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About Ungu

Ungu Capoeira School was founded in 2013 by Mestrando Pererê. Our aim is to promote and practice the art of Capoeira in all its aspects.  We have a presence in New Zealand and Australia with classes held in Christchurch, Dunedin and Brisbane.


Mestrando Pererê

João Batista Rodrigues Rosa, known in capoeira by the nickname Pererê, started practicing capoeira in 1990, at the age of 7, in the Alvorada da Baixada Cuiabana neighbourhood with Mr Ivo Domingos (Mestre Sombra); where he remained until 1996.

In 1996, he watched a Capuraginga roda, in front of the Três Américas shopping centre, organised by Mr Demetrius Pereira do Santos. After the roda, he decided, with his friends, to become a part of Mestre Demetrius’ group, initially training in the Áreas neighbourhood with two of his students, Visk and Cobra, and then afterwards directly with the Mestre.

Between 1996 and 2005, he gave classes in a variety of places including Morada do Ouro, CPA, Bela Vista, Canjica, Bosque da Saúde, Novo Terceiro, Vazea Grande and in Sinop, inner city.

In 2005, as a graduated Monitor and with help from Mestre Demetrius and his then partner Olive, he left for New Zealand becoming the first of the Mestre’s students to start work in capoeira outside of Brazil.

In New Zealand he was able to do good work organising several events, becoming the first of Mestre Demetrius’ students to invite mestres from the group (Aruande Capoeira) to events outside of brazil. There in New Zealand he grew the capoeira community for 10 years, doing solid work with people from various countries.

In 2013, he participated in the world capoeira championship in Azerbaijan where his student, Kate Turner (Esperança), received a gold medal.

Also in 2013, with the permission of Mestre Demetrius, he started his own capoeira school, which he called Ungu Capoeira School. With the philosophy of the school based upon the fundamentals of the school of Centro Cultural Aruande Capoeira.

In 2016, he moved to Australia, leaving several of his graduated students to carry on his successful work in New Zealand. He has been in Australia for almost three years now, promoting the culture and art of capoeira, holding his first international event in 2017.

Today, Mestrando Pererê, in his 28 years of Capoeira, has already travelled to several cities within Brazil as well as to the countries of Argentina, Italy, Azerbaijan, Australia, New Zealand, China, Malaysia and the United States.

In July 2018, at the Aruande Capoeria event, Atravessando Fronteiras, in Cuiabá Brazil, Pererê was awarded the title of Mestrando by his beloved teacher Mestre Demetrius. Surrounded by his friends and family, including some of his students from New Zealand and Australia, the ceremony was emotional and uplifting and reflected the love and respect Pererê has for his capoeira teachers as well as his commitment to the art of capoeira. We are all very proud of our teacher and know he will continue to excel in the years to come.


What is Capoeira?

Fight, Art, Dance or something more?

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of fighting, dance, acrobatics and music into a kind of game.  Its origins can be found during the slave trade, by the Portuguese, which occurred between the early 16th century and the early 19th century, when millions of black slaves were exported from Africa to Brazil.  Due to the inhumane living conditions and the oppression imposed by the slave masters, Capoeira arose as a form of hope for survival and a means for the escaped slaves to protect themselves.  A slave caught practicing fighting techniques could be potentially punished or executed.  As a result the slaves adapted the movements into a form of rhythmic dance and introduced music to prevent raising suspicion.

Today, Capoeira is recognized as both a cultural icon of Brazil and as a martial art, where the elements of Capoeira such as the songs, history and musical instruments go hand in hand with the fighting, dance and acrobatics.  Many onlookers will often ask, “Is Capoeira a game, a fight, or a dance?” To which many Capoeiristas will agree that it is all of these and so much more.  It is a way of life, a philosophy, and a means to grow as an individual and as a community.

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