Practitioners all over the globe take to their hearts the history and future of the art form and integrate in its execution the passion, culture and techniques taught to them by their respective mestres. Practitioners therefore hold deep respect for these teachers as the culture of Capoeira also inculcates obedience and reverence to those with the most experience in the field. He first learned the art of Capoeira when he was just 8 years old. Later on, he grew up to be one of the greatest mestres of the more traditional style of Capoeira called Capoeira Angola. Before he became Mastre Pastinha, the martial arts expert, he was little Vicente, who was often bullied in the streets of his town.
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He owned a small shop in the centre of Salvador. When he was just a little boy, one of the bigger kids in the neighbourhood used to make his life a misery.
One day, after the young Pastinha received a particularly bad beating, and was left crying in the street. An older African neighbour saw what had happened from his window. He offered to teach the Pastinha Capoeira in order that he could learn to defend himself. Some time later, the two boys met each other in the street again. Here comes our favourite part of the story though — Pastinha not only won the fight, he also gained the respect of the other boy and they ended up being friends!
Quando eu tinha uns dez anos — eu era franzininho — um outro menino mais taludo do que eu tornou-se meu rival. Um dia, da janela de sua casa, um velho africano assistiu a uma briga da gente. Foi isso que o velho me disse e eu fui.
Mestre Pastinha. This elderly African neighbour was Mestre Benedito. It was he that taught Mestre Pastinha Capoeira in his house in the Rua das Laranjeiras in the neighbourhood of Pelourinho. Thanks to this chance encounter with his elderly neighbour, Pastinha found the passion of his life. At 12 years of age, his father enrolled him in the Escuela de Aprendiz de Marineros School for Sailors , after which he was enlisted in the navy until he was Mestre Pastinha had a very varied life, with many different jobs and activities:.
One day, a student of Mestre Pastinha took him to a roda in the Ladeira da Pedra, in the neighbourhood of Gingibirra de Salvador. This was a roda just of Mestres, and it was a life changing experience for Pastinha. O mais mestre dos mestres era Amorzinho, um guarda civil. Eu dei uma negativa, mas os mestres todos insistiram. Confirmavam que eu era o melhor para dirigir a Academia e conservar pelo tempo a Capoeira de Angola. At this point in time, uniforms were not the standard in Capoeira, everyone would just wear whatever they felt like.
White clothing was traditional for rodas as with many afro-brazilian manifestations , but aside from this there were no rules — with or without shirt or shoes, long trousers or shorts, anything went. When he opened his academy, Pastinha decided to professionalise the image of Capoeira by introducing a uniform. He picked the colours yellow and black — why? They were the colours of his favourite football team, Ypiranga! Yellow and black are still the colours used to this day by many groups of Angola.
In he published the book Capoeira Angola in which he outlined his training methods, and also his vision of Capoeira as more than just a martial art — a philosophy of life and culture. Mestre Pastinha was a great advocate of the practice of Capoeira with joy and respect. His presentation in Dakar was one of the most popular of the event, met with much applause and furore from the public. As the years passed, his academy kept gaining in reputation, and the best Capoeiristas from all over Brazil would travel to Pelourinho to train with him.
Sadly, in things took a turn for the worse for Mestre Pastinha , setting in motion a chain of events that would put an end to his days of teaching Capoeira. The government evicted Mestre Pastinha from the academy in which he gave his classes, supposedly temporarily under the pretence of doing some refurbishments. The academy was never returned to the Mestre however, instead being turned into a restaurant. Sadly, he died alone later the same year on the 13th November of a heart attack.
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The Father of Capoeria Angola: Mestre Pastinha
Automatic translation. Translated from Portuguese. In the process of improvement. Thank you for your understanding.. I love the game of capoeira. And there is nothing better in my life than capoeira.
Who was Mestre Pastinha?
He was exposed to Capoeira at the age of 8 by an African named Benedito. One day Benedito saw the aggression that Pastinha suffered, and then told him to stop by his house because he was going to teach him a few things. In his next encounter with that boy, Pastinha defeated him so quickly that the older boy became his admirer. From then on, Pastinha had a happy and modest childhood.