A few Words from Mestre Camisa

from the first ABADA encounter USA

It is a pleasure for me to return to San Francisco for the First ABADA Encounter USA and the Fourth Batizado of ABADA Capoeira SF. I would like to briefly describe the work of ABADA.

Vision of ABADA

Before Capoeira Regional there was only capoeira. After Capoeira Regional was originated by Mestre Bimba the Capoeira Traditional was modified as well. Due to misunderstanding on both sides an ever widening gap was created between the different forms. ABADA Capoeira proposes to unify and understand both languages.

From this work comes Capoeira Contemporary, whose goals are to maintain the fundamentals of traditional capoeira and to create a language that can be understood by any capoeirista who experiences capoeira as a complete art form.

The new contemporary language of capoeira seeks to respect and preserve the traditions and foundations of capoeira and to follow capoeira's evolution throughout the world. It considers all the aspects of capoeira, as a martial art, as a playful game, as a source of rhythms and songs and as a spontaneous art form.

The Formation of the Capoeirista

The student begins with a no-color cord and each six months or year may be promoted according to the prerequisites of that level. At all levels the technical condition, dedication, character, discipline and required knowledge according to that level are taken into account.

The graduated student that can demonstrate a high technical level and theoretical knowledge, and good work in capoeira can be promoted to a level appropriate within the group.

In the Batizado the student who presents his or herself at a level higher than their present cord may be promoted one or more graduations.


This style originates in the animal realm. It is characterized the most by the chameleon, since the chameleon changes its color according to each situation in order to survive. The style gives the capoeirista the means to adapt to any opponent regardless of the physical condition, style and rhythm that they may impose on the player. In this way the capoeirista using the chameleon style is able to preserve his or her physical and moral integrity.

This work may seem new to some, but it has been developing for more than twenty years since I arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There was a change in name but the work continues as strong and full of promise as ever.

During this time, as anything in life, we encountered all kinds of hardships. Nevertheless we gathered strength to continue striving towards our goals. With happiness and satisfaction, we were able to work many shows, encounters, workshops, and lectures in schools and universities. We promoted capoeira through radio, newspapers, magazines, film, theater, and television in Brazil and over twenty-three other countries. We developed friendships with people from many social and professional backgrounds, including lawyers, judges, the armed forces, mechanics, laborers, painters, and artists. We bring the message of our group to slums, favela hills, villages, and street children. We have a good relationship with groups of Capoeira Angola, and Capoeira Regional, and with Capoeira federations and other groups throughout the world.

Our work has been growing and many groups have decided to join ABADA Capoeira. This makes us very proud and convinces us that we are on the right path. Many groups desire to be part of ABADA, but only a few are successful because of the technical and philosophical demands of ABADA Capoeira. Nonetheless we will continue to support anyone who shows interest in ABADA and can identify with our style and work philosophy.

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