F.G. But you began to train capoeira as a “weapon”, a sport, when?It’s always wonderful to hear the stories of capoeira mestres. Do you know the history of your mestre? If you know of an interview done with your mestre, send it to us and we will post a bit of it and make it available in our archives. If an interview with your mestre doesn’t exist, do one yourself!
Mestre: Actually, I began to learn capoeira in the form that it is played, that until then, I am saying, I didn’t have a definition about what is Angola or Regional, what was capoeira. I began to do capoeira when I saw a roda in Caxias (it was the first time I played in Caxias), it was at the Festival of Saint Anthony, and from there, I saw what capoeira was. I stared to meet with Mestre Cobra Mansa and we were always looking for other groups, other rodas, and capoeira classes and we started to go to the Quinta da Boa Vista, Flamengo, Central do Brasil, the rodas that were held in Nova Igaçu, and from there we really started to involve ourselves with capoeira, and how it was played and sang, but not in the more informed way that Capoeira Angola is done today.
F.G.: Why do you pay more attention when someone is inviting you to “passo a dois” or to do a “chamada de mandinga’?
Mestre: I pay greater attention because, like I said, when a person is playing with you, you already are more alert. You are there, you are in the game, you are moving with your partner, but from the moment that your partner stops and calls a chamada, like I said to you, when I stop and do a chamada, everything is already planned; what I am going to do with my partner, just as I am certain that when someone calls me that person is also prepared to strike, the strike is ready. Now, there are people who go and don’t know, there are people who don’t know why there is chamada, there are people who don’t know how to respond well to chamada or even how to respond at all.
Some Words from Mestre Jurandir
In 2002, Mestre Jurandir did an interview for Mestre Mano of the group Flor da Gente in Rio de Janeiro. Here is a bit of it (translated from Portuguese):