what is capoeira?
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form combining movement, music, and ritual. It is a practise steeped in history, tradition, philosophy and creativity. At its heart it is a tool of resistance, freedom, play, self expression, respect and trickery.
As with many artforms capoeira has multiple styles that have descended into different lineages. The style we practise is Capoeira Angola. Mestre Roberval is our group's Mestre and is based in Salvador, Bahia.
In the UK our teachers are Contra Mestra Brisa and Contra Mestre Figura, who are both based in Cornwall. We are a group with many connections to the sea!
We learn in classes, and practise our skills for the roda, the ritual circle where we come together and play capoeira.
musica e sapatiado
why train with us?
As a group we train the traditional mix of kicks and dodges, attacks and defences, acrobatics and footwork, as well as those things that are unique to us, such as our Mestre's particular flavour of dance and trickery, and most importantly music.
Mestre Roberval is best known for his beautiful music and the particular way of moving called sapatiado. It is both mischievous and entrancing, as well as dangerous, and expressive.
Music however is probably the most important element, for without it we cannot move. We learn all the instruments that make up the bataria, or band, and sing in Portugese.
This can feel like a lot! But we start slow, and create a comfortable, and fun environment to begin to enjoy all these new and wonderful skills.
Trienel Ben Ligado
I have been studying capoeira for over ten years. In 2019 my Mestre Roberval made me a treinel, an official teacher of his style.
For me capoeira is an amazing art from for self expression and connecting with others. In my mind these are essential elements in life for greater happiness, and cultivating strong and thriving communities.
I was introduced to Mestre Roberval through my teachers in the UK, Contra Mestra Brisa and Contra Mestre Figura, and I immediately fell in love with his unique blend of style, elegance and playfulness, both in his movement and music.
As a teacher I love to create a fun and energetic environment that is relaxed and engaging for students of all levels and experience.
Contra Mestra Brisa
Brisa has been involved in capoeira for over 30 years, and comes from a family of capoeiristas originating in North East Brazil.
Figura also has decades of experience, and together they are a phenomenal source of information and inspiration.
They relocated from London to Cornwall in 2014 and run regular events which we travel down to support.
We also try to get down there as often as possible to train with them as they are our source of MQFSM knowledge in the UK. Each capoeira group does things its own way, and when you find the group and style that calls to you it becomes your home in the capoeira world. So for us in Brighton this connection to MQFSM Falmouth is important and as a teacher keeps our learning fresh and our skills sharp to pass on to you.
Contra Mestre Figura
The group is overseen by Mestre Roberval, the founder of Menino Quem Foi Seu Mestre ( Boy Who is Your Master).
Traditionally he would visit the UK, and Europe from Brazil regularly. Unfortunately due to health issues he is not currently able to travel. Luckily today we have zoom and are able to keep learning from him despite the distance.
Mestre Roberval is respected throughout the capoeira community and his knowledge of the art form can be traced right back to the Old Masters - Os Velhos Mestres. He aims to maintain and preserve the traditions and teachings of capoeira angola.
but what does MQFSM mean?
menino quem foi seu mestre?
Our group is called Menino Quem Foi Seu Mestre? It was created by our Mestre Roberval and it translates to Boy, Who is Your Master?
This intriguing name can very easily lead to long, passionate conversations about capoeira, and its many beguiling complexities, and is a very good question to ask in the pub, another important part of our capoeira ritual.
Capoeira is fundamentally about and for the community. We try to foster this through regular drinks and get togethers locally, as well as travelling to visit other groups across the UK, Europe and beyond. People in capoeira are warm, welcoming and always keen to party!