We are the San Francisco chapter of Omulu Capoeira Guanabara, an international community of students and teachers dedicated to the preservation, practice, and culture of capoeira. We are looking for support to host a special, week-long event (called a batizado) in October that includes classes, workshops, performances and lectures with some of the most talented and respected capoeiristas in the world.
About Our Group
Omulu Capoeira Guanabara, led by Mestre Preguiça and Mestre Di Mola, has academies across the U.S., Brazil, Canada, and northern Europe. Since 1984, OCG has brought capoeira to students from all walks of life with classes for children, adults, and at-risk teens.
Check out more about our group:
In the world of capoeira, the batizado is a traditional ceremony where new students are officially welcomed in to the group by being given their first belt (called a cordão). The training and dedication of returning students is honored as well, and many are promoted by being given a new belt, a symbol of their rank and experience.
For students of capoeira, young or old, the batizado ceremony as well as all of the workshops that lead up to it are the highlight of the year, often the highlight of a lifetime. A year or more’s worth of difficult and demanding training is rewarded during the batizado. Particularly in the U.S., where capoeira is still a relatively little-known art, the chances for our students to train with and learn from some of the most respected and talented mestres (mestre is Portuguese for ‘master’) from around the world are exceedingly rare. This year’s batizado, which is equal parts community celebration, family reunion, and challenging tournament, will be one of the largest events OCG has ever hosted.
And we need your help to make it happen.
Capoeira has never been an easy art to practice. Originally developed by escaped slaves in Brazil hundreds of years ago, capoeira was outlawed, reviled as a pastime for the poor and unsavory. Contemporary capoeira, which has spread from the alleys and streets of Brazil to academies and gymnasiums the world over, faces an entirely new set of challenges. Bringing instructors from as far away as Sweden, Brazil, Mexico and Canada to our classes in the U.S. is a costly endeavor, and the financial logistics of hosting a large event that’s open to such a diverse community of middle and low-income students are difficult to overcome.
How can you help? There are three ways.
1. You can make a financial contribution. Although each of our students is expected to raise enough money for his or her own costs for the batizado whenever possible, the tuition from our classes cannot offset the costs of such a big event. Your contribution helps insure that all our students are able to experience the best that the world of capoeira has to offer, regardless of their circumstances.
2. You can spread the word. The culture and art of capoeira are not nearly as well-known in the U.S. as they are elsewhere, and as such there is probably a large portion of your friends and family who have no idea what our campaign is about. Publicity can be almost as helpful to our event as a donation, so please tell your friends, tell your co-workers, and tell the world what a capoeirista is, and why we need help.
3. You can come try capoeira for yourself. The best way to contribute to the capoeira community is to become a part of it. Bring your energy and your enthusiasm and you won’t need anything else. Our class is based in San Francisco’s Mission District, but there are OCG branches around the world – come join us and take part in our 2013 Batizado yourself!
We deeply appreciate your support, and thank you for being helping to keep the tradition and passion of capoeira alive in your community!