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Respect | Freedom | Equality | Integrity | Leadership | Community | Education | Strength

ACSF’s programs promote the following individual and community values:

Respect: Maintain respect for ourselves, each other, our ever-evolving capoeira community, the studio we share, and the art that we practice together.

Freedom: Create a safe space to express ourselves as unique individuals.

Equality: Acknowledge everyone’s contribution as valuable. Never underestimate anyone, especially ourselves.

Integrity: Be fair, impartial, and true to our word. Admit when we are wrong and strive to make it right.

Leadership: Serve as positive role models, both inside the studio while training and outside of the studio representatives of ABADÁ. Offer help when we can give it and ask for help when we need it. Hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions.

Community: Share experiences—hard and easy, joyous and frustrating. Foster a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and wonder. Meet new people and have fun!

Education: Seek to understand and honor our rich traditions.

Strength: Build strong minds, bodies, and souls. Push our limits and approach challenges as opportunities for growth, remembering that failure is essential for success.


Founded in 1991 by master capoeira artist Márcia Treidler ("Mestra Cigarra"), ACSF shares its name and philosophy with its parent organization, the Brazilian Association for the Support and Development of the Art of Capoeira.

Treidler teaches capoeira with the belief that all people, given the skills and opportunity, have the ability to succeed. Her teaching aims to provide all participants, regardless of socioeconomic status, identity, or ability, the tools to become professionals in the art.

She began with just two weekly capoeira classes for about 10 students, which generated an overwhelming community response and developed into a Bay Area cornerstone for cultural arts.

In 1997, Treidler partnered with Executive Director Jennifer Walsh ("Instrutora Sereia") to establish ACSF as a legal non-profit and, with a grant from The San Francisco Foundation, they opened the ACSF Brazilian Arts Center. Within two years, ACSF's constituency grew from approximately 600 to 15,000.

In 2002, ACSF outgrew its original Mission District facility and relocated to its current facility just two blocks away. Today, ACSF continues to provide accessible, high-quality arts programming.