Beginning Capoeira


Mestre Pastinha

Mestre Pastinha Biography

 

Mestre Pastinha was born Vicente Ferreira Pastinha on 1889 in Salvador, Brazil. His father was a Spanish Immigrant and his mum was from Bahia. Like many families around this time, Pastinhas family lived in severe poverty. As a child, he was a keen artist and not much else is known about his childhood. When he was around the age of eight, he became the victim of a much larger kid who regularly beat him up and bullied him. An African man named Benedito witnessed this bullying and told Pastinha to come over to his home to train. The story goes, Pastinha learned some Capoeira and the next time the bully started on him, he taught him a lesson and he never bothered Pastinha again.

 

Mestre Pastinha

In 1941, Mestre Pastinha was invited to a roda at bairro da liberdade by a former student. This was where most of the well known Mestres of this era got together. Pastinha met a man named Amorzinho who was so impressed with Pastinha, he offered him the chance to tke over his own movement, Capoeira Angola. This led to Pastinha opening the first Capoeira Angola school at the Pelourinho Centre, located in the western area of Salvador. Mestre Pastinha spent the next 20 years or so training hundreds of students the way of Capoeira angola. One of the highlights of his life was performing at the First International Festival De Artes Negras in 1966.

Capoeira was not the only job Pastinha had though. He also worked as a tailor, shoe shiner and a security guard at a Gambling den but his heart lay with Capoeira. Sadly his School eventually fell on hard times and Pastinhas health also deteriorated. He became sick and lost most of his eye sight. Around this time, the local government told Pastinha that he had to leave the school for a renovation and he was promised he would get the school back after they were completed. They lied and after the renovations they gave the building to someone else who turned it into an entertainment venue. This left Pastinha very bitter and he passed away on the 13th of November 1981 aged 92.

Pastinhas legacy is tthat first, he was Great at Capoeira. Fast agile and very dedicated. Secondly, he did not just want his students to learn the moves and that was it. He wanted them to learn the history, the Philosophy and the tradition of Capoeira. He also had his students learn how to play the Capoeira instruments, learn the songs and fully integrate themselves with Capoeira as a whole.

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