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Capoeira (ca-po-era) is a form of martial arts that combines self-defense with music and acrobatics. It was developed in Brazil over 400 years ago. At first glance, capoeira looks like a choreographed dance between two people because it is played to music and the game is a seamless combination of circular movements. To those who train, capoeira is a game of questions and answers, call and response. It is a dialogue between two players where movements such as kicks, esquivas, and floreios, represent the words of the language. The challenge lies not only in the ability to form fluid sentences with these movements, but to form them in such a way that they respond to the sentences being formed by your opponent. Capoeira is more than a martial art. It is an art form that exercises the mind as well as the body.
About Mestre Marcio Mendes:
Mestre Marcio Mendes was born in Macapá-AP, and grew up in the city of Belém located in the Amazon region of Brazil. His first contact with capoeira was, as for many Brazilians, on the street, in a spontaneous way without structure or a master to guide him.
At 17, Marcio met Mestre Bezerra, who is recognized for establishing capoeira in the northern states of Pará and Amapá. Ultimately, Bezerra would become Marcio’s master. After five years of study, Marcio began teaching capoeira classes at the University of Pará, and under Mestre Bezerra’s supervision, participated in many street festivals in Brazil.
In 1999, Marcio moved to Toronto and founded the Muiraquitã Capoeira school, followed by Escola de Capuera Angola. Marcio has taught classes in various countries, including England, Portugal and Trinidad, and has participated in the street festival in Avignon, France. He has also given numerous workshops, presentations and live performances across Canada.
In 2006, he was awarded an Artists in Education grant by the Ontario Arts Council, which lead to a series of workshops in public schools throughout Ontario. Always giving back to the community, he has also taught capoeira to Toronto’s at-risk youth in alliance with St. Christopher House and KITES and Alexandra Community Centre as well as several Universities - University of Toronto, York University, West Indias University and Federal University of Pará.
In addition to running Escola de Capuêra Angola, Marcio teaches capoeira classes at the West End YMCA.