Manoel Dos Reis Machado, Master Bimba, was born on November 23th 1900, in Salvador de Baía, (Brazil). He started to practise Capoeira at 12 years old, with an African man named Benedito or Bentinho, who learnt in 4 years and began immediately after to teach Capoeira Angola. Master Bimba realized quickly that attacking and defending technics were losing efficiency. So he started to study a more efficient mode of using it, to develop the fight. In 1930, Master Bimba met Cisnado, a pupil who had certain knowledges in Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and Grecian-Roman wrestle. That encounter changed completely Master Bimba’s life and he created his regional baíana fight. Master Bimba took his inspiration from others martial arts and the Brazilian “batuque” (noisy) wrestle, of which his father was a champion. He gave Capoeira a didactic. He invented moves and gave strict rules to Capoeira. At the time, Capoeira had a bad reputation. Master Bimba also changed the rhythm of Capoeira, accelerating it while playing. He changed the combination of instruments composing the musical set of Capoeira.
In 1932, he created his own Academy « Centre of Physical Culture and Regional Fight ». In his courses, pupils were submitted to a strict didactic. It was demanded to present a student or worker card and to wear white and clean clothes. Master Bimba settled there scholar values. That academy gave children and women access to Capoeira, since at the time they were excluded from practice. In the thirties, Master Bimba has been invited to perform in front of President Gétulio Vargas. Pleased with the demonstration, Vargas consented to legalize Capoeira and changed the Sampaio Ferraz law. Master Bimba received a diploma of national instructor. In 1937, Bimba’s academy was officially authorized to teach Capoeira. Today, Bimba’s work is still travelling in whole Brazil.
A few days after being hospitalized, on February 5th 1974, Master Bimba passed away. Today, he is considered as the Lord of modern Capoeira, his values being taught all around the world. Thanks to the Master, Capoeira has been exported and is nowadays considered as a national patrimony.
“Capoeira was made for all but not all were made for it.”
– Master Bimba –