Join Us February 21-23, 2020 for Mestre Jogo de Dentro's Workshop at CAC

2916 Frederick Douglass Boulevard 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10039, USA

1+ (212) 989-6975

Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande

Welcome to Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande

Welcome to Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande

Welcome to Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João GrandeWelcome to Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande

Mestre João Grande teaches in the African style, as a way of life, as his teacher
Mestre Pastinha did before him.


Capoeira Angola

Capoeira Angola

Capoeira Angola, an ancient martial art of African origin, is one of the many cultural weapons used to break the chains of enslavement in Brazil. Played close to the ground, Capoeira Angola combines fluid, dance-like movements with kicks, head butts, tripping sweeps and the appearance of playfulness or vulnerability. Music is played on traditional instruments to accompany the players, to teach the rhythmic heart of the art, and also to mask its power. In the eyes of the enslavers it appeared to be a joking and playful acrobatic dance, but eventually its power was realized and Capoeira was outlawed. Death was the penalty paid by those caught playing Capoeira during the slavery era. For almost 400 years Capoeira Angola was taught and practiced in secret, and only in the 1930's did this African martial art become legal to teach and practice.

Mestre João Grande, a Grand Master of Capoeira Angola with more than 50 years of experience, is a highly respected figure in the world of capoeira and has received numerous awards. These include a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Upsala College in East Orange, NJ in 1995, and in September of 2001 he was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is one of the most prestigious awards for practitioners of traditional arts in the US.

João Grande first learned Capoeira Angola from Mestre Pastinha, who continues to be his primary source of inspiration. Mestre Pastinha opened the first Capoeira Angola School, The Academia De Capoeira Angola, in 1941 in the city of Salvador, Bahia in the northeast of Brazil. Mestre Pastinha dedicated his school to preserving and continuing the long tradition of this African martial art, teaching Capoeira Angola as a path of self knowledge and mastery. Mestre Pastinha was the first Capoeira Mestre (master) to write a book on the history, philosophy and practice of Capoeira, simply entitled 'Capoeira Angola.' He went to Africa with his students to participate in the Festival of African Arts and Culture during the 1970's and also produced albums promoting the unique musical component of this martial art.

Entering Mestre João Grande's Academy, you can feel the energy of Capoeira Angola. The room is filled with berimbaus, the primary musical instrument of capoeira. Galleries of rare photos of Capoeira Angola's storied past, as well as photos from Mestre's travels around the globe, cover the walls. Mestre has a great appreciation for African culture, both from Africa itself and as it manifests in Brazil. Beautiful African sculptures, textiles and innumerable mementos from Bahia decorate the academy.

Mestre has travelled extensively in Africa, Europe, and Asia, throughout Brazil and the United States. He first travelled abroad in the 1970's with Viva Bahia, one of the first groups to perform capoeira and other Afro-Brazilian folk arts outside of Brazil. He subsequently travelled to conduct Capoeira Angola workshops in Brazil and worldwide. He has taught for capoeira groups, universities, colleges, high schools, elementary schools, and civic organizations, amongst others. If you are interested in having Mestre João Grande teach at your school or organization,

Keeping the Tradition

Mestre João Grande teaches in the African style, as a way of life, as his teacher Mestre Pastinha did before him. He often uses metaphors relating to nature, such as the following:

"Eu sou fruta madura
Cai do pé lentamente
Na queda larga semente
Procura terra fresca
Pra ser fruta novamente"

I am a ripe fruit
Falling slowly from the tree
The impact spreads my seeds
Looking for fertile earth
To be fruit once again

Mestre Pastinha explained:

"I practice the true capoeira angola and in my school they learn to be sincere and just. That is the Angola law. I inherited it from my grandfather. It is the law of loyalty. The Capoeira Angola I learned, I did not change it here in my school....When my students move on, they move on to know about everything."



Schedule in Harlem New York: Main Location


Monday through Friday - 6:30 to 8:30pm
Sunday Morning Class - 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

EVERY SUNDAY: RODA - 2:00 to 7:00pm 

Adults Class price: $20.00

Roda price: $15.00
Sunday combination price (Sunday morning class & Roda): $30.00 

Unlimited Monthly: $175 (includes all Classes and Rodas for the month)

All classes & Roda are open to all levels, beginners included.

New students will need to purchase a shirt from the academy for an additional $25.00.
Students from other academies may wear shirts from their respective schools for both classes & Roda.

All students (new & visiting) should wear comfortable shoes and (white) pants with a belt.

Classes Downtown & New Jersey Classes

In  New Jersey
*Free Classes Saturdays


140 Martin Luther King Dr Jersey City, New Jersey 07305

Contact: Professor Rastinha

(201) 547-4565



We are pleased to announce the first workshop with Mestre Jogo de Dentro in New York City!  Everyone is welcome so come join us for training, music and roda in this once-in-a-lifetime event!

*Tentative Program*

Friday, 6 - 9 p.m.: aula + roda

Saturday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.: aula

Saturday,  3 - 7 p.m.: aula + roda

Sunday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.: aula

Sunday, 2- 7 p.m. : Roda

*Workshop cost* 

Cost for the complete event (after February 1st) : $150

[Below is the breakdown of costs if you cannot make it to the whole event:
- Cost for Friday (or Saturday morning/Sunday morning): $ 40
- Cost for Saturday afternoon: $ 45]

*Payment Options*

Pay at the door in Cash or PayPal, Venmo, on the following account:

Venmo: @Giovanna-Invernizzi

Paypal: gmi2105@columbia.edu

Bring your instruments for music workshop. Bring your own lunch for full days Saturday and Sunday.


No upcoming events.

Contact Us

Drop us a line at: info@joaogrande.org

Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande in NY

2916 Frederick Douglass Boulevard 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10039, USA

1 (212) 989-6975

Classes and Roda Hours

Open today

06:30 pm – 08:30 pm


Capoeira Angola Center Japan Yokohama, Japan


Contra Mestre Teiichirou Yokkote Ichii
Facebook @CACJAPAO

Capoeira Angola Norte do Japão, Sapporo-Shi, Japan (Study Group)


Capoeira Angola Center, Champaign-Urbana


Contra-Mestre Denis, & Professora Aisha

Downtown Urbana at 201 Lincoln Sq, Urbana, 

IL 61801 Space 157 (North Entrance)

www.Angola Center Illinois.com
Facebook @groups/272548572882091

Phone: +1 217-721-0887

Capoeira Angola Center Italy, Venice, Sacile


Contra-Mestre Marquinho
Facebook: @AngolaCenter.Italia
Phone: +0039 338 1324726

Capoeira Angola Center Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya


 (Mandinga Ancestral)

Contra-Mestre Salim
Queens Park Apartments, Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Tues & Thurs 6pm - 8pm
Facebook: @Mandinga Ancestral
Phone: +254 710 551 721

Capoeira Angola Center, San Diego, California


Jamie & Eric

El Toyon Recreation Center 

2005 E. 4th St. National City, CA 91950

Weds & Fridays 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Capoeira Angola Center San Diego
Facebook: @groups/272548572882091
Phone: +1 691-796-9389

Capoeira Angola Center Arizona, Phoenix


Professor Ivan Pena 'Xango'
Facebook: @capoeira.arizona

Phone: +1 602-791-7545

Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola, Los Angeles, California


Capoeira Angola Center Germany, Hamburg


Professor Robson Bocão
Capoeira Angola Center Germany
Facebook: @Capoeira Angola Center Germany of Mestre João Grande
Phone: +0049 40 415 496 78 

oder +0049 40 413 507 53


Mestre João Grande is available to teach workshops and has travelled the world to do so. He has taught workshops in Brazil, Japan, Serbia, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Finland, and across the United States.

Mestre teaches traditional Capoeira Angola, but does not limit himself strictly to teaching at academies of Capoeira Angola. If your Regional group has an interest in learning about Capoeira Angola or if you are interested in having Mestre facilitate a worshop at your academy, please feel free to contact us.

Mestre has also attended and participated in many Batizados.

If you are interested in contacting us for more information, please use the contact form below, email us at info@joaogrande.org or call us at +1 212-989-6975

Dance and Rehearsal Space Rental

Interested in a space to rehearse or have your dance class? Contact us for more information.
Call +1 212-989-6975 or E-mail us at: info@joaogrande.org