About the people I train with

The main capoeira group that I’m training with is named “The Solsinmotion Capoeira Collective.

The Solsinmotion Capoeira Collective is a holistic life-coaching platform that focuses on integrating the mind, body, and soul connection through the practice of Capoeira Angola.

This group is part of a larger entity called Solsinmotion.

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So, what is Solsinmotion?

Solsinmotion is a movement that provides counseling and personal development coaching service. The aim is to help people to be happier, healthier, successful, and be more in their loving by accessing greater intuition, and with grace and ease implementing strategies to accomplish their heart desires.

CHARLES WILLIAMS is the founder of Solsinmotion, and my 1st capoeira teacher. Charles specializes as counselor, life coach, fitness and Capoeira instructor, poet, writer and a spiritual psychologist.

Here he is giving us his patient and expert instruction.

The class lasts 3 hours. For the 1st hour, there’s a music class where we learn to play the instruments, and we learn new songs.

Then for the other 2 hours, we have movement training, where we warmup with dancing, yoga-esque exercises, calisthenics, ALWAYS some stretching, and learn ginga, negativa, kicks, and other movements, and then we have a small Roda at the end of class, where we put it all together.

I love this class. We’re there outside, Hot or cold, rain or shine, etc…

I believe capoeira belongs outside, with different people, and animals, feeding you energy. It makes me so happy when I see families, couples children, etc. watching us, and when people come up to talk to us about what we’re doing…

Sometimes my knee, hip, or one of my ankles sometimes hurts like hell, or my left pinkie from holding the berimbau. But that’s O.K., because none of those are injuries, that’s just my weakness leaving my body. Even when it takes 3 or days to do so…

Anyway, we are in Griffith Park every Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., though we usually go till around 4 p.m.

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We are also in the El Sereno neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles every Tuesday. I can’t go to this class as often as i want to, so I treasure every opportunity I get to take class here.

 
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For more information, or if you want to book a session with charles, please contact him at www.solsinmotion.com.

 

Now, let me introduce you to another of my teachers…

My friend,  and my “Crazy Uncle” in capoeira, Jelani Lateef, Treinel of NGOLO PRETO VELHO LOS ANGELES DE MESTRE THEMBA.

 
Side note: The guy Jelani’s playing in this video clip is Contra Mestre Muito Tempo, head teacher of CAPOEIRA BATUQUE PASADENA, and a real good person. And also, along with another great guy called Professor Saracuru form CAPOEIRA BRASIL DTLA, he holds a very large yearly (Sometimes bi-yearly) Roda called THE CAPOEIRA EXCHANGE, that takes place in Los Angeles. You’ll read more about him and Saracuru in future blogs on this website.

(Another side note: Since I first wrote the above statement, Contra Mestre Muito Tempo was promoted at CAPOEIRA BATUQUE’S 2019 BATIZADO, and is now MESTRE Muito Tempo. We in the Capoeira world congratluate him for his many Years of hard work and dedication to capoeira, and we wish him the BEST of luck in all his future endeavors).
 
 

Jelani started learning Capoeira Contemporanea in Arizona, when a few months into his studies, he saw a video tape of a man playing Capoeira Angola, which made Jelani want to change styles.

And he got a chance when he moved to New York, and started learning in the Academy of the Legendary GRAO MESTRE JOAO GRANDE. After a time, he and his wife at the time moved to Oakland, where he began training with the man performing in that original video that he saw.

And that was this man…

Mestre Themba Mashama. A true Pioneer of Capoeira Angola in the United States.

After training for many years in Regional/Contemporary Capoeira, Baba Themba became a student of MESTRE MORAES of Grupo Capoeira Angola Pelourinho. And after he became a mestre under Moraes, he established the first Capoeira Angola academy in the U.S.A., in Oakland CA.

After training with Mestre Themba for about 9 years, Jelani came back  to the L.A. / Inland Empire area, and started his own group, Jogo de Cintura…

 

As well as going back and forth to Los Angeles to train and participate in Rodas with angoleiros living there.

After building & developing this successful group for about 6 years, he felt the need to go back to his capoeira roots, and so on the last weekend in August, 2016, he took a group of us up to Oakland to train with his teacher, Mestre Themba.

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Since that visit, He changed the name  of his group, and became the L.A. branch of Mestre Themba’s group, NGOLO PRETO VELHO DE MESTRE THEMBA.

They have a Facebook page, click HERE to go there.

And click HERE to go to Mestre Themba’s main website.

And also, sometimes (especially on my birthday weekend), I travel to Oakland to train with Mestre Themba.

Jelani Lateef teaches at LINCOLN PARK in Pomona, Ca. on Sundays from 10 am till 1 pm.

 

And then, there’s Tope Akintunji. I talked about him a little bit on ANOTHER PAGE. He sometimes teaches us whenever charles is not able to. The man is an ABSOLUTE GENIUS, and he can give you a mental, as well as a physical workout. He has shared with us all a great amount of his wisdom in this art, and I will freely say that he is one of the greatest capoeiristas in the greater L.A. area, if not this whole country…

He’s somewhere in this picture… Guys, please understand, he does NOT like to be photographed. He’ll probably kick my A$$ for showing you this picture…
 
 
 

And last but certainly NOT least, there’s Cleyton Ribiero, AKA Kekeu Da Bahia.

KEKEU DA BAHIA. Nossa Kekeu…

What can I say about this brother? Capoeirista, instrument maker, NYABHINGI drummer, DOME builder… He does it all. In fact, Charles likes to call him the brazilian MacGuyver.

I met him a couple of years back on an October Sunday in Grffith Park. All throughout my training with charles in the park, he had spoken very highly of him, and we had helped him save up some money, because for months, he was saying that he was going to go to see Kekeu in Sao Paulo.

But then, as Charles was making arrangements to fly over to Sao Paulo, this skinny little guy with long dreadlocks just walked over to the class while I was going to the bathroom… And my life in this art got much more interesting.

I filmed this little game on that day.

Whenever he comes to one of our classes or Rodas, he freely shares with us a lot of information about Capoeira, and other forms of brazilian cultural expressions, like Samba de Roda, etc.

Several Times a year, Kekeu returns to Sao Paulo, Brazil to train with his main group, ANGOLEIROS DO SERTAO.

This school was founded it the 1980’s by Mestre Claudio Costa.

 
 



Mestre Cláudio was born in FEIRA DE SANTANA, a city in the interior of the state of Bahia Brazil, in an area called the SERTAO. He started capoeira in the fields when he was a boy. He was inspired by his uncle Domingos who played capoeira and his uncle Roque who made berimbau of imbé vine. What influenced him most was when he watched the capoeira rodas at the fair where he accompanied his mother who sold acarajé.

As he grew older through his hard work and training he founded his own Capoeira school Os Angoleiros do Sertão in the 1980s.Today he is well known for his capoeira Angola knowledge. The work of Mestre Cláudio is extensive, which includes his devoted care to the cantos, ladainhas, Samba Rural, and a well rounded acumen of playing and making all the instruments from scratch. Mestre Cláudio takes great pride and care in his work that is passed down to his contra-mestres, treinels, and students.

Below, I created a video playlist comprised mostly of video clips of Mestre Claudio and the students of Angoleiros do Sertao.

 

The 1st video in this playlist is a trailer for a documentary Kekeu made, with the groups Angoleiros do Sertão and Angoleiros Mar, with the participation of Mestre Claudio, CM Xandão, CM Tico, Calango, Xandinho, Escravinho, master Marcelo Angola, Prof. Guaxini, Prof. Xixarro, master Boca Rica, master Barba Branca and much more … with a passage through the Island of Itaparica, Salvador, Feira de Santana Bahia and Interior of SP.
 
 
 

Soon, Kekeu will start a branch of Angoleiros do Sertao in L.A.

He also tells us about other mestres he knows from Sao Paulo, like M.PLINIO, M. BARBA BRANCA, M. BIGO, CM. CENOURINHO, CM. TOICINO, etc.

Recently, I helped him plan a roda he held in Venice Beach…

 
 

That was really fun, and hopefully, Kekeu will hold more angola rodas there in the near future.





 
 

Well guys, These are the people I train with, my Capoeira family. Wherever I go, or whomever else I end up training with, these people will be in my heart forever…

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