Celebrating 25 Years of M Valmir

In our final post celebrating “Malungos: 25 Years of Mestres Valmir, Janja, Paulinha, Poloca, and Boca do Rio, we hear from Mestre Valmir. Mestre Valmir has one of the most important Capoeira Angola academies in Salvador, Bahia, located in the center of the city, and he also administers various projects around the city. This interview was done at the 2002 FICA International Encounter held in Washington, DC.

My name is Valmir Damasceno. I don’t have a capoeira knickname. I am a son of Salvador Bahia, born in the Lower City, precisely in Massaranduba. I always liked capoeira…

… In 1980, Mestre Moraes came from Rio de Janeiro and brought with him another student of his, who at that time was already a mestre of capoeira, Cobrinha. So, I knew Mestre Moraes, and he said, “Go there. Go to the group.” He wrote the address and I went.

Arriving there, it was my first contact with capoeira, to be seeing Mestre Moraes, Cobrinha, and other students who began with us at that time, Paulinha, Poloca, Janja, and other people.

I left GCAP in 1996… I started to give class in a park in the city, like this, in a field. And from there I went to Via Magia (a community center in Salvador). I did class on a soccer field. When it rained, we went to a small alleyway. The rodas took place on Saturday under a tree.

Afterwards, we went to a sports club located in Dois do Julho, which is a neighborhood in Salvador in the center of the city. From there, we looked for the space that we are in today, which is on the fifth floor of a building on Carlos Gomez Avenue.

Congratulations M Valmir on 25 years of Capoeira Angola! Here’s to many more!

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