This feature is designed to spark your interest in researching the world of capoeira's vocabulary, history, and philosophy.

Our Capoeira Wiki-Word series invites you to research the word of the week and post your definition(s) and translations. At the end of each week, the entries will be reviewed and then summarized into a translation and a definition of the Capoeira Wiki-Word of the week.

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This week's Capoeira Wiki-Word is:

 

Mestre Artur Emidio

 

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From Capoeira Ginga Carioca...

 

Artur Emídio de Oliveira nasceu em Itabuna, sul da Bahia, em 31 de março de 1930.


Artur Emidio de Oliveira was born in Itabuna, in the south of Bahia, on March 31, 1930.


Morava com os pais, fazendeiros, numa casa modesta da então "Rua Direita", no bairro do Pontalzinho.
Começou a praticar a Capoeira quando tinha apenas sete anos, com Mestre Paizinho, Teodoro Ramos, discípulo do Mestre Neném, de origem africana.

He lived with his parents, who were farmers, in a modest house on the street, "Rua Direita" ("Straight Street as it was called at the time) in the neighborhood of Pontalzinho.
He began practicing Capoeira when he was only seven years old, with
Mestre Paizinho, Teodoro Ramos, a disciple of Mestre Neném, of African origin.

Paizinho às seis horas da manhã ia diariamente acordá-lo para treinar. O Mestre conta sobre essa época: "a prática da Capoeira era proibida. Treinava-se no alto dos morros, nas vielas, à noite e sempre escondido. Muitas foram as vezes que o meu Mestre foi preso. Mas no dia seguinte a fiança era paga, e ele saía. E, de noite, voltava a ensinar Capoeira, praticada por amor! É ... naquele tempo era assim: bastava gingar. Gingou ia preso! Mas já a praticavam comerciantes, estudantes, universitários, gente pobre e gente rica!"

Quando completou 15 anos de idade seu mestre faleceu.

At six o'clock in the morning, Mestre Paizinho would wake him every day to train.  Mestre Artur Emídio talks about that time, "the practice of Capoeira was prohibited. I trained on hilltops, in the alleys at night, and always in hiding. My mestre was often arrested. But, the next day he would make bail and ge out.  And, at night, he would return to teach capoeira, practiced for love of it! ...  At that time it was like this: it was enough to do the ginga.  You did just a little bit of ginga, and you were thrown in jail! But merchants, younger students, university students,  rich and poor alike all practiced capoeira!"


When he was 15 years old his master passed away.

Mestre Paizinho foi uma figura misterioza sobre a qual se criaram diversas histórias, inclusive sobre sua morte. Segundo Mestre Artur Emídio, ele morreu de "morte morrida", atacado por meningite, mas até hoje há quem se refira à sua morte "heróica". Há quem conte, que nas noites enluaradas de Itabuna e Ilhéus, que ele tentou voar do alto de um coqueiro utilizando folhas de palmeiras como asas, como fez Ícaro na Grécia Antiga. A experiência terminou na sua queda e morte.

Mestre Paizinho was a mysterious figure about which several stories were created, including how he died. According to Mestre Artur Emídio, he died of "morte morrida" (natural causes), attacked by meningitis, but, even today there are those who refer to his death "heroic." Some people say that in the moonlit nights of Itabuna and Ilheus, he tried to fly from a tall coconut palm using palm leaves like wings, like Icarus did in Ancient Greece. The experiment ended in him falling to his death.

Ainda adolescente,  Mestre Artur Emídio deliciava platéias de circos e parques de diversões de Itabuna com programas de "luta livre", que se constituíam em demonstrações de habilidade nas artes marciais ainda pouca conhecidas e, principalmente, na arte da Capoeira.

As a teenager,  Mestre Artur Emídio delighted audiences in circuses and amusement parks in Itabuna with shows of "luta livre" (freestyle fighting), which were demonstrations of skill in the still little known martial arts and especially in the art of Capoeira.

Com 23 anos (1953) sai de Itabuna para São Paulo, a fim de lutar contra Edgar Duro, lutador de Luta Livre. E sagra-se vencedor!
Em 1954 vai ao Rio de Janeiro para lutar contra Hélio Gracie, lutador de Jiu-Jitsu. E o empate é o resultado da luta!

With 23 years of age (1953), Mestre Artur Emídio left Itabuna for São Paulo, to fight against Edgar Duro, another freestyle fighter.  And he came out the winner!
In 1954, he went to Rio de Janeiro to fight
Hélio Gracie, the Jiu-Jitsu fighter.  And the fight resulted in a draw!

O Mestre Artur Emídio é o precursor da Capoeira do Rio de Janeiro.
Em 1955 se mudou para o Rio de Janeiro com sua família, naquela época segundo
Mestre Artur Emídio a única capoeira que existia no Rio de Janeiro era do Mestre Sinhozinho, uma capoeira que não existia ritmo, não tinha berimbau, pandeiro, atabaque, somente tinha luta. Mestre Artur Emídio contava: "Na academia de Sinhozinho o que rolava era pancadaria e esse não era meu tipo de ensinar a capoeira".

Mestre Artur Emidio was the precursor of Capoeira in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1955, he moved
with his family to Rio de Janeiro, and, according to Mestre Artur Emídio, the only capoeira that existed in Rio de Janeiro at that time was that of Mestre Sinhozinho, a capoeira that didn't have any rhythm (music), no berimbau, pandeiro, atabaque, it only had the fighting.   Mestre Artur Emídio said: "In Mestre Sinhozinho's academy, they would fight all the time, and that was not my way of teaching capoeira."

Nesta época Sinhozinho e Artur foram convidados para fazer uma apresentação de capoeira no exército, os alunos de Sinhozinho entraram de sunga metendo soco um na cara do outro, um coisa horrivél longe das raízes da capoeira, já os alunos de Artur jogaram capoeira, foi um sucesso.

At this time, Mestre Sinhozinho and Mestre Artur Emídio  were invited to do a presentation of capoeira for the military,  Mestre Sinhozinho's students entered wearing sungas (speedos) and punching each other in the face of another, a horrible thing far from the roots of capoeira, and as soon as Mestre Artur Emídio's students played capoeira, the performance was a success.

Nos ringues, enfrentou lutadores de primeira linha, como Rudolf Hermany, Robson Gracie, Carlos Coutinho (da Bahia), Carbono (do Rio) e Edgar Duro (de São Paulo). Enfrentou, com sucesso, alguns alunos do Mestre Bimba que cruzaram seu caminho.

In the ring, Mestre Artur Emídio faced nothing but the best fighters, such as Rudolf Hermany, Robson Gracie, Carlos Coutinho (from Bahia), Carbono (from Rio de Janeiro), and Edgar Duro (from São Paulo). He faced with success, some students of Mestre Bimba who crossed his path.

Seu primeiro aluno foi Djalma Bandeira, companheiro de viagens ao exterior, com quem o Mestre se aprimorava na Capoeira. Foi um dos pioneiros na difusão internacional da Capoeira, realizada através de viagens a cerca de 20 países. Exibiu-se, também, para o ex-Presidente Getúlio Vargas, em Salvador: "... quando os berimbaus pararam, o ex-Presidente levantou-se e veio cumprimentar-me: 'parabéns rapaz. Esse é um esporte verdadeiramente brasileiro! E você sabe praticá-lo!', foi o que me disse então o ex-Presidente."

His first student was Djalma Bandeira, a travel companion, with whom Mestre Artur Emídio honed his Capoeira.  He was one of the pioneers in international dissemination of Capoeira through his travels to about 20 countries.  In addition, he did a demonstration for former President Getulio Vargas, in Salvador: "... when the berimbau stopped, the former president got up and came to greet me, 'Congratulations young man. This is a truly Brazilian sport! And you know how to do it!', and that was what the then former President said to me."

 
Artur Emídio formou muitos alunos entre eles os mestres: Celso (Engenho da Rainha), Mendonça (criador dos cordéis) , Paulo Gomes (falecido, fundador da ABRACAP), Vilela.

Artur Emidio graduated many students, among these the mestres: Celso (Engenho da Rainha), Mendonça (creator of the belts) , Paulo Gomes (deceased, founder of ABRACAP), Vilela.

Uma artrose no joelho esquerdo o impossibilita de continuar jogando e ensinando Capoeira.
Continua, porém, em permanente contato com o Mundo da Capoeira e profere palestras sobre a Capoeira, seus fundamentos e sua História: "Mestre Bimba e Mestre Pastinha já morreram, mas eu não, quando eu puder voltarei a dar aula, tenho muita coisa para ensinar que nunca vi ninguém fazer."

A osteoarthritis in his left knee made him unable to continue playing and teaching Capoeira.
However, he remains in permanent contact with the world of Capoeira and delivered a lecture on Capoeira, its foundations and its history, "
Mestre Bimba e Mestre Pastinha have died, but not me, when I can come back to teaching classes, I have a lot to teaching I have never seen anyone do. "

 

Espantalho brings us this entry from Mestre Acordeon's Blog (please go there if you wish to leave a comment about his story)...

 

The Great Capoeira Arthur Emídio
Translation by Fogueirinha

I had been training for 5 or 6 years and was perhaps experiencing the golden years of my capoeira life. I thought there was no capoeirista who could beat me in a game. Bahia was beautiful and the center of the universe for us Bahians. Blacks and whites mingled in the narrow streets paved with hundred-year-old cobblestone. White linen suits were seen everywhere on Sundays and at plaza parties. My two-toned shoes with pointy tips were my favorite and my rusty but sharp razor rested nervously in the pocket of my bell-bottomed pants. In the absence of so many events as there are today, in the inexistence of the internet that governs us like the god of communication and in the silence of the secretive practice of capoeira which served as an essential requirement of malandragem, I felt like a samurai that had lost his master, a “ronin” in search of mortal duels in the quiet of the night. I traveled looking for the best capoeiristas.

In the north zone of Rio de Janeiro I met Arthur Emídio in the pharmacy where he worked. He had heard of me and we went to his academy together. I watched his class seated on a bench in the small room. There was a lot of excitement and capoeiristas flew doing jumps and flips I had never seen before. Arthur was a dynamo who jumped, rolled on the floor, clapped his hands, and let loose a very loud and partly falsetto “IÊÊÊ” to stop the music at the right time, which I imitated for many years. Without a doubt he was a candidate for a great duel!

The class ended and Arthur invited me to enter the roda. I played with two of his students. One left the roda limping and the other was knocked out with the help of a meia lua de compasso to the head. Arthur Emídio called me to the foot of the berimbau. The moment of the grand duel had arrived. We played for a very long time with the maldade that devoured me and made me want to play even more. Arthur did not hesitate one second. He played with a mercurial-like slipperiness that I could not touch. Every once in a while he would flip trying to hit my head but he only hit the wind of my shadow. He had given himself away when he wanted to show (or scare) me by doing two similar flips on a bag of sand during his class. After two hours the lights went out in the street. Arthur went to the pharmacy where he worked next to the academy, grabbed a few packets of candles which we lit around the roda, and we continued the “catch me if you can.” At around 2am we decided to stop. As the song goes, he did not win, and neither did I. To celebrate we had a beer at the bar on the corner.

Go with God, capoeira. One of these days we will meet again to resolve this duel.

Acordeon


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