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About 400 years ago, many African's were raided and abducted by the Portuguese. They were put onto ships and taken across the Atlantic to Brazil where they were sold as slaves to work on plantations. There would be a vast mixture of African people and Native Brazilian’s working relentlessly on these plantations. Being under the same oppressed conditions, over the years they shared their cultural traditions and blended many rituals and pastimes together. One of the pastimes eventually created was Capoeira.

Capoeira was outlawed for over 100 years and seen by society as being a ‘social menace’.  It wasn’t until 1932, a capoeira teacher, Manoel Dos Reis Machado, or more commonly known as Mestre Bimba, began working towards legalizing capoeira. Because of Mestre Bimba’s work,  Capoeira became legalized again and rose from the slums and streets of brazil and spread through mainstream society.

Capoeira today is now practiced in over 150 countries around the world and there are academies in every capital city in Australia.


Capoeira Regional or originally called (luta Regional Bahiana) The regional Bahian fight, was created by Mestre Bimba, and later expanded by some key teachers that learnt from him. The expansion by other key figures caused the style to not only mean ‘the style of mestre bimba’ but covered a generic definition to the majority of capoeira being taught. It is the most commonly played capoeira in the world and places more emphasis on the martial arts, dance and acrobatic elements than that of Capoeira angola.


Capoeira angola is a style that was created by a group of teachers with vastly varied styles. Each Capoeira teacher had a unique way of moving. Mestre Bimba’s style was so strong that his actual way of moving was popularized, whereas with capoeira angola, the focus was rooting itself in the individualization of movement as well as placing a deep emphasis on the music, culture and rituals of Capoeira. The game is usually seen by the non-practicioner as a slower, lower to the ground more strategic capoeira, than that of Capoeira Regional.


Soul Capoeira officially opened on the 3rd of March 2000. Our group in Brazil is called the Associacao de Capoeira Mestre Bimba. Chan Griffin is the head instructor of Soul Capoeira, under the careful guidance of Rubens Costa Silva, or better known as Mestre Bamba. Chan's Capoeira knowledge has been an accumulation of various teachers over the years. His first instructor was Profesor Moreno from Grupo Candeias in Goiania. His second teacher was Mestre Reginaldo from Avante Capoeira in Sao Paulo where he graded as a Profesor. His third and current teacher, is Mestre Bamba, from the group Associacao de Capoeira Mestre Bimba in Sao Salvador, Bahia. Chan has taught over 20,000 people across australia, toured and performed in shows in China, Brazil, Norway, Japan and all over Australia. From professional dance groups like the Australian Dance Theatre, to teaching at Flinders University, UniSA, Adelaide University and AIT dance Tafe. Chan's passion and dedication to the art of Capoeira is felt through the classes he teaches. Come and experience it for yourself!

Currently classes are being held at the basement of Nino Pilla's International School of Martial Arts. 118 King William street, Adelaide

What is Capoeira?: About
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