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  Topic: Going to Brazil
  2006-11-03 22:33:49

As one or two people may know, I am currently seeking my fortune in the wide world. (My trip to date is exhaustively documented at http://www.ntb.co.nz/emails.html for those who are masochistic, and at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vainshane/sets for those who are bored.)

But the thing is that I'm going to be in Brazil in February. I have a ticket and everything. But I haven't really got any plans subsequent to that.
I have heard about our group's family tree -- is it Cabello that has a farm near Salvador? What is the basic situation with training in Brazil, is it a question of going to workshops with our grand-mestres, or more like getting a place to stay and training regularly?

At the moment, I guess my basic plan involves getting some kind of work and a place to stay, and training capoeira. That's a pretty basic plan! It would be good to know what some other people's experiences have been.

Also, I believe I'm going to be arriving a couple of weeks before Carnaval. How ridiculous a proposition is that likely to be? In terms of transport being impossible and tourists being at their peak.

I guess basically what I'm wondering is, do we as CPMA members have some friends who can show us around, in particular places, or would it be better to become established and then to look for some suitable training opportunities?
  2006-11-04 00:30:56
Hey Minhoca,

Congrat's for taking that big step according to Brabo's list you'll be a cordao azul in no time...

Anyways I guess if you have figured out what style you like, it's helpful to go from there. If you train at any Cordao de Ouro school certainly in Sao Paulo, they normally know Brabo but defintely Marcelo.

Lobao's is wicked, the Friday roda is pumping and if Lobao is there, it's through the roof, really good energy. If you go there you could mention me they'll beat you up, jokes...

My understanding is that you can usually visit and they hook you up for a short to medium period depending on your 'vibe' because you are affiliated with the school, but this is not always the case, so have plan of course, but i don't think you'll need it.

Generally if you are training outside our group you may need to be prepared to be a little more independent than the average ‘minhoca’, look after yourself.

Although if you are looking to train in a city at a good capoeira angola academy, Contra Plinio's academy (Sao Paulo) is really good and he loves Joao Grande's movement he learnt a lot of it first hand. His Teacher is Mestre Jogo de Dentro. Bom, muito bom. www.angoleirosimsonho.com.br (I think) Infact Clo recommended this place to me and it’s the bomb, I never got a chance to say thanks a mil.

Jogo De Dentro has a school in Campinas and really good capoeira comes from there, like really good stuff.

If you something a bit more different can always head to Bahia and there's a heap of capoeira especially capoeira angola in Salvador, it this place you really wanna have a look around and sift for a while then pick a place and train straight at it. I think Ziggie Zague trained there at FICA and really enjoyed it and Jesus is there at the moment, they might be able to help, ask them I’ll sure they can help you out.

Mestre Joao Pequeno's academy is always a good shot, no hassles there and they know us, Brabo, Gafanhoto, Tucano, Ziggie Zague and a few others I've heard have visited there and really enjoyed it.

The general rule of thumb is that you can visit other peoples rodas no problem, but try to stay in one place when you are training, people will respect you and you'll learn a couple of good things well. Remember you are tourist and people may treat you like that, so be prepared for a saida.

Pousadas are normally good but there's one student of Mestre Jogo De Dentro who normally has a place you there in Salvador it's a bit hectic but worth a visit.

Otherwise there's lots of other places to check out and they will add to your experience.

I haven’t visited Cabello's, it's good to check out everyday life, food, sand, beach and flavours of Bahia, oh sit on a bench and just have a look at things.

oh I don’t think we need visa for the first three months (NZ citizens) but check with the embassy cher!

If you decide to extend your VISA in Salvador it not too much hassle, just make sure that you don’t wear shorts to the embassy and check your landing ticket, they charged me 300 reais for nothing having it….I understand six months is the limit on a normal tourist VISA.

Let me know if I can help with anything else, links websites etc…

Pegue uma agua de coco e fica na sombre...

  2006-11-04 11:01:19
You can go to Joao Pequeno's on sat eve, sun afternoon, mon even, wed even, and friday i think and to Moraes on sat evening and FICA on sat morning, don't be late at Moraes or else he won't let you play.

that should keep you going,Curio's on Friday...oh and if you want somewhere to stay where there are some other travelling capoeiristas then let me know and I'll give the details...it's a house basically with a small family, one of which is english and it's really close to FICA, let me know anyways

peace out
  2006-11-04 15:13:01
I can second everything Mungunza said, all good advice. While I was in Brazil the main places I trained were with Mestre Jogo de Dentro in Campinas and with Mestre Joao Pequeno in Salvador. Both really good schools with classes most days and really friendly students.

Jogo de Dentro's academy in particular was really welcoming. I'd strongly recommend it if capoeira is high on your list of reasons for being in Brazil. It has to be because Campinas is a little bit of a nothing city - really nice place and friendly, and if you dig there is stuff going on, but it is so close to Sao Paulo that it can sometimes feel a little flat, and there isn't really too much to see unless you are interested in hanging out in a Brazillian city that doesn't get a lot of tourists. Really big university there that also affects it.

So yes - Campinas, really strong and welcoming capoeira group, Jogo de Dentro isn't often there but I had a great time even when he wasn't because his senior students are amazing.

There is so much capoeira in Salvador that if you end up there for any length of time it is worth taking the time to look for a place you like. I loved training with Joao Pequeno, but I hear others are good to. Most academies I got the feeling that you get more the longer you can stay and show your commitment - in Salvador they get so many capoeira tourists, most of the gringos and many of them arrogant, so there is a stand-offish feeling. I found having spent a decent amount of time training with Jogo de Dentro before going to salvador helped with that, as well as being humble and listening to everything that is taught - a lot of tourists don't.

My experience was that I needed to get a visa for Brazil, but that may have changed since.

Have a great time over there, but do keep an eye open. Gringos are seen by a lot of people as walking cash machines, regardless of how much money they actually have (and even a poor gringo is relatively rich) and often your best friend isn't really. If you can meet up with a friend of a friend who is Brazillian, or with an academy that CPMA has ties to, that is usually a good way to get the most out of a place.
  2006-11-05 12:05:29
as far as I know theres an automatic visa granted to nzders which is a recent change,check that though just call brazil embassy.Jesus is staying in a house close to Salvador city that belongs to a sibling of mestre cobra mansa,its quite cheap and would be great if you want to do angola,contact him(jesus) for details.Also theres Emilios house where I stayed and is great for the whole family vibe and grassroots capoeira and not having to stay in the city which Ive heard can be tiring,joe has his contact.Also if you go to classes you can often meet people who will help with accomodation,but is good to have a place when you first get there,I went to Mestre Valmir(fica)like zigue ,and enjoyed alot.
Cabellos place is between Ilheus and Itacare about eight hours bus from Salvador near a place called Serra Grange Itacare touristy surf town and I guess packed at that time of year.Get hold of Cabello I think is caxixi.com and link to ouro verde
  2006-11-06 09:20:09
Here's a useful site for Visa info:


  2006-11-07 03:41:15
I can confirm everything everyone else said.

I can recommend all the above Mestres schools and places of interest and also...

Try to catch the bus into town if you fly in. It can take some finding but is a nice way to see a bit of the city and its graffiti and is about 30 times cheaper than the taxi.

Tim one of the Batucada leaders will be there the same time as you, I think. You should be able to get in contact with him through the Batucada (Wellington) website.

I also recommend checking out Berria Reis's shop and talking to the boys there Kenho especially (say hello from me, Alex). He used to play Capoeira and is a wicked music teacher; he also knows everyone in Pelo and can help you stay away from the biggest gringo fishers, hunters and generally annoying people.

I also can't recommend Emilio and his brother enough. For me they really made Brazil. Beca or Mestre Bene, Emilio's brother is really welcoming and is pretty good on the history of Capoeira. He speaks English as well, and knows the best places to get acaraje that won’t have you sitting on the toilet for two days.

Definitely keep an eye out like Gafanhoto said. I would also recommend making a base somewhere out of Pelo. It can be exciting living eating and breathing the history of the place but it can also be exhausting (especially for blue eyed women).

If you want a little bit of English language cinema try Shopping Barra. They have newish American trash for a few reals. Take an extra shirt though the aircon can be a wee chilly.

Often after FICA classes a bunch of gringos head off to a vege lunch spot. It has great juices and amazing food. It is also run by a couple of Americans so is very English speaker friendly. This can be a good way to make a few more friends and fill the stomach at the same time. Ask around and someone should be able to point you in the right direction.

Tuesday nights are big on music and Batucadas strolling the streets but there is also a band called Geronimo. Take a look it never disappointed me.

Also down the same street as Swing Do Pelo (one of the less flashy Batucadas, if you do a few lessons with the Mestre he might let you play one night) there is a small sewing shop. They make pants etc to fit and in any design you want. All for the same price as Afro Bahia stuff.

Have fun and also take norfloxacin tablets with you. Brazil belly is no laughing matter.
  2006-11-08 01:53:26
Yeah I can second that Lagosta, the tablets are a must, the frist works a treat but the second not so good and yeah there were other times.

Cuidado de Dende, Kibe, Acaraje e Moqueca.

But try some mungunza, cheap and great for breakfasts.

  2006-11-08 16:18:58
Ditto to everything above (we've got quite a little posse of informed former Brazil residents haven't we?). The FICA academy in Salvador is at 111 Rua Carlos Gomes, it's in a tall inner city building so it's not as easy to find as some but it's well worth the effort. Also, don't miss Mestre Lua Rasta's roda in Terreiro de Jesus on Friday nights, it's one of the most diverse, vibrant, ass kicking Angola rodas you're likely to see. Eat lots of acai and if you go to the vege place that Lagosta was talking about (Health Valley Brasil), consider going to the lanchonete instead of the all you can eat restaurant: you'll save a couple of reais and you won't get that 'God I shouldn't have eaten so much' feeling afterwards.

Lagosta, long time no see! Cheers for the postcards you sent back with Loba, always nice to catch up on your adventures. How's Spain holding up for ya? Drop us a line when you got a free moment.
  Arranha Ceu
  2006-11-08 16:28:48
Ah yes the Acai, you have got try that. Thanks to Lagosta for getting me into that.
Whenever I see a slushy these days I get cravings for an Acai and granola.
  2006-11-09 05:10:46
Also when you go to a class take a COMPLETE change of clothes. You are going to sweat buckets and soggy underwear is no joke on the walk home. Sorry I didn't say before, just remembered.

Whats up to one and all Ziggs, Arranha Ceu. Thanks for the props.
  2006-11-24 05:58:46
Heh, norfloxacin. Apart from when I got giardia in Pakistan, I haven't been too bothered recently by the travel bugs and beasties; I guess I'm finally getting used to them, so it's about time I changed continents and started sampling a new buffet of local microbes.

This all sounds pretty good to me. While I don't want to be dipping in and out of too many different schools, I think it would be worthwhile to move around a little bit. I think I fly into Sao Paulo, so I might stick around there for a little while if I can find somewhere to stay, say hi to CM Plinio's group, then head north. I don't see why I wouldn't try to drop in on several of the schools mentioned here, if only to remember you guys to the people you trained with. I bet if I say I know Gafa, I'll get free beer from the men and adoring stares from the women in like half of the country, right?

Couple more days here in Singapore relaxing and unwinding with some old work mates, then I'm going to southern africa for a couple of months, I decided. And then Brazil! Just in time for carnaval, too. Wicked.

Hope everything's good in NZ, folks.
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