Capoeira-school of Imbassaí: a unique possibility for an immersion in the world of capoeira and its original Bahian roots. 'Formado' Mamão and 'Mestre' Cabeludo.
Capoeira isn't a dance, nor acrobatics or martial arts. It's a combination of all three. Capoeira originated among the African slaves that were brought to Bahia. The miserable conditions in which they were forced to live and work and the brutal oppression they suffered lead to enormous frustrations and pent-up aggression. It often ended in scuffles breaking out between the slaves. Capoeira changed this dramatically. It provided a way to release the rage by fighting, but without touching and harming each other. It then stimulated the unity and discipline among the slaves themselves.
Up until the 1940s it was only practised in a hidden way, prior to this it was forbidden and punished. But for many more years it was considered an inferior habit of black people. Nowadays it is widely recognized as an extremely rich sport and has spread throughout the whole world. People from all countries come to Bahia to learn and practice capoeira with the experienced and authorized 'mestres' (masters) of Capoeira. Capoeira requires some flexibilty and fitness. It is also very intertwined with the samba-dance. Often a capoeira-round, always done in a circle, ends up in a samba-round.
Mamão is the chairman of Imbassai's capoeira-school. His school belongs to the famous and international well known Capoeira-school 'Porto da Barra' of (Master) Mestre Cabeludo. There are very few real 'mestres' worldwide that are recognized as such. Mamão has reached the status of 'formado', which in Bahia is only attainable after an approved experience of many years. He is authorized to run his own school as well as affiliated schools in surrounding villages. Once a year pupils from all those schools gather in Imbassai for a new immersion in the world of capoeira and its original Bahian roots.
It is possible to do an intensive course with Mamão. Age doesn't matter, when there is a capoeira-circle they all participate together. That is the essence of capoeira. The younger pupils give due respect to their elders and likewise the elders are responsible for the youngsters. It has been this philosophy that has made it possible for capoeira to be passed down through the generations despite the tough persecutions in the past. It is perfectly possible to combine capoeira with a relaxed holiday enjoying the sun and the beach. It is also a unique opportunity for a natural integration and immersion from the very first day.