Our mission is to use the traditional Afro-Brazilian art of Capoeira Angola to promote the health, well-being and development of the Asheville community through capoeira classes, performances, and community outreach. Additionally, we seek to contribute to the cultural diversity of the Western North Carolina region, creating a basis for cultural exchange between Brazil and the US.
CECA: The First Capoeira Angola Academy
The Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola (CECA) comes form a long tradition of education and preservation of the African-Brazilian art form of Capoeira Angola. Mestre Pastinha opened the first official Capoeira Angola school in 1941 and coined the name CECA. Following Pastinha's death, his student Mestre Joao Pequeno continued the legacy of the CECA Academy. Today the CECA academy continues to thrive due to the hard work and dedication of capoeira teachers graduated by Mestre Joao Pequeno including our mestre, Mestre Pe de Chumbo.
Pastinha: founder of CECA
Philosopher, poet, author, visual artist and master of capoeira angola, Mestre Pastinha is one of the most important figures in the Afro-Brazilian artform of capoeira angola. This man dedicated his life to the propagation and preservation of the traditional capoeira angola and ultimately sacrificed everything through his quest to keep the capoeira and all of its traditions alive for future generations. He founded the first school of capoeira angola "Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola (CECA)" in 1941 and today is recognized in the history, celebrations and songs of nearly all capoeiristas around the world.
Joao Pequeno: Continuing the legacy
At the close of the 1960s, when Mestre Pastinha could no longer teach, he passed the responsibility to João Pequeno, saying, “João, you take care of this, because I will die, but only my body will die, my spirit lives. As long as there is capoeira, my name will not disappear.”
At the academy of Mestre Pastinha, João Pequeno taught capoeira to all the other great capoeiristas who came from that academy, and later became great mestres, among them, Moraes, Curió, and João Grande - who became his great capoeira partner.
In 1982, a year after the death of Mestre Pastinha, Mestre João Pequeno re-opened the Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola in the Forte Santo Antônio Alem do Carmo, where he created a new base for resistance, where Capoeira Angola emerged for the world. Even though he faced many difficulties maintaining the academy, he was able to graduate mestres and teach large number of students.
Pe De Chumbo: Spread of CECA across borders
Graduated students of Mestre Joao Pequeno, such as Mestre Pe de Chumbo, continue to teach the traditional art of Capoeira Angola today. With the recent popularization of Capoeira Angola, Mestres from Joao Pequeno's academy have brought capoeira to countries around the world.
Mestre Pe de Chumbo founded his first academy in 1988 and was one of the first Angola Mestres to create an academy in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In an effort to honor his roots and in accordance with Mestre Joao Pequeno's wishes, Pe de Chumbo retained the name CECA and the school's rainbow logo for his new academy.
Since the opening of his first academy in Sao Paulo Brazil, Mestre Pe de Chumbo has founded academies in Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Germany and the United States. Mestre Pe de Chumbo continues to remain close to Mestre Joao Pequeno (91 years old) and is committed to teaching the traditional Capoeira he learned under this great capoeira Mestre.
Capoeira in Asheville, NC
The Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola Asheville (CECAA)was founded by Mestre Pe de Chumbo when he brought together the two existing capoeira groups in Asheville in June of 2006. Mestre Pe de Chumbo currently lives in Germany and in his absence left trained students to give classes, performances and workshops. Stefan and Jashwant now give weekly classes in addition to giving workshops at various venues in the southeastern area. The group is proud to be able to host Mestre Pe de Chumbo and other Brazilian capoeira teachers yearly.