” I began my training in capoeira with Contramestre Dondi’s Capoeira Malandragem in 1998.
In 1996, Contramestre Dondi “Enxu” successfully establish in tucson, Az. By bringing this art form to a smaller city such as Tucson, he encouraged and influenced a diverse group of people from all ages to open their minds and free their spirits. Students from all backgrounds and cultures can participate in Capoeira and begin at any time.
I went to my first class in 1998 hoping only to find a fun activity to help maintain my overall fitness as I had previously achieved in the Marine Corp, I found more than I had anticipated. I immediately felt the passion, the beauty, and rhythms of Afro-Brazilian culture, along with the art, philosophy, and physical challenge of Capoeira. Over the last twenty-two years, I have dedicated myself to improving my skills as a capoerista and helping the ever growing community of United Capoeira Association.
In the early stages of my search for capoeira, I traveled throughout North America and Brazil attending several batizados & Troca de Cordas, shows and performances to further understand and increase his knowledge of the artform of capoeira. A Batizado (literally baptism in Portuguese, and borrowed from the religious tradition) is normally an annual event for a Capoeira group in a region or country. The practice of Capoeira Batizados originates from Capoeira Regional, but has been widely used by Capoeira Contemporânea groups.
In Capoeira Regional, the tradition of the batizado is simply the first time a new student plays capoeira to the sound of the berimbau. In the batizado, the new student will play with a more advanced student, who takes care of the beginner, and helps them to develop their capoeira game. The Batizado welcomes new students into the school and strengthens community bonds.
After my first trip abroad to Brazil, my eyes were opened up to the idea that Capoeira was not only a martial art, but much more than that. It is a way of life. Throughout my travels in capoeira, I have had the opportunity to meet, train, play and get to know some of the most well-known teachers and mestres in the world of Capoeira including Mestre Acordeon. I received my training under the supervision and mentorship of Contramestre Dondi, a student of the renowned capoeira teacher, Mestre Acordeon of the United Capoeira Association.
With my training, I have been able to understand the philosophies of Capoeira and the beauty of Afro-Brazilian culture has achieved a deeper sense of community, a richer understanding of self, and a greater understanding of the importance of family and relationships. Capoeira has had a positive impact on all aspects of his life, at home and at work.
I currently teach a capoeira series at Movement Culture, Casa de Cultural and I work on the renewed school expansion effort through working in various programs with TUSD, UofA. & Pima Community College .”