Capoeira Batuque Pasadena

Class Times

Adult classes are held at:

Magnolia Dance Space
4 Esther Pasadena Ca. 91103

(just off fair oaks, above the 210 freeway)

New students: when you come to class, wear something comfortable and bring water. Classes are challenging, but never feel overwhelmed. If you ever feel lost, don’t worry, everyone goes through it, just enjoy the process.

**After the 2nd class, uniform is required.

Class Etiquette

Class: Please show up on time. One way many people get injured is they jump into a class without warming up. Coming late can also break the flow of a class. Come in with an open mind mind and ready to learn. I know everyone has problems, but don’t bring them to class. Capoeira can help relieve a lot of frustration, just be aware of how you do it. Wear your uniform and keep it clean. Please pay on time. Paying monthly is always encouraged and cheaper. However, if you pay for a month and miss class, it does not roll over to the next month.
Roda: The roda is where we come together and play capoeira.


At the very base of everything, Capoeira is about building community. When you come in the training space be open because these are people who you will be seeing on a regular basis. In joining the Capoeira community you have also opened yourself to a world wide network (only if you want). Almost anywhere you go where there is Capoeira, other capoeiristas will welcome you.


Capoeira is an amazing art form for you child to be apart of. Children will learn the meaning of discipline, hard work, and see the fruits of their labor all while having fun. In class we cover martial arts, dance, history, music, and above all respect for each other.

Parents are welcome to watch the first few classes, but I really encourage you to allow your child the space to grow with their peers. It can also be a big distraction for your child. Don’t worry though, we have events and will include a monthly open house so you can see your child’s progression.

Classes are Tuesday 5:30-6:30 and Thursday 5-6pm.

It is recommended that you bring water for your child and encourage them to practice at home.

*After the 2nd class, uniform is required.

What is Capoeira?

This is not an easy question to answer briefly, but Capoeira is an African-Brazilian martial art, which is considered a game (jogo) between two people. A dialogue, without words, that can be slow, fast, rough, beautiful, or any combination of these. An art form commanded by music, history, and community. Or as Mestre Pastinha put it “everything that the mouth eats”. Come to class, and you will get all the answers, eventually.

Capoeira History

Capoeira is an African-Brazilian martial art and dance. It’s roots are from Africa, but was developed in Brazil by African slaves. Slavery forced many different cultures of Africans to come together, from places such as Nigeria, Guinea, Ghana, Congo, and Angola, to name a few. One of the most popular beliefs is that Capoeira was developed by the slaves hiding the martial art in dance. However, one must also recognize that many things in African culture were learned through music and dance, or at least accompanied by one of the two. Because of capoeira’s oral tradition, it is not easy to completely side with one main belief. However, there is also a dance called N’golo, that many also attribute to be one to the origins of Capoeira, (which comes from Angola).

Beginning in Brazil sometime in the 16th century, Capoeira has had a long history of struggle and fighting against oppression.   Only in the 1930’s did Capoeira become legal to practice openly and today is the 2nd national sport in Brasil, not to mentions with millions of practitioners world wide. In many places that African slaves were taken, exists art forms that resemble capoeira (ex. Ladja in Martinique and Mani in Cuba). For a more extensive look into the history of this rich art form, Wikipedia actually has a pretty detaled description.


Music is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of capoeira. It is what feeds the game, the capoeiristas, and the roda. You do not have to be the best singer or musician when you start, but everyone in my class will become good at music, at some point. No option. It is going to take a lot of time and practice, but there is no hurry. The instruments you will learn are the Berimbau, Atabaque, Pandeiro, Agogo, and Reco Reco. You will also learn how to sing in Portuguese (with some words in Yourba)

Capoeira Batuque

Capoeira Batuque is a group that is committed to the study and research of all aspects of capoeira without judging or excluding any particular style. We believe that it is extremely important to have a broader understanding of this art form as a whole. In training and respecting different styles of Capoeira, we aim to increase our vocabulary to be able to participate in any roda. Some capoeira practitioners believe that people should stick with one style, however, this seems to come from more of a political view point, more so than one of capability. So when people ask us what our style is, we can simple reply, Capoeira. We strongly believe Capoeira can and should be used as a tool to empower others, without so much emphasis on style.

Capoeira Batuque is not a style. This name was chosen for our organization because Mestre Amen wanted to pay homage to his African roots. This is extremely important to him because he feels as though African culture, in many cases, get’s forgotten or misrepresented in Brasil. Capoeira Batuque is dedicated to bringing people together from different ethnicities, races, religious background, and gender. We believe through Capoeira we can teach people to be compassionate towards others and learn from different cultures and experiences.

What does the word Batuque means?

Batuque has multiple meanings, but two key definitions are rhythm, and fighting style. Batuque was an African fighting style that Mestre Bimba used to create Capoeira Regional. Mestre Bimba learned this art from his father during his childhood, who was a champion of Batuque. Also, Batuque is an ensemble of drums and represents the action of hitting/playing the them.

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Contra Mestre Muito Tempo (Phillipos Haile)

Born and rasied in Los Angeles, Ca to two Ethiopian parents, Muito Tempo’s first experience with Capoeira was at the age of 8. He saw a performance at the African Market Place festival by Mestre Amen. Completely shocked with what he saw, he knew one day he would train Capoeira. Training Tang Soo do at that time, he didn’t take his first capoeira classes until he was 11. Taking free classes in a program at his elementary school for a few months, which ended up getting canceled due to budget cuts. Still training other martial arts he decided at 15 to start capoeira again, and since then, never stopped. Even when Mestre Amen didn’t know his name for the first 2 years and called him Ricardo at a show, where he brought school friends, he continued. Helping out with the kids program and performing at a young age really helped his growth in the art. By the grace of God and the great guidance of his Mestre, Muito Tempo has been able to travel all over the world to teach, perform, and train Capoeira. In 2009 he founded Capoeira Batuque Pasadena and can never leave because he loves his students so much. Muito Tempo also works as a professional stunt man and can be seen on shows such as CSI: NY and Sons of Anarchy. He also feels funny talking about himself like this, so just come to class.


Mestre Amen

A native of Salvador Bahia, Mestre Amen Santo is a recognized Mestre de Capoeira, master drummer, and is the Artistic Director of the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center. He began his artistic career under the guidance of Mestre Waldemar and Mestre Avila in Liberdade, Bahia, Brazil. His was mentored as a performer by Negão de Doni (percussion) and Emilia Biancardi (dance) and toured internationally as a member of Brazil’s historic premiere folk ensemble Viva Bahia.

In 1989, he founded the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center that serves as the home base for a professional touring ensemble (the Ballet Folclòrico do Brasil) and the internationally renowned and longest standing capoeira school in Southern California, Capoeira Batuque. Santo helped bring capoeira to a worldwide audience through his performance and choreography in feature films including “Only the Strong” and “Kickboxer IV.” Santo has used dance and music as platform for promoting intercultural interchange, and valorization of Latin American diversity and the African Diaspora. He has also been honored in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and as a pioneer by the World Sokeship Council.


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