Mestre Bimba 

Name: Manoel dos Reis Machado

Group: Academia-escola de Capoeira Regional

Country: Brazil (South-America)

City: Salvador

Birthday: 1899-11-23

Day of death: 1974-02-05


Image: ../mestres/images/bimba.jpg

About Mestre Bimba

Mestre Bimba was the creator of Capoeira Regional. He learned Capoeira from Bentinho, a captain of the Companhia de Navegação Baiana. He was a succesfull streetfighter, challenging fighters of different martial arts. He produced two cd’s: Curso Capoeira Regional and O berimbau é o voz do eterno.

Mestre Bimba is most famous for convincing the Brazilian authorities of the cultural value that is Capoeira and thus, in the 1930’s, ending its official ban (which has been in effect since 1890). He opened the first legal Capoeira academy in Brazil in 1932 after he gave a performance at the palace of Bahia’s Governor, Juracy Magalhães.

His Capoeira school, the Academia-escola de Cultura Regional, was located at the Engenho de Brotas in Salvador, Bahia. In order to change the pejorative reputation of Capoeira and its practitioners as devious, stealthy and malicious, Bimba set new standards to the art. He added moves inspired by an ancient African Fighting style called ‘Batuque‘ (in which his father was a champion) as well as movements created by himself (possibly inspired by other martial arts such as Judo, but this remains uncertain). He was also the first to create a method of teaching (Capoeira used to be watched/learned in the streets) and implement uniforms and graduations for his students.

Bimba’s bateria traditionally consisted of one berimbau and two pandeiros.
Playing the toques São Bento Grande Regional, Iuna, Amazonas, Idalina, Santa Maria and Banguela.

Bimba’s son, Mestre Nenel, continues his legacy in Salvador at the academy Filhos de Bimba.


More info:
A Capoeira Illuminada (2006) is a documentary about Mestre Bimba and Capoeira. The movie can be viewed on youtube.


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