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The ABADÁ-Capoeira organization was founded in 1988 by Mestre Camisa (José Tadeu Carneiro Cardoso) and is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ABADÁ is an acronym—ABADÁ-Capoeira, translated into English, stands for “Brazilian Association for the Support and Development of the Art of Capoeira.”

Mestre Camisa developed his own philosophy and methodology for teaching capoeira by following the innovative concepts of his teacher, Mestre Bimba, the great master of capoeira regional. Mestre Camisa’s vision for ABADÁ-Capoeira is to be an organization that moves forward while keeping one foot in the past, maintaining tradition yet adapting to society’s changes. Today, ABADÁ-Capoeira is among the most representative Capoeira schools in the world, being present in more than 70 countries and with approximately 80,000 students.

The modern art form of capoeira is believed to date back to the 1500’s, when many Africans were taken from different areas of West Africa and brought to Brazil for purposes of slavery by the Portuguese. Because these enslaved peoples were not allowed to practice martial arts, the development and practice of the art had to be disguised. The result was capoeira: a way of practicing different defensive and offensive techniques with music, singing, and dance.

After the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888, capoeira was prohibited and its practitioners were socially ostracized for over forty years. The legendary capoeira master, Mestre Bimba, rescued the art form and proved its legitimacy, opening capoeira’s first official school in Bahia, Brazil in 1932.

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