Jose Alberto Pereira
Jose first started Capoeira when was just 15.
It was after seeing Baris perform in a Capoeira demonstration at his school he was inspired and intrigued to give it a try.
Now with over 10 years of Capoeira experience. He has taught and performed Capoeira across London. He is currently a psychology graduate, soon to be chartered occupational psychologist.
‘I am an optimist with the reasoning of a sceptic. I have the the skills and discipline of a martial artist with the credentials of a scientist. Finding peace in the chaos is what I love and that’s why I love and train Capoeira for as long as I have.' - Jose Alberto Pereira
Nelson first found Capoeira in his secondary school gymnasium, at an after school club where he met his teacher/mentor Baris Yazar with whom he went on to train with for the next 10 years.
Since starting Capoeira Nelson has gone on to do many performances at established venues like the Royal Festival Hall and the Roundhouse. He is constantly researching and studying movement and currently resides in London working as ‘multi disciplinary’ artist incorporating the movement and culture learnt from Capoeira into other art forms.
Mena’s first experience of Capoeira was at secondary school where her P.E. teacher attempted to teach a few classes.
Some years later, after playing her first game of ‘Tekken’, and years of dabbling in Tae Kwon Do, Wing Chun, Street Dance and Gymnastics, she realised that Capoeira is the perfect art - As it combined everything that she loved!
In 2008 she walked into her first class and since has been a devoted student, a performer, a teacher, and a leader in the community.
‘Capoeira for me is an incredibly empowering and humbling art form, and I hope to continue learning and sharing this beautiful art and its legacy.’ - Mena Shah
Jahan Zaib Khan
Jahan first found capoeira at the age of 16 at his local gym. Initially he was drawn in by the amazing movements and intense training sessions that Baris was doing at the time.
What kept him coming back again and again however was the community, the different experiences the art took him on and the philosophy that Baris taught which helped him in many areas of life.
‘Capoeira practice taught me patience, resilience, awareness and it has shown me how everything we do can be linked back to it, how we walk, how we run, how we treat our friends, overall it has made me a better human’. - Jahan Khan
Above all else the practice gave him two important things which he is most thankful for.
First that some problems in life can only be solved by facing them head on and secondly gratitude for the friendships and experiences with those people he has met on the journey, which will remain with him a lifetime.
Ayanda has been training Capoeira since September 2008. Strong, elegant and socially conscious Ayanda is a great leader and instructor.
‘Capoeira means presence for me. its about community, I’ve met so many incredible people through the art.
I think the biggest thing it has taught me is how to be embodied both on my own but also in a game with someone else. I didn’t realise how much that mattered until I reflected on how much time I spend in my head and how, without being embodied, the day becomes a slow retreat into my head!’ - Ayanda Dlamini
Luis Rojas Bonilla
Luis began his Capoeira practice in 2007, while looking for alternatives to conventional work out. Durning this time he found a particular fascination for the relationship between the music and the ‘jogo’ (The game of Capoeira).
‘I believe Capoeira practice can shape our way of acting, feeling and thinking, and by doing so, it helps us to transcend and embrace life in a different way.
Capoeira has contributed not only to my physical wellbeing but also has increased my awareness, confidence, and self-expression.’ - Luis Rojas Bonilla
Samia was born in Athens Greece in 1985 to a British father and a Trinidadian-Lebanese mother. Her first contact with Capoeira was at university, in Manchester, but her journey really began in London, when she had just moved there in 2007. She discovered capoeira by coincidence at a gym where Baris was teaching, slowly realising it was much more than a sport.
The multi-facial aspects of this art, its rhythms and the exponential possibilities of growth are what called to her. Participating in various sports and art forms from a young age, from ‘group’ oriented to ‘individual’ ones, Capoeira incorporated a bit of every world. Young practicing with old, small with big, all races from all places, where your everyday outfit doesn't really matter. Coming from a multi-cultural background, and having a particular interest in foreign languages and cultures, she appreciates the connection that Capoeira has with Afro-Brazilian culture.
Over the years Samia has travelled far and wide in order to research and deepen her study and practice, learning from various teachers while discovering a big welcoming community all around the world.
Since 2014 she has moved to Spain where she continues to train, teach workshops/classes while constantly expanding her knowledge and interest for Capoeira.
Ivan started his journey in the world of Capoeira in 2006 with Professor Pe De Cabra, but it was when his wife told him about another teacher. Her exact words were "Ivan you must come to the Wednesday class, you must see this guy, he is amazing!". Its here where he met Baris Yazar.
‘To be honest I don't know what happened that day but I knew I had seen something magical and the rest is history! Capoeira practice has helped me develop awareness of my body. My physicality, reflex and well-being have massively improved. But is bigger than just exercising your body. It has history, culture, folklore, music’
‘The most important thing about Capoeira practice is the values that teaches you, to never give up in life. Capoeira is friendship, fraternity, it is family.’ - Ivan Tantari
Martin is a full-time Personal trainer, Capoeira instructor and sound healer.
He came from Germany to England in 2006 with the intention to work in a holistic centre and learn about the body, mind and spirit.
Before his departure he was given a music CD by a very good friend of mine to keep me company while finding my ground in a new county. On that compilation was an album with Capoeira music. I do remember seeing a performance back in Germany that left me very impressed but it was the sound of the ‘berimbau’ (one stringed musical bow) that pulled me into the ‘roda’ (The circle where Capoeira is played). It deeply resonated within my soul and inspired me to begin practicing in 2008/09.
‘The richness and complexity of Capoeira nourished and challenged me on a physical, mental and spiritual plane.
To me, at this moment in time as holistic therapist working with movement and sound, Capoeira is a spiritual practice, a part of my life that helps me to heal, draw inspiration from, expand and continuously re-visit my self through the interaction with others.’ - Martin Janik
Nadina’s journey in to arts, movement and music started from dancing in night-clubs in Brixton (‘locking’, ‘popping’), MC-ing on pirate radio stations mainly to underground bass music like Garage, UK-Hip Hop and Jungle.
Her first encounter with Capoeira was at University in Norwich training with students of Mestre Gato.
Soon after in London, is where she met Baris.
Through the Capoeira practice with Baris is where she started to recognise the parallels and similarities that existed between these arts of the african diaspora and its here where Capoeira changed her path.
‘Only now, after spending time away from Capoeira due to injuries and the birth of my two daughters am I realising the true benefits of this art form. As I build my body up again, I now understand more deeply how my training has made me stronger – able to overcome the pain of childbirth and provide endurance to help me continue despite physical injury. It has broadened my outlook and enriched my mind guiding me through the darkest of times.
If I had not found Capoeira, I am not sure where I would be today. Capoeira has cleansed my soul and I cannot wait to pass this precious, magical art to my children.’ - Nadina Mustafa