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Mestre Batata

Mestre Batata has been studying the art of capoeira since he was child growing up in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has been teaching capoeira for over twenty years. He became a master in 1995. Mestre Batata started learning capoeira at the age of eight in Rio de Janeiro, taking classes and playing in street rodas. Eventually he joined Capoeira Besouro as a graduated student and started teaching capoeira in his community in Rio.

In 1991 Mestre Batata left Rio de Janeiro for Vitória, Espirito Santo where he founded the Associacão do Grupo Capoeira Besouro Espírito Santo. He dedicated his life in Vitória to working with at-risk youth growing up in the favelas and on the street, using capoeira as a means to keep the children away from drugs and in school. Through various social programs and projects, Mestre Batata positively affected the lives of thousands of youth in Brazil.

Today, he has graduated over thirty instructors, professors, contra-mestres and mestres who continue to work with youth in their communities, passing on the values instilled by Mestre Batata. Mestre Batata has been residing in Los Angeles, California since 2002, though he continues to have an active role with his group and students in Brazil. In California, Mestre Batata along with students and friends of Capoeira Besouro, started a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, Ginga Arts to work with at-risk youth here in Los Angeles, as well as support capoeira programs for at-risk youth in Brazil.