Capoeira Girassol Teachers

Instrutor Cabeça de Ovo

Greg Suchocki has been training capoeira since 1999. He has learned from Mestre Acordeon, Mestre Ra, Mestra Suelli, Contramestre Maluco (who ran our school in the early 2000's), Contramestre Bacalhau (who also ran the school from 2003-04), Contramestre Avestruz (the founder of this chapter of UCA), Professora Abobora (who taught here after Avestruz) among others. He is a full cordao azul. He brings a playful element to class, a hard work ethic and excellent music skills.

Instrutor Ariranha

Alex "Otter" Vernon has been training capoeira since 1999. He started at the same time as Cabeça and trained with the same teachers. He loves the music, the release of energy in the roda, the physical challenge and Brazilian culture. He adds an element of mischief and malicia to the roda.

Instrutora Gata

Instrutora Jennifer “Gata” Clemons started training capoeira the summer of 2007 with Capoeira Malandragem in Tucson, Arizona under the late, great Contramestre Dondi “Enxu”, himself a student of Mestre Acordeon. At that time, Professor (now CM) Lagarto de Fogo, Instrutor (now Prof)  Cavaleiro and Instrutor (now Prof) Meninão were also her teachers under CM Dondi. While at Malandragem Gata taught kids capoeira for four years and beginner adults for two.
 Instrutora Gata moved to Albuquerque two years ago and has been a dynamic force in the group, teaching and reaching out to the community. Outside of class she participates in Ninja Core and capoeira music jam sessions and performances to foster that community.
 Gata has a good eye for movement and brings a feistiness to the game, ‘jogo’.




United Capoeira Association Teachers

(L-R) Mestra Suelly, Mestre Acordeon and Mestre Ra

(L-R) Mestra Suelly, Mestre Acordeon and Mestre Ra

Mestre Acordeon

Ubirajara Almeida is a student of legendary Mestre Bimba and was one of the first capoeira masters to perform and teach in the United States.  In 1979 he began his work in the Bay Area, building a group and a school.  Mestre Acordeon wrote the first book in English about capoeira, has recorded 13 albums of capoeira music, is responsible for introducing capoeira to several generations of North Americans, and continues to be one of the most influential masters around the world.

 Mestre Rã

Casio Martinho was born in Jundai, Brazil where he practiced capoeira since his childhood.  He lived in Bahia where he studied and performed capoeira with many old masters.  Later Mestre Rã trained with Mestre Suassuna in São Paulo and won several national capoeira competitions.  In the 90's Mestre Rã lived in the Bay Area where he worked with Mestre Acordeon and co-founded the United Capoeira Association.  Today Mestre Rã continues to teach capoeira at his school in Jundai.

Mestra Suelly

Suellen Einarsen started learning capoeira in 1982.  In 2000 she became the first american woman to earn the title of mestre, establishing herself as a pioneer and role model.  Mestra Suelly has taught and performed capoeira all over the world as well as helping to establish and direct the United Capoeira Association.  Today she continues to teach capoeira together with Mestre Acordeon at their school in Berkeley and around the world.