Beginning Capoeira

Mestre Bimba

 Capoeira Mestre Bimba


I am trying to list all Capoeira Mestres on the main site but i want to list the 2 most famous Mestres to the blog. Here is Mestre Bimba.

Mestre Bimba

Mestre Bimba


He was born Manuel Dos Reis Machado in the year 1900. How he got the name Bimba is actually quite humorous. When his mother was in hospital ready to give birth, his father and the midwife had a little bet going on about whether he was going to be male or female. When he arrived into the world, the midwife said ” hes a boy, look at his Bimba (penis) “. Little did she know that name would stick with him his full life. As a child, Bimba had always shown an interest in Capoeira but he did not start learning till around the age of twelve. He found a man by the name of Bentinho. After 6 years of training, Bimba felt that Capoeira was far too basic to be considered a Martial art. People say it only had nine moves at this point in history. Bimbas father had been a Champion in  fighting style called Bataque (an old African fighting style). Bimba started to incorporate some of the moves from this as well as his own moves into Capoeira. This hybrid style would become, what we know today as Capoeira regional.


Keep in mind at this point in History, Capoeira was still illegal but Bimba still tried to spread the word of this new Capoeira style. In the 1930s he was finally able to present it as a proper martial art. He was invited to give a demonstration of it at the governor of Bahia, Juracy Magalhaes palace. He was so impressed with what Bimba had created, the ban on Capoeira was finally lifted. This allowed Bimba to realise his dream and open his own school in Bahia to start training others his new version of Capoeira. He also made things more professional by making his students wear uniforms and put a grading system in place like other martial arts. Capoeira had always,up to this point, been seen as a martial art for the poor as it was usually seen being done by poor people on the streets. Bimbas school changed all that. He started training Doctors, Lawyers and was finally able to break the stigma of it being a poor mans sport.

In 1942, Bimba opened another school at the Terriero De Jesus and trained a vast array of important people like Policemen and the Army. Sadly, some time in the 1970s, Bimba grew despondent with the lack of support by the government to help him try and grow Capoeira bigger. He moved away to Goiania but died a year later by a stroke.


Here are some of the rules Mestre Bimba applied in his academy whilst training his students. They still ring true to this very day.

Do not smoke anything ( Good rule no matter who you are)

Do not drink Alcohol ( Again, another great rule)

Keep what you learn in training private. The element of surprise is great.

Never be distracted by things like conversation during training. You should have your full concentration on your opponent to learn from them.

Master the Ginga. It is the base that most moves are built on.

Exercise daily.

Stay close to your opponent. You will learn more.

Dont be too tense. You need to relax to master the moves.

Its better to be defeated in a roda than on the streets.


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