Capoeira Brasil was founded on January 14, 1989 in Rio de Janeiro by capoeira Mestres Paulão Ceará, Boneco, and Paulinho Sabiá. Today, it is an international cultural organization, recognized as one of the largest Capoeira groups in the world with schools in over 40 countries. Its roots come from the capoeira style Luta Regional Baiana of Mestre Bimba. All three Mestres worked together evolving the game to its modern style Regional Contemporânea, what we see today. As well as teaching and training keeping true to the distinct styles of Bangela, Iúna and Angola.
Mestre Paulinho Sabiá started capoeira at the age of ten in the streets of Niteroi in 1969. In 1972, he joined the group Rio Antigo. At the time, capoeira was a discriminated practice. He then trained with group Senzala until 1989 when he founded the group Capoeira Brasil with Mestres Boneco and Paulão Ceará. It was by working together that the three Masters created a new teaching method, being the only group to have three Masters. The group practices the Regional style but also includes Angola and Banguela. Mestre Paulinho Sabiá has been working on a project for 18 years that is helping and training very disadvantaged children. The project is called "Criança cidada", it is to help the children and community with Portuguese and literacy classes, food, showers, as well as access to psychologists and social workers. Mestre Paulinho Sabiá believes that many children find a future less dark than what was intended for them. Some now teach in Europe, the United States and other parts of the world. Capoeira is a set of mixed traditions, the three lineages of capoeira were Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia and Recife. Mestre Paulinho Sabiá is for the maintenance of a certain tradition that must evolve without changing the essence of capoeira. What was true in 1910 is out of fashion nowadays, but the bottom is always the same. The dojo of Mestre Paulinho Sabiá is lined with photos and articles about it, that of capoeira, the history, masters and teachers. He has built his school for over 30 years, now the longest running capoeira academy in Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Mestre Boneco began practicing Capoeira at the age of eleven with group Senzala in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1989, after 19 years of dedicated training, he was recognized for his extraordinary achievement in the Capoeira community and was offered the black belt by a council of the most distinguished Brazilian Masters. After receiving his black cord, Mestre Boneco founded, with Mestre Paulinho Sabià and Mestre Paulão, the group Capoeira Brasil, an organization that will later become one of the largest Capoeira groups in the world. He lived in Los Angeles for many years, he is president and chief instructor of CBLA, the North American headquarters of Capoeira Brasil. Mestre Boneco is also the artistic director of Bencão Brasil, a Brazilian non-profit cultural organization that teaches and practices Capoeira across Southern California and offers scholarships for disadvantaged youth. Today, he supervises more than 70 licensed instructors in teaching programs in North and South America, Australia, Europe and Asia. Mestre Boneco appeared on CNN, FOX News, ABC, NBC, KTLA, Telemundo, Univision, Extra Hollywood, VH1, Men's Fitness, SELF, and The Los Angeles Times. Mestre Boneco has choreographed and trained actors for various feature films, advertising campaigns and theatrical productions. He has also developed his own team of stuntmen specialised in the art of Capoeira.
Mestre Paulão Ceará
Mestre Paulão Ceará trained and taught capoeira with the group Senzala in the Ceará region of Brazil. In 1989, he help found the group Capoeira Brasil. The group has grown rapidly, becoming one of the major capoeira organizations in Brazil and now around the world. In 1993, he moved to the Netherlands and participated in the development of capoeira in Europe. Capoeira Brasil is expanding and schools are opening in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Sweden. The courses are given by graduates, instructors, professors and contra mestres who all come under the his supervision. Since 1993, Mestre Paulão Ceará has organised multiple international Batizados and events and has participated in countless workshops, TV shows, DVDs and other capoeira festivals around the world. He has been a major factor in the growth development and evolution of capoeira.
San Diego, Palm Springs, CA, USA
Mestre Mindinho was born and raised in the streets of Botofogu, Rio de Janeiro, Capoeira found Mestre Mindinho at the age of 10. With over 35 years experience in capoeira, he is a well known and well traveled Master around the world. He has taught workshops in over thirty countries. His capoeira lectures are very unique in their detail and perspective, and so his presence is requested at many different events around the world. He is based in Southern California, and has many schools under his supervision.
Crua (Raw): Beginner level.Students begin their capoeira training at this level. The phrase, crua, or raw, signifies growth potential rather than being seen as inexperienced.
Yellow/Raw: Transition to Yellow.
Yellow: Students demonstrate a basic understanding of the capoeira game and have a basic knowledge of the movements, such as kicks and ground techniques, as well as music. Students know the choruses to many songs and have begun playing instruments.
Orange/Raw: Transition cord to Orange.
Orange: Beginner/Intermediate level. Students have a deeper understanding of the Capoeira game, utilising many different kick, ground, and acrobatic combinations. At this level, students are also capable of leading a song during a roda and playing the instruments.
Blue/Red: Students earn the title of Monitor at this level and begin learning how to teach kids and beginner adults. As capoeiristas, they fully incorporate a large variety of advanced movements including acrobatics, strength movements and takedowns. They have a large repertoire of songs and can play all instruments.
Blue: Students at this level earn the title of Graduado. Students enter a new stage of Capoeira as they are assessed not only on their physical ability but also on their teaching, commitment to the art and their ability to communicate in their Capoeira game. Blue cords must have an excellent vision of the Capoeira game with exceptional technique, and dedicated training etiquette. A Graduado who begins teaching classes earns the title of an Instructor.
Green - Instructor: At this level, capoeiristas continue to improve their skills, which now include teaching. They are very strong in the roda, and are equally strong in their instruction. Their strength comes from their ability to incorporate malicia (deviousness) and intuition into their games. It is malicia that gives capoeiristas their ability to surprise and confuse their opponents. Green cords must take their training to another level by incorporating an intellectual awareness of the art as well as strength, skill, and reflex.
Purple - Professor: Capoeiristas at this level have proven themselves as skilled martial artists and proficient teachers. They are regarded highly because of their progress and devotion to Capoeira. Their malicia skill, intuition, reflex, and vision of the game continue to increase, as they now apply the knowledge they’ve gained within the roda to their dealings with the outside world, and vice-versa.
Brown - Formando: Formandos are some of the most important figures in their group and in the world of Capoeira. They are the right hand of their mestres vital in the dissemination of the art form’s history, tradition, and skill as well as leaders in the group. It is their responsibility to continue their training and development in the art of Capoeira. Formidable players in the roda, Formandos can seamlessly combine all of their skills into a fierce and relentless game.
Black - Mestre: This is the apex for capoeiristas. Mestres are legendary for their skills, wisdom, creativity, and tact both inside and outside the roda. They have solidified their Capoeira game by fusing their physical skill, spiritual connection to the art, and vision of the game with the cunning and trickery they’ve learned throughout their lives. Mestres comprise the top echelon of all Capoeira groups and rightfully oversee the activities of their group. Mestres are also important figures in the community, maintaining and excellent relationship with their students and other leaders in their area.