Who is Mestre Betinho?
Mestre Betinho began training capoeira in his hometown of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil when he was just 8 years old. Capoeira immediately became his passion, and he has not stopped training ever since. He now has over thirty years of experience with capoeira. For his first six years of training, his teacher was Mestre Berico, a student of Mestre Dinho. In 1990, he began training with Mestre Dinho of Grupo Topazio in Liberdade, a neighboorhood in Salvador, Bahia. He earned his blue cord, deeming him a graduated student of capoeira, on September 25th, 1994.
As a graduated student, he began travelling around Brazil, gaining experience as a teacher of capoeira and as a performer in cultural shows, while always training capoeira regularly. From 1997-1999 he performed regularly at the Restaurant and Show House Solar do Uniao in Salvador, Bahia. From 1999-2000, he performed in shows daily at Restaurant and Show House Explode Coracao in Foz de Iguacu, Parana. From 2000-2003, he worked at the renowned Restaurant and Show HousePlataforma I as a capoeira perfomer in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout this period of time in his life, Mestre Betinho continuously trained and taught capoeira classes wherever he was living, including the states of Alagoas, Parana and Rio de Janeiro. Also during this time, in 2001, he earned his cord and title of the first level of “Professor”.
In 2003, Mestre Betinho auditioned with the Sambrasil Revue Corporation and was selected to travel to the United States for an opportunity to perform as a capoeirista for up to a thousand people nightly at the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. After six months, he was contracted by Brazilian Tropicana Restaurant in Pompano Beach, Florida, to work as a performer in their cultural dinner show, where he worked until 2005. Since then, he has continued to work as a capoeira performer in a variety of shows all over Florida and other locations around the United States.
Mestre Betinho continued his capoeira teaching career upon his arrival in Florida. In April of 2006, he began teaching in the city of Boynton Beach, where he continues to teach today and has developed a very strong and successful group of students of all ages and levels. In 2007, he moved up another level to become a second level “Professor”, and in 2010 he was honored with the new title and cord of “Contra Mestre”.
In April of 2011 he founded the group Capoeira Karkara along with his original master, Mestre Berico, in order to more fully and freely share and incorporate all aspects of the dynamic and diverse art form of capoeira into his practice and teachings.
Mestre Betinho’s group was based out of the DeVos Blum Family YMCA and other local Boynton Beach gyms until December of 2011, and in January of 2012 he opened his first capoeira studio. The Capoeira Karkara community grew so much that he outgrew his first studio and moved 5 years later in January 2017 into a beautiful new 4,000 square foot facility.
Decades after Mestre Betinho was first introduced to capoeira, his passion for and dedication to this art form remains as the central focus of his life. Mestre Betinho’s unique style of capoeira has required that he also regularly train other martial arts, namely boxing, muay tai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, to further strengthen his ability as a strong capoeira fighter, artist and performer. He is truly living his passion and his main goal everyday is to share his love of capoeira with his capoeira family and give his 100% to make sure his students receive all the many benefits that he continues to receive as a result of his daily commitment to this art form for the past thirty plus years.
On December of 2017, He was honored with the title and cord of MESTRE. This huge celebration took place in Bahia/Brazil. And Mestre brought some American students to celebrate with them as well.
On January 20th, 2018, Mestre celebrated his Mestre’s graduation in United States with all of his Karkara family. This was a very important life and career achievement, and he is very grateful for his journey and for the support he continues to receive from his family, friends, and fellow capoeira teachers and professionals worldwide.
It was also that year, 2018, when he finally realized his dream of starting a non-profit organization, the Capoeira Cultural Arts Foundation (CCAF) to be able to share the gift of capoeira with even more people, especially those with little means who need it the most, not only locally, but in his hometown of Salvador, Bahia.
Mestre Betinho's deep connection with and faith in capoeira as a powerful tool to heal and change lives for the better only grows as time goes on.