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History of the "Senzala Group"



The history of the SENZALA group  begins in 1963 in Rio de Janeiro.

 In 1963, the Flores family and their 3 sons, Paulo, Rafael and Gilberto, moved from Salvador de Bahia to Rio de Janeiro. The 3 brothers had just discovered capoeira in Salvador de Bahia, having spent two months training in Master Bimba's academy.  During this same year 1963,  the brothers decide to continue capoeira and organize weekly training on the terrace of the building where they live, in the neighborhood of Laranjeiras, with the participation of kids from the neighborhood. This small group of teenagers meets frequently with other groups and academies in Rio de Janeiro. In 1964, Paulo and Gato (one of the first teenagers to join the 3 brothers) represented their Academy at the “Silver Berimbau” tournament in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro. They come 3rd, behind the 2 largest Capoeira academies in Rio.  Saturday training on the Laranjeiras terrace continues unabated. The group saw its attendance increase rapidly. The average age in 1964 was then 17 years old. Two kids from morro Dona Marta, always present at training and exhibitions, join the group: Sorriso and Garrincha. The year 1965 was marked by the arrival in the group of a pupil of Mestre Bimba who allowed young people to develop their knowledge of capoeira. Also in 1965, some young people, with notions of capoeira, joined the group and became important members: Claudio Danadinho, from Brasilia, Itamar and Peixinho.  In 1966, during an exhibition at the Club Germanico, the group was presented for the first time as the Senzala Group, a name suggested by Paulo Flores.  The Senzala group begins teaching capoeira in colleges, academies and universities in Rio de Janeiro, spreading this popular art to places not used to this activity. With classes of more than thirty students, it quickly became necessary to develop a specific methodology. The Senzala Group  incorporates in particular the traditional movements of capoeira as well as the sequences and acrobatics of master Bimba.  From 1968 to 1971, the Senzala group officially settled in a house on rue Cosme Velho. There, meet the fine flower of capoeiristas. It's at  this time that a system of grades was organized for new students. From 1975, Camisa Roxa's brother, José Tadeu, then 17 years old, directed the academy. He actively participated in the development of the group, under the name of Camisa, until 1990, when he decided to leave the group to create his own association.  : ABADA.  From 1985 to 1989, the masters Peixinho, Gato and Garrincha participated as referees and speakers in the Brazilian Student Games, establishing their capoeira rules. In 1991, the Senzala group celebrated 25 years of its creation and 28 years of activity during a national meeting, a course open to all capoeiristas,  where all the red strings pass on their knowledge.


The arrival of the Senzala group in Europe


From 1985 to 1995, great changes took place in the group. Students of master Peixinho (China) and Garrincha (Samara, Grilo, Paulinho Boavida) leave for Europe and begin to teach capoeira in France and Holland. Masters Peixinho, Toni Vargas, Garrincha and Sorriso go in turn to Europe and help them organize the First European Meeting of Capoeira, in Paris, in 1987. This event celebrates the establishment of Capoeira in Europe. The 1990s saw the masters of the Senzala group assume a leading role in the organization of meetings and seminars in Brazil, Europe and the United States.

The Mestre Peixinho branch of the Centro Cultural Senzala de Capoeira, on which the Capoeira Senzala Lyon association depends, is intended to disseminate Capoeira and Brazilian cultural events, but also to research the origins of the discipline. Indeed, master Peixinho thinks that the awareness of the Brazilian people is linked to the search for their roots. It is also a training and orientation center for teachers and animators who wish to work on capoeira in all its diversity (wrestling, dance, art, etc.) thus aiming to promote physical, intellectual, emotional and socio-economic development. -cultural of individuals.

Currently, the Senzala group extends to all of Brazil and to many countries in Europe and America and even if thousands of students have trained within it, barely a dozen masters have been trained. It is this demand for quality and technical level, combined with dedication and awareness of the historical values of capoeira, which has made the Senzala group one of the best known in Brazil and which has ensured international recognition.

Groupe de capoeiriste à Lyon
T-Shirt de capoeira avec le logo senzala lyon

Association law 1901, holder of the approval for youth and popular education associations 

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