What is Capoeira?

The history of Capoeira is very mysterious. Nobody knows exactly the who created the art, how it was developed, or why it was created. What we do have a legend that serves as the origin story of Capoeira. As the story goes, Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art that was created by the enslaved Africans in Brazil as a way to defend themselves and was disguised as a dance through music and dance-like movements.

in the 1932, Mestre Bimba, a renown Capoeira fighter began developing a system to teach self defense through Capoeira, Since then, the Afro-Brazilian art has seen tremendous growth and can be found in all corners of the world. At Dende Arts, we honor the traditions of great Mestres who came before, and we continue to build on their contributions to the art. Capoeira is fun, it is something you can do at home, with friends, family, and with people you just met, all over the world. Mestre Pastinha said, “Capoeira é tudo que a boca come”, Capoeira is everything that the mouth eats. That’s Capoeira. 

Instructor Calado
Founder of Dende Arts

Hey! My Capoeira nickname is Calado, and my real name is Chris Rodriguez,. I am obsessed with Capoeira.

I started training since 2007, consisting of music, movement, and learning about the history of the art. I joined Cordao de ouro in 2012 and started including many of the staple CDO movements to my Capoeira repertoire. Over the years I’ve immersed myself in my training by reading books, listening to podcasts, traveling to Brazil, taking workshops, and researching everything I could about the human body.

After years of training, I decided it was time to give back and did so with my own blog to share my research, ideas, and training modalities.

I created Dende Arts as an LLC to host my Capoeira Cordao de Ouro classes. Dende refers to Dende Oil and is a major part of the diet of people in Salvador, Bahia. The birthplace of Capoeira as we know it today. Dende also means good vibes and moving with grace and precision. For someone to say you have Dende is a great compliment.

Mestre Cebolinha

Our Mestres is Mestre Cebolinha, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In 2012, Mestre Cebolinha began teaching Capoeira classes in Newark, New Jersey and one year later, in 2013, the Brazilian Cultural Center of Newark was created. Mestre Cebolinha is the head instructor and Director of the Brazilian Cultural Center of Newark. Ronaldo has 20+ years experience practicing Capoeira.

what is capoeira, Capoeira in New York
Grao Mestre Suassuna

Master Suassuna, as he is known, was born in Ilheus, Brazil in 1938. He went to São Paulo, Brazil in 1965 with a mission to spread the art of Capoeira. Mestre suassuna well renown for his incredible Capoeira game in addition to his great voice, which he has used to record a number of CD’s.

Cordão de Ouro (CDO) was founded in 1967 by Reinaldo Ramos Suassuna, and is an important group in the world of Capoeira for the quality of students produced Today CDO is one of the largest groups int he world with academies all over the world.

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