Ungu Capoeira School was founded in 2013 by Mestrando Pererê. Our aim is to promote and practice the art of Capoeira, Samba and Maculele in the community. We have a presence in New Zealand and Australia with classes held in Christchurch, Dunedin and Brisbane.
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.
Teaching under the supervision of Mestrando Perere
Seguranca teaches capoeira classes for Ungu in Dunedin, New Zealand. He first started Capoeira in 2007, training in Dunedin under the then Monitor Perere. The popular video game Tekken was one of his influences to starting capoeira, wanting to do some "sweet moves", and when you watch him play it is no surprise he still loves to break out his own "sweet moves" impressing those around him. In 2012 after Perere and some of the more senior of his students left Dunedin, Seguranca took over the classes, running successful workshops and events in Dunedin in 2012 and the years following. In 2015, after years of hard work, he received his Graduado corda.
Outside of capoeira Kussi teaches high school science maths and physics and enjoys heading to the beach early in the morning for a surf, going for a run or heading off on a good hike.
Seguranca has a way with people and can spin a yarn till everyone is on the floor laughing. His teaching style is respectful and patient, he makes you feel at ease, breaking down complicated movements and ideas into something achievable, until, before you know it you are spinning on your head having the time of your life.
Sushi teaches capoeira classes in Christchurch, New Zealand. He started capoeira in 2011 training under a student of Perere for his first two years. He then went travelling for a year; training capoeira for two months in Brazil with Mestre Zizo and other Aruande capoeira mestres, before heading to Canada for a working holiday. In Canada he also had the opportunity to train with Mestrando Fabio 90 who is also from Aruande capoeira. In 2013 he returned to Christchurch and began teaching classes there himself under the guidance of Mestrando Perere. In 2018 he recieved his Graduado corda reflecting the hard work he has done with the capoeira community.
Sushi lives and breathes the martial arts, starting with martial arts at the young age of 5 he quickly rose to black belt in a mixed style of Kung Fu by the age of 10. Along with Kung Fu he has also practiced Tai Chi Chuan, Muay Thai, BJJ, Iaido and was an instructor of Wing Chun and Eskrima. These days Sushi focuses his efforts on teaching and training capoeira.
Outside of capoeira Sushi works as a Physiotherapist and enjoys spending time with his wife, who also trains capoeira, playing video games, and making his garden look awesome.
Sushi was first exposed to capoeira through martial artists on the internet performing 'unusual' movements which piqued his interest into finding out more. Sushi always wanted to move like a 'ninja' but along with discovering cool movements he has found a new way of thinking and amazing friends that have changed his life for the better.
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.