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ABADÁ-Capoeira San Francisco shares name and philosophy with the international ABADÁ-Capoeira organization, which was founded in 1988 by Mestre Camisa (José Tadeu Carneiro Cardoso) and is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ABADÁ is an acronym—ABADÁ-Capoeira, translated into English, stands for “Brazilian Association for the Support and Development of the Art of Capoeira.”

Mestre Camisa developed his own philosophy and methodology for teaching capoeira by following the innovative concepts of his teacher, Mestre Bimba, the great master of capoeira regional. Mestre Camisa's vision for ABADÁ-Capoeira is to be an organization that moves forward while keeping one foot in the past, maintaining tradition yet adapting to society's changes.

The organization strives to improve and promote capoeira, allowing it to reach its full potential as an internationally respected art form while maintaining its dignity, character, history, and traditions.

On May 28th, 2010, Mestre Camisa received an honorary doctorate degree, "Doutor Honoris Causa," from the University of Uberlandia (Universidade Federal de Uberlândia). You can view the certifying document (PDF) here..

ABADÁ-Capoeira is driven by the lifelong commitments of Mestre Camisa, his brother Grão Mestre Camisa Roxa, and the ten ABADÁ-Capoeira artists who have achieved the level of “Mestre/a” or “Mestrando/a,” the organization’s highest rankings. Today, ABADÁ-Capoeira is the largest and most successful capoeira organization in the world with upwards of 50,000 members in more than 56 countries, including Brazil as well as Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United States and more.

Oldschool_Mestre Camisa_group
Mestre Camisa and his group. Photo taken sometime in the late 1980s.


Unique, progressive in design, and coveted.
ABADÁ-Capoeira prides itself on the originality and constant refinement of its style of capoeira, renown for efficiency, aesthetics, and cultural and historical relevance. The original style of ABADÁ-Capoeira incorporates both of the two historical branches of capoeira, capoeira regional and capoeira Angola, and embraces the modernizing innovations of the legendary Mestre Bimba without losing sight of the history and philosophy of the ancient art.

Members of ABADÁ-Capoeira believe that the study of capoeira involves dedication to all the various aspects of the art: technical mastery of the physical elements of capoeira, constant evolution of the technique to improve efficiency and prevent injury, understanding and preservation of capoeira’s rich history, ability to play and sing the music and instruments of capoeira, and participation in the larger capoeira community in Brazil and throughout the world.

Today the ABADÁ style is coveted by other capoeira organizations throughout the world and serves as a model for other capoeira schools and an example of the art form’s potential.



1. Natural
2. Ponta (tassel) Yellow/Natural
3. Ponta (tassel) Yellow
4. Ponta (tassel) Orange/Yellow
5. Ponta (tassel) Orange
6.Ponta (tassel) Blue/Orange
7. Ponta (tassel) Blue
8. Yellow/Natural
14. Blue/Yellow
15. Blue/Orange

When students reach the level of blue/orange, they remain at that level until the age of 16, at which time they transfer to the adult system.

No child under 16 is permitted to attain the "Graduate" level and title because the training program for that level is not appropriate for youth under the age of 16.