About Us

UCAinLA at UCA Batizado & Formatura - Berkeley, CA - 10/2012

from left to right

risos, o pé, beija flor, girafinha, mixirica, ponta de flecha, esparta, pensador, bombinha, bote fé, xerife, ana bonita, monge (seated), mestre rã, a poeira, professor guatambu, macarrão, reparado, mestre lobão, raposa, jamuru, guerreiro, telefone, mestra suelly, ceguinha, contramestre animal

The goal of the United Capoeira Association in Los Angeles (UCAinLA) is to bring the rich and dynamic culture of Capoeira to the local community.

Our approach to capoeira involves a humility to the wisdom already long established in the art of capoeira balanced with a thoughtful approach to the body, mind, and spirit of each student.

Any and all are welcome to come and take class!

The only things you must bring are: a desire to have fun, an open mind, and an interest in expanding your horizons.  (If you like to sweat, then that doesn't hurt.  Bring some water too.) 

UCA Batizado & Formatura - Berkeley, CA - 10/2012 from left to right guatambu, mestre acordeon

UCA Batizado & Formatura - Berkeley, CA - 10/2012

from left to right

guatambu, mestre acordeon

Professor Guatambu (gwah-tahm-BU) has been training capoeira for over 15 years and teaching for over 9 years under the guidance of Mestres Acordeon, Rã, and Suelly of the United Capoeira Association in Berkeley, CA.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and educated in the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds a degree in Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Masters in Dramatic Art from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. 

He shares his goal of honoring the joy, personal growth, and community that the art of capoeira offers to any willing to learn. 

In October of 2012, Mestres Acordeon, Rã, and Suelly graduated Professor Guatambu to the level of Formado.  Mestre Lobão of Capoeira Besouro Mangangá in São José dos Campos, SP, Brasil was the Paraninfo of that ceremony.  Mestre Urubu Malandro of Capoeira Ijexá in San Francisco, CA is Professor Guatambu's padrinho.  Mestre Amunka of the United Capoeira Association and Capoeira Yokayo in Ukiah, CA was the Orador.

Our Mestres

Mestre Acordeon

Ubirajara Almeida, student of legendary Mestre Bimba, is an author, musician, and historian. One of the pioneers to bring Capoeira to the western United States in early 1980's. Today Mestre Acordeon has established the United Capoeira Association with schools in numerous states and Mexico. 

Mestre Rã

Cassio Marthino has been playing capoeira for over 20 years, and has trained under many Mestres throughout Brasil, such as; Mestre Tarzan, Mestre Galo, and Mestre Suassuna. Mestre Rã has performed and taught all over the world. Currently, Mestre Rã is working with Mestre Acordeon while also running his own school in Brasil. 

Mestra Suelly

Suellen Einarsen is the first American woman to earn the title of mestre and has played a vital role for women in capoeira. She began her career in capoeira in 1982 as Mestre Acordeon's first student in the U.S.. Mestra Suelly has been interviewed by numerous journalists in an effort to expand capoeira here in the United States.

About Capoeira

"a dance-like fight a fight-like dance...  a song...  a way of life!"
- Mestre Acordeon

Capoeira originated in Brasil, and is a dynamic expression of Afro-Brazilian culture. Today it can be found in many countries throughout the entire world. Capoeira is an art form that encompasses martial arts, dance like elements, and acrobatic movements, as well as its own philosophy, history, culture, music, and songs.

Capoeira's history is remarkable.  Our United Capoeira Association Student Guide has a wealth of great information on this and many other subjects relevant to the new student.   You can download our student guide.  Click the link below to get started...

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