Carcaju (he/him) grew up in Central New York and began taking capoeira classes in 2003 under Gorila, a student of Mestre Ombrinho and Capoeira Angola Quintal (CAQ). He was drawn to capoeira by the music and the effortless movements through which its practitioners could learn to defend themselves. Always one to look for the comedy in things, Carcaju greatly appreciates the playfulness through which capoeira's serious lessons are learned.
He began assistant-teaching for CAQ in Ithaca in 2011, and in 2016 was promoted to the rank of "Instrutor." In 2017, Mestre Ombrinho appointed Carcaju as the leader of the Ithaca branch of CAQ's nationwide group, and in 2022 he promoted Carcaju to the rank of "Professor" while Mestre Nô cheered on from Brazil via Zoom.
Carcaju is passionate about helping those who face adversity, seeking to make capoeira available to anyone who may find empowerment in its practice. Our mission.
The founder and leader of Capoeira Angola Quintal is Mestre Ombrinho (Master Michael Goldstein). With over 34 years practicing capoeira and over 26 years experience teaching, he is the first non-Brazilian to become a master of capoeira. The mission of his work and organization is, through capoeira classes and performances, to inspire achievement, leadership, and community. He is renowned for making capoeira accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
He began studying Capoeira in 1981 with Mestre Acordeon and Mestre Jelon, the two world recognized masters who brought capoeira to the United States. He made his first trip to Brazil in 1985 where he trained with many legendary masters, young and old. Having trained many capoeira styles including Regional, emphasizing fighting aspects, and Angola, Mestre Ombrinho was drawn to the more grounded, internal style of Capoeira Angola.
Today he leads an international movement towards creating a Mindful Capoeira practice.
Ombrinho is a disciple of Grand Master Norival Moreira de Oliveira, Mestre Nô, of Bahia, Brazil. Mestre Nô, known as the Master of Masters, has been practicing and teaching for over 60 years. Ombrinho received his master’s diploma in 1996, under the authority of Grand Master Nô.
He has been teaching in the New York City area since 1988. He has organized international capoeira festivals and retreats in New York City, Ithaca, San Francisco, Cape Cod, and Bahia, Brazil. He has graduated many fine practitioners and instructors, both women and men. He speaks fluent Portuguese and leads international encounters at Capoeira centers throughout Brazil.
Our Grand Mestre
Norival Moreira de Oliveira (born June 22, 1945), also known as Mestre Nô is a Grand Master of Capoeira Angola, who was initiated into the art at the age of four.
He was born in Coroa, Itaparica, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. At 7, Norival and his family moved to Massaranduba, a poor neighborhood not far from the church of Bomfim. Mestre Nilton and Mestre Cutica, brothers and highly respected capoeiristas who lived down the block, took young Norival to meet the elder masters Pirró and Zeca. Pirró, Zeca and Nilton organized and commanded many capoeira angola rodas in the streets.
Norival began playing in the mestre's rodas and in 1965 he started teaching in his own academy. Mestre Nô founded Capoeira Academies Retintos, Orixás da Bahia and Capoeira Angola Palmares. He has taught to thousands of capoeristas. He is founder, president, and grand master of Associação Brasileira Cultural de Capoeira Palmares (ABCCP) an organization dedicated to teaching, promoting and maintaining the traditions of Capoeira Angola. He served as the president of A.B.C.A. (Associação Brasileira de Capoeira Angola), the most respected association created by the eldest masters to maintain and preserve Capoeira Angola. Mestre Nô is known throughout the world to be the mestre dos mestres, the "master of masters," for having graduated over 75 students to the level of Master, which is unique for any teacher to accomplish in their lifetime.
Today, Mestre Nô lives with his family and grand children in Boca do Rio, Salvador. His Academy is near his home. He travels throughout Brazil, the US, Europe, and other parts of the world helping Capoeiristas reach their goals. Each year there is an international forum to train and develop the students and teachers of CAPOEIRA ANGOLA PALMARES in Boca do Rio, Bahia, Brazil.