Capoeira originated in Brazil in the 1600s. The only indigenous American martial art, it was developed by African slaves in Brazil. Capoeira began to take form amongst the community of slaves that worked on the sugar cane plantations, the docks and various other slave works. It became a strong weapon in the life and death struggle against their oppressors. When the slave owners realized the power of capoeira, they began to punish those who practiced it, sometimes with death. Capoeiristas learned to camouflage the forbidden fight with dance, singing and clapping as though it were simply entertainment. The fight was disguised behind the dance – a dance that could be graceful but also deadly.

Mestre Bimba, with his good will and love of the art was able to take capoeira from being forbidden by law and transformed it into Brazil’s national sport. He along with Mestre Pastinha was the first to open schools and the capoeira tree grew, spreading its branches across the world.

Capoeira is an art form and self-defense; with strong aerobic and dance elements. It is a harmony of forces that teaches you awareness, power, flexibility, endurance, self-confidence and self-discovery all while having lots of fun. Capoeira balances the body, soul and mind. It is a graceful, exciting art form that teaches you to be alert. The art keeps its strong traditions and enables one to break through limits surprising even the practitioners in what they can do. Practicing capoeira revitalizes you for everyday life.

Mestre Marcelo Caveirinha

Mestre Marcelo graduated in capoeira from Mestre Suassuna, who is the co-founder of “Associacao de Capoeira Cordão de Ouro” known today as CDO. Back in the 80s when a student graduated in capoeira he/she was not allowed to use the name of their mestre’s school. This was a mandatory tradition that only started to change […]

The Capoeira We Play

Our capoeira lineage represents one of the most elite in the capoeira world today. However, we teach students to appreciate and respect all styles and systems. Our capoeira lineage comes from a spontaneous fusion created in the early 70s by Mestre Suassuna and Mestre Brasilia, when, perhaps for the first time in history, an Angola […]


Different than the literal translation given by the Brazilian Portuguese dictionary, the word Mandinga has its own meaning in the capoeira world. The Aurelio dictionary translates the word mandinga as a “magic” or “spell.” In some senses that meaning applies to capoeira, but in a different context. Mandinga in the capoeira environment means, amongst many […]

Capoeira Maneira Style

Capoeira Maneira (or jogo maneiro) created by Mestre Marcelo. Capoeira Maneira is a way of playing that emphasizes body expression and the theatrical part of capoeira, without losing its efficiency nor the roots, tradition, or the capoeira etiquettes. This is Mestre Marcelo’s attempt at rescuing the game as he remembers it was played when he was just […]

Women in Capoeira

Capoeira Mandinga has a strong group of dedicated female capoeiristas, including two of the first women to ever graduate in capoeira in the US . Mestra Sorriso graduated in 1992,  and Mestra Lagosta graduated in 1995. These women, along with many other great American female capoeiristas, have helped to lay the foundation for the success […]

Our Instructors

These qualities are taught to and expected from all Mandinga instructors: Have a unique psychology on his/her teaching that will match each student’s needs. Bring creativity and versatility to the classes, remembering to always focus on the foundation training; be innovating, fun, and relaxed, and firm when needed. Be consistent enough with the training in […]