Vincente Ferreira Pastinha was born on April 5th 1889, in Salvador de Baía, (Brazil). He was the son of a Spanish father and an African mother. Master Pastinha discovered Capoeira in 1899, when he was a child. Because of his sickness, he was prosecuted by a boy. At the window of a neighborhood’s house, an old man used to watch everything which happened in the street. One day, he proposed Pastinha to teach him how to protect from his foe.
The Master told it so :
« One day, from his window, an old African man saw me fighting against a boy who was always bothering me. After the fight, seeing me crying out of anger, he called me and told me : « You cannot fight against that boy, he’s far older than you. Instead of waiting there, come to my home, I’ll teach you a very precious thing. »
That’s how he learnt with Master Benedito or Bentinho that struggling art, linked to the rituals and beliefs of Capoeira’s history. In 1901, Pastinha entered the Navy’s school and began to teach Capoeira to his fellows, until 1913. at that period, Capoeira was retaliated and it was very complicated to practise it. But in 1941, he started again to teach it.
Master Pastinha made Capoeira evolve. He showed a lot of wisdom, thoughtfulness and capacities. For him, Capoeira was not only a fight but only a philosophy of life, with its own values. The true Capoeirist must respect those values, at each moment of life. Many practisers kept traditional or Angola Capoeira’s values, different from Master Bimba’s regional Capoeira. Capoeira Angola uses slow and conscious movements.
In 1966, Master Pastinha was invited to take part to the Dakar Festival (Senegal capital, Africa), where he realized a show of Capoeira. Capoeira came originally from Africa. In 1969, Master Pastinha eventually became blind but kept on practising. In 1971, he lose his academy, which caused him a depression and weakened him much. On November 13th 1981, Vincente Ferreira Pastinha passed away at the age of 92 years old. He was then lonely, poor, at a loss and forgotten by all. Master Pastinha is considered as the Master of Masters..
« No one can show what he has. Confessions and revelations must be given little by little. That is useful in Capoeira, in family, in life. There are some secrets which cannot be revealed to all. There are some moments which cannot be shared ».
– Master Vicente Ferreira Pastinha –