Tuesday, January 18, 2011


 I am glad that you are following me because I will share insights and projects with my readers. What is of value to me is to help enrich the lives of others. Capoeira is a remarkable tool of personal transformation, and it is the chisel that I hold. The plans below resonate with the mission that has guided me throughout my capoeira career.
(O texto em Português sera apresentado brevemente)

After our 2012 Encounter & Batizado, I will start a long journey, biking from Berkeley to Bahia. One year later and 14,000 miles away, I intend to arrive in the historical plaza Terreiro de Jesus in time to celebrate my seventieth birthday and fifty-five years of capoeira in a roda. I am open to ride along requests and sponsorships.  It is essential to me that this ride and its various endeavors raise enough funds to ensure sustainability of a program for kids’ at-risk that we support in Brazil, Projeto Kirimurê (http://www.projetokirimure.org/).

My plans for this trip incorporate the following projects: 

  • Workshops and participation in capoeira events promoted by groups along the way;
  • To capture the many ways that capoeira has transformed the lives of capoeiristas we encounter, via interviews, filming, and recording;
  • A collaborative CD, reflecting the diverse musical and cultural backgrounds of participating capoeiristas;

  • To finish a book in progress about reflections on capoeira. Hopefully, the monotony of constant pedaling will sharpen my perception, and help me articulate thoughts that have been floating in my head for some time;
  • A documentary film that will weave old historical capoeira footage, footage from relevant cultural aspects, and that of significant moments of the ride. I want to create a work of art on par with other professional documentaries.
It may seem like nonsense for someone at may age to embark on such an undertaking. I am conscious that I have already crossed the juncture in life in which to achieve the ordinary requires the extraordinary. There is an essential part of myself driven by challenges, and the “Berkeley to Bahia by Bicycle” is my answer.
In route, confronting the difficulties of countless hours of riding, unpredictable obstacles, and my physical limitations, I want to dive into a process of introspection in which past, present and future may fuse together in a quest for self-knowledge and further meaning of capoeira. I have the personal commitment and determination to meet this challenge, and I want to emerge from it as a better person and teacher.
A major project of this sort is complex and nonlinear and is not meant to be attempted alone. It requires a diverse group of people helping in all kinds of ways. I humbly ask that all of my students and friends consider their skills and talents to see how they may contribute to this cause. It will take a team effort to make this large plan a reality.  We will need help finding capoeira schools in Central America and northern South America to determine the final route, help in finalizing the whole plan, including choice of equipment, selection of human resources (film producers, grant writers, sponsors, etc), and above all, your collective moral support.
Please, go to the discussion area of this page and lets brainstorm to develop a realistic schedule. Submissions should be entered under proper topics already in place. It will be useful if you let us know who you are, what is your field of expertise, and how you may contribute. My sincere hope is that this collaboration will only deepen and enhance the relationship of all of us to capoeira as a global art form. Let’s join forces to make this happen in its full potential!

More to come soon.


Peter said...


What a wonderful adventure you have ahead of you!

A few thoughts from my own cross-country trip:
- All along the route, when people hear of your story, they will want to help you.
- Age is no, or at least a small barrier. After 1500 miles, in excellent condition, my partner and I were passed in the Bighorn mountains by a 64 year old retiree who had only started exercising a few years earlier. He was traveling with his 38 year old daughter in law. After 3000 miles of riding, in peak condition, my partner and I were passed easily by 4 couples on tandems all of whom were near 70.
- As with everything physical, it is key to start easy and gradually pick up your pace, and to rest enough.
- A bicycle affords access to life's small dramas that no other mode of travel allows. You will encounter people and other creatures in the midst of crises and transitions, and you are likely to become involved in some of them. We were fortunate to have a few such experiences.
- When you burn 5000 calories a day, eating is a whole new experience. Hunger is the best spice.
- Several sets of top-quality bike shorts can spare you chafing, which can take a lot of the joy out of riding.
- The tandem-riding couples swore they owed their butts to good quality bike saddles (Brooks leather saddles in their case). When you sit on something for 6-10 hours a day it better be comfortable!
- It is hard to overestimate the importance of being able to easily adjust your personal climate. In my experience, wool is better than any high-tech fiber for cool weather - it warms even when damp, breathes, and does not stink even when washed infrequently. I used light, Pendleton button-up shirts so I could open the front to allow the breeze in. The alternative is frequent stops to change one's attire, which interrupts the joyful flow of riding.
- A map or GPS can be helpful, but they have limitations. Visit the bike shop in each major town you stop in; tell them your story, your destination, ask them the best route to your next major destination and what not to miss. This will yield a more interesting and lovely route than any map, and also help you skirt the uncharted detours and skip the heavy traffic.

Bananeira said...

I want to join you tooooo!!!
I can take you berimbau!!!
Love from a snowing Norway,
Um abrazo

Alexander Rogozin said...

Mestre Acordeon, good luck to you!
Capoeiristas from all over Russia will be searching news from your trip.
Please take care!
Hope to see you soon.
...Instrutor Ninja da Moscow

Lele Croata said...

Grande Mestre Acordeon!!
Thank You for everything you are doing for our Capoeira!!
Sending you a lot of good Axé from Croatia for your mission and I hope that one day I will have an opportunity to meet Senhor personaly.
Deus lhe abencoe hoje e sempre!!
Lele Croata

Anonymous said...

Mestre Acordeon, Firstly apologies if this post is in the wrong place, I couldn't find the sections section. I must say with the greatest respect I think you're rather mad:0D , but I like that kind of mad. I am currently in the process of reading your book `capoeira a brazilian art form' and it has touched me. In exchange for that, the sense of not being alone in my experience of the axe and energy of capoeira I am willing to offer my services as a physiotherapist (what americans call a physical therapist). I strongly suspect you will need one at at least one point in the journey.If you're intrested I could meet you on one of the legs of the journey for any hands on treatment that may be required an would be happy to give advice as required by e-mail or snail mail. Respects, Jenny, uk, enormouscrocodile@yahoo.co.uk

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natural crystal x said...

Mestre Acordeon,
You are a mystery and a mystic, I still have many questions, but amazingly you have answered many of them, I was just not listening. While floating around in the capoeira ocean sometimes I forget from where I have departed and to where I am docking. Please keep in touch.
crystal x asli
khasiat crystal x
I think you mean Portsea! :) n