Early history of Capoeira is shrouded in mystery about its exact origins. Capoeira was started during slavery when slaves were brought to South America before being taken to North America. Slaves or Africans from different parts began to combine their music, dances, and fight styles to create cappoeira. Capoeira is a “melting pot.” During slavery, slave masters banned capoeira. Slave masters believed slaves were practicing a “war dance,” and during these capoeira did not involve acrobatic jumps or the berimbau. Instead the only musical accompaniment was the atabaque, hand-clapping, and singing. Remember that capoeira today is nothing like capoeira that existed nearly 200 years ago. When slaves were freed in 1888 under the Golden Law, many had a hard time assimilating into society, and they turned to crime. Because of this, many began to associate capoeira with crime. Capoeira was banned in parts of Brazil because street gangs used it to commit crimes, and in other parts it was developing into a ritualistic art form. It was not until Mestre Bimba and Mestre Pastinha that capoeira began to become more organized. Mestre Bimba was born Manoel dos Reis Machado born in November 23, 1899 or 1900. He was nicknamed Bimba at birth, the midwife said “oh look at his bimba.” Bimba began learning capoeira at 12 years old under the instruction of an African named Bentinho. He opened his first school at age 18. Mestre Bimba opened the first capoeira academy where he taught what he called capoeira regional, “the regional fight from Bahia.” Mestre Bimba was a feared figher, his nickname was was Trés Pancadas (Three Hits) for the maximum number of hits his opponents could take from him. He believed “brains over brawn” attitude, and died at February 5, 1974. Mestre Pastinha born Vicente Ferreira Pastinha in 1889. He was said to have learned capoeira from an African from Angola named Benditio. Mestre Pastinha became known as the “Philosopher of Capoeira” for his many sayings. His most famous pupils are Mestre João Grande and Mestre João Pequeno. Mestre Pastinha died is 1981 at the age of 92. Mestra Bimba and Mestre Pastinha transformed capoeira, and their efforts can be seen throughout capoeira today. Capoeira is much different than it was when it was first created centuries ago. This more contemporary style of capoeira is full of acrobatics while still capturing its energy. Many mestres of today having been bringing capoeira back to its most basic form and emphasizr the importance of the basics that has helped capoeira survive for so long. Capoeira has been spreading around the world, and is still growing.
Cordão de Ouro has been home to many big names including the Mestres Flávio Tucano Biriba, Dal, Rizadinha Zambia, Marcelo Caveirinha, Urubú Malandro, Espirro Mirim, Xavier, Canguru, Sarara, Ze Antonio, Pontian, Bolinha, Geraldinho among many who have completed a huge list. Cordão de Ouro was founded by Mestre Suassuna and Mestre Brasilia in 1967. Cordão de Ouro is one of the largest capoeira groups around the world and is still growing.....
Mestre Suassuna was born Reinaldo Ramos in Itabuna, Bahia in 1942. He begaon training capoeira after a doctor told him he needed to improve his joints. He studied under four different mestres learning a great deal about capoeira. Mestre Suassuna developed a style called Miudinho, which means “smaller,” after watching Mestre João Grande and Mestre João Pequeno playing jogo de dentro. He created Miudinho to revive capoeira Angola. The style requires students to play closer together. To emphasize this idea, he would have students play underneath berimbaus. He also incorporated the use of acrobatic movements into capoeira so they become more than just tricks. Today, with numerous subsidiaries in Brazil and abroad, GRUPO DE OURO Cordão has a prominent role among all groups of capoeira, not only representing Mestre Suassuna for sport and culture, but also by efforts he and his supporters to keep the capoeira at a very technical, interacting speed, agility, flexibility, creativity, music and malice, without forgetting its roots. This effort has been offset by the dedication of capoeiristas following the group's philosophy.
The Cordão De Ouro grading system.
|1st cord||2nd cord||3rd cord||4th cord|
Mestre Esquilo started training capoeira at the age of 10. He wanted to learn kung-fu but instead found capoeira and was hooked ever since. He has been training capoeira for 23 years now. Capoeira has taken him all over the world, 23 countries to be exact. Mestre Esquilo was awarded the rank of Mestre in 2010, and moved to Charlotte in 2011. Mestre is very happy to here in the United States, especially here in Charlotte, where little is known about capoeira but he enjoys the challenge of opeing people's eyes to capoeira and seeing its beauty as he does. He hopes to take capoeira to new heights here in Charlotte.