Instrutor Mamãozinho

“Hello, my name is Francisco De Assis Abreu Souto, I was born in Boa Viagem, Ceará, in 1983 and I was grown by my grandmother and my father.  Boa Viagem is a hinterland of Ceará, known as Sertão Central.

I have begun with capoeira as 12 years old in Boa Viagem, with a guy who just arrived into the city.  Everybody went crazy with the great capoeira and I have begun to train as well. One day the guy left the city, but I couldn’t stop to train.

I have begun to teach the little I had learned and I stayed to teach my friends at the Colegio Dom Teceiro School. I had some 30 students in 1995. I didn’t stop, I continued training, until had arrived a day I have got a master (mestre).

One friend told me about a well known mestre in Fortaleza. So I went to find him, to begin to train with him. It was in 1999 that I have begun to train with Mestre Ratto. I was very happy to have a mestre. All my students in Boa Viagem helped me on the new journey. In 2001 I brought Mestre to give a workshop in Boa Viagem for the first time. I have formally become a student of Mestre Ratto. I didn’t have the money to pay tickets to Fortaleza, but as I was well known at the gas station where I used to work, I used to take a lift with the truck drivers that were driving on the roads of the world.

In 2002 I received my first belt. It was the orange belt, the fourth one in the Capoeira Brasil group, because I already had my own work with capoeira. It was the happiest day of my life, I have received the belt from the hands of Mestre Ratto. After that day I have wholeheartedly dedicated myself to capoeira. Today I am with Mestre Ratto in the Centro Cultural Capoeira Água de Beber.

I did the first Festival of Capoeira in Boa Viagem with my 20 students in 2002. It was a challenge for me to organize a cultural festival. But I already had capoeira in my blood, I am together with it up to today and I am very happy to have it in my life. My granny always used to say that I was a monkey, only living on the top of the walls, and on the trees that I was jumping all day long at the street and playing that capoeira, that I passed all day long with the legs up.

Later I did the second Festival in Boa Viagem in 2004, where I brought Mestre Ratto and his students.  It was another party in the city and my students received the second belt, they were 30 already that day. The whole city favoured the celebration that was happening.

Year afterwards I have begun to work in the social project in Boa Viagem – PETI (The Program of Eradication of the Child Labour), with children and teenagers. The project had 100 children and various activities.

In 2006 I did the third Festival, where my students received the third belt with the presence of Mestre Ratto and his students from Fortaleza. After the Festival in Boa Viagem I went to Fortaleza to participate on a Festival of Capoeira there.

I have received new belt, blue orange, in 2007. I already had my work with capoeira in four cities that time. I was travelling to various cities in Ceará, representing Boa Viagem at the capoeira festivals.

In 2009 I did the fourth festival in Boa Viagem, where my students received the fourth belt with the presence of Mestre Peninha and students from Fortaleza. Afterwards I went to Tribos, a festival that takes place every year in Fortaleza and after I have decided to live in Fortaleza in the headquarters of Mestre Ratto, being the coordinator of the headquarters of the Cecab. I had the pleasure to teach the capoera classes together with Mestre Ratto in the crèches and social projects in Fortaleza.

During 2010 I have travelled Brazil because of the capoeira. I lived in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, the cities that are considered the capitals of the capoeira. I visited and I trained with various famous and old Mestres. Later that year back in Fortaleza, at the Festival Tribos, Berimbaus e Tambores, I have received the blue belt of graduated student of the Cecab from the hands of Mestre Ratto.

Now I am living in Europe, in Ireland, representing Cecab and my country and presenting our Brazilian culture and beauty of the capoeira to the people here.”