Mestre Jurandir (Jurandir Nascimento)
Native of Belo-Horizonte, Brazil, Mestre Jurandir Nascimento is known for his musicality and his love for teaching capoeira to children and the youth.
From high school gyms to kindergarden classes and even juvenile prisons, Mestre Jurandir has given his time teaching children capoeira movement, music and philosophy in the USA and internationally.
He believes that capoeira can bring hope to a child’s future.
Prior to the USA, Mestre worked with the youth back home in Brazilian favelas.
He uses capoeira to give direction to one’s life and pass on a tradition that can shed light on one’s own cultural and spiritual heritage.
Mestre Silvinho is Mestre Jurandir’s student and has followed his master’s footsteps since he first began capoeira in Belo-Horizonte in 1986.
Mestre oversees FICA groups in Seattle, Oakland, Portland, Belo-Horizonte, Montreal and Maputo in Mocambique.
Mestre Cobra Mansa (Cinésio Feliciano Peçanha)
In 1976, he began training with Mestre Moraes and together in 1982, they founded the Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelourinho (GCAP) in Salvador, Bahia.
Seeking to return to the ancestral spirit of the art, GCAP became the first organization committed to the preservation of capoeira angola.
Graduated mestre in 1984, Cobra Mansa traveled to Washington D.C. in 1994 and founded the Fundação Internacional de Capoeira Angola (FICA) a year later.
Coming together with Mestre Valmir and Mestre Jurandir, they continue to lay the bricks for the international unfolding of FICA with affiliate groups in North America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The mestres travel year-round to give capoeira angola workshops and transmit their knowledge, culture and the history that the art form embodies.
Mestre Cobra Mansa holds a degree in Physical Education and has researched movement, music, lyrics and instruments of capoeira over the last 30 years.
In an attempt to trace and document the events that lead us to Capoeira as we know it today, he has gathered a broad spectrum of interviews and video footage of many of the old capoeira masters.
Delivering lectures in the U.S. and Western Europe, he is a leading expert on the berimbau (the musical bow), the black movement and African martial arts.
Mestre Cobra Mansa also runs Permangola, a communal project in Bahia, Brazil that links permaculture to capoeira angola and is currently conducting fieldwork for a three-year research project with the University of Essex on the creolization process within African traditions.
Mestre Valmir (Valmir Santos Damasceno)
Born in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, Valmir Santos Damasceno entered the world of Capoeira Angola in 1982 when he began training with the Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelorinho (GCAP) under Mestres Moraes and Cobra Mansa.
In 1992, he received the title of Contra-Mestre while working on Capoeira Angola related projects with different social organizations, including the Associacao Livre de Moradores da Mangueira (ALMM), the Fundacao do Menor Trabalhador (FAMEB) and Projeto Axe among others.
In 1994, he left GCAP and began his own group, which later became part of Mestre Cobra Mansa’s International Capoeira Angola Foundation.
In August 2003, he received the title of Mestre at the 9th Annual International Capoeira Angola conference in Belo Horizonte. Mestre Valmir currently lives in Salvador and leads FICA Bahia, the Brazil Head Branch of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation. He also leads socio-cultural work in Salvador and conducts Capoeira Angola workshops in various countries including the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, England, and several cities in Brazil.