Mestre Aranha N/A

Background, Style, History and Affiliations

Mestre Aranha
Affiliated School or Organisation

Capoeira Nativos (Founder)

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Mestre Aranha

The 14th of January, 1992 the group Nativos was created in Bogotá Colombia by Mestre Aranha and Mestre acuatico. The main goal of the group was to maintain capoeira as an expression of art, culture, sport and life style; and to spread it over Colombia and the world. Since it was formed, the group has implemented a number of projects in gyms, schools, universities and organizations in different countries such as Brazil, the UK, USA, Switzerland, Sweden and Argentina. Capoeira Nativos is inspired by Mestre Bimba—and the capoeira movement that he developed (called CAPOEIRA REGIONAL)—mixed with other kinds of movements added along its trajectory. This style is called “Capoeira Contemporanea Regional”

Joelson Borges de Oliveira (Mestre Aranha) was born in Tumiritinga (Minas Gerais - Brazil), in the bosom of a traditional and humble Brazilian family. From an early age he knew about capoeira and from the start dedicated his life to developing this discipline. As a result of this, along with his thirst for knowledge and his constant desire to travel, he got to know many different parts of the world.

"During his long journey and with his martial style of capoeira, in keeping with his personality, he soon built a reputation and became widely known in all the important capoeira locations"

He started in his home town under the tuition of his first teacher Mestre Acuático, his trainer during his career as a capoeirista. While today, the idea of having a master is synonymous with attending an academy, in those days it wasn’t the case.

When neither the styles nor the lines of development had been formulated; capoeira centred at that time around what we call capoeragem or ‘capoeira of the road’. He was no stranger to this evolution of capoeira, typified by constant journeying around every part of Brazil where the berimbau could be heard. His eager pursuit of liberty and the search for his destiny led him to take the decision to set off towards North America at 23 years of age, with the unique distinction of doing this on foot. During his long journey and with his martial style of capoeira, in keeping with his personality, he soon built a reputation and became widely known in all the important capoeira locations: Salvador Bahía, Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaos, Venezuela, before finally arriving in Colombia, the place that captured him and where he dedicated 18 years to developing the discipline that is his profession.

He gave his first Capoeira classes in Bogotá in the discotheque Saint Amour, later transferring to the gym The Muscle Factory while also promoting the sport in the National Park and the Simón Bolívar Park.

In 1997 he founded Colombia’s first Capoeira Academy in Bogotá, Colombia. During the subsequent years he continued developing the group of which he was founder under the name Nativos de Minas , opening capoeira schools in various parts of Colombia.

Today, Mestre Aranha lives in London, Great Britain, where he runs a successful Capoeira Academy.

Among Mestre Aranha’s accolades are:

  • Founding master and pioneer of Regional Capoeira in Colombia
  • Founder of Colombia’s first capoeira school
  • First to develop international capoeira congresses, acting as focus for the other Brazilian and Colombian Masters in developing capoeira
  • First to send Colombian participants to international capoeira tournaments
  • Winner of various cultural and sports awards for his work as pioneer and promoter of Afro-Brazilian culture in Colombia, among other achievements.

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