and moments in SHOWS. You can tell by looking at the pictures and videos that we took during the whole event – We agreed, we disagreed, we cried together. It was GREAT FUN – I am glad that I came and participated in this event.

Thanks to all my friends, family and students for their support and their understanding of my need to come here to Argentina. Not only for this event but also, for the University Graduation of my Daughter, Jennifer Boa Morte Santos. Imagine, how happy I am right now, sharing that with you all.

Mestre Val Boa Morte

December 7th, 2010

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Watch Mestres na rOda!

Mestre Val Boa Morte presents:

A series of VIDEOS  of Capoeira Games that he has collected from AROUND THE WORLD!

Mestres na rOda is a collection of videos edited by Mestre Val

Featured on CAPOEIRA TECHNIQUES Channel

Join Capoeira Masters in Roda’s all over the World! Axé!

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