What is Capoeira?

Capoeira is a dynamic expression of Afro-Brazilian culture. The game of capoeira derived from a variety of ceremonial dances and ritualized forms of combat, that most likely came from the western nations of Africa. Capoeira became an activity that drew together people of African descent, becoming a nucleus for maintaining African traditions in the Americas. From the 1900's on, capoeira began to cross ethnic backgrounds and cultural borders. Today capoeira is an international activity practiced all over the world. It embodies the spirit of community and gives its practitioners a means to personal growth and liberation from social and personal constraints.

We understand capoeira to be a martial art form that has maintained dance-like elements and music, to become a deceptive fight and enjoyable means of personal expression. One experiences the essence of capoeira by playing a physical game called jogo de capoeira (game of capoeira) or simply “jogo”. During this ritualized combat, two capoeiristas (players of capoeira) exchange movements of attack and defense in a constant flow while observing rituals and proper manners of the art. Both players attempt to control the space by confusing the opponent with feints and deceptive moves. During the jogo, the capoeiristas explore their strengths and weaknesses, fears and fatigue in a sometimes frustrating, but nevertheless enjoyable and challenging process of personal expression, self-reflection, and growth.

"a dance-like fight, a fight-like dance, a song, a way of life!"
-Mestre Acordeon

Lua de Prata




Lua the Prata was founded in the summer of 2015 by then professor Mata mosquito in Xalapa, Veracruz, MX with the intention of having an option for the community to come together, express ourselves and learn capoeira, the Brazilian Art Form. After a few years, the project was paused due to COVID restrictions. In February 2021 in Berkeley, CA, after Mestre Acordeon and Mestra Suelly retired, a few fríends decided to meet every Saturday to train and share capoeira. After some months, this group starting growing and more classes were added. In January 2023, the community came to the consensus to join UCA where its roots are and the Lua de Prata - Bay Area was born. Lua de Prata is a space for the community, free of discrimination and violence, where we teach and share the values of discipline, self-esteem and kindness among its members and the world around us.

"Ubuntu - I am because we are"


Mestre Mata Mosquito

Mata mosquito (Silver Cruz) has been practicing capoeira for over 20 years under the instruction of Mestre Acordeon, Mestre Rã and Mestra Suelly. As an instructor, he has taught all ages and levels. He was assisting or teaching kids classes for 18 years at the UCA Berkeley headquarters, as well as in after school programs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He has taught adults beginner and intermediate classes at UCA Berkeley, Lua de Prata - Xalapa and currently teaches a kids, teen and adults classes at Lua de Prata - Bay Area. He has lead workshops in UCA Schools in Cd. Juarez in Mexico, El Paso, TX, Denver, CO, Albuquerque, NM, Sacramento, CA, Bend, OR and Waimea, HI. He also has participated in great number of capoeira workshops and events in USA, Mexico, France, Japan and Brazil. In 2015 he opened his own project called Lua de Prata in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and recently in Berkeley, CA. Originally from Xalapa, Mexico, Mata mosquito speaks Spanish, English and Brazilian Portuguese.

the UCA




The UCA(United Capoeira Association) was born of Mestres Acordeon's and Rã's desire to create an organization in which they could work together with similar philosophical ideals yet preserve their own identities. Today, some of their American students are already teaching capoeira in different locations under the umbrella of the UCA. Many capoeiristas have embraced the system of "groups" as the paradigm of a capoeira organization, a strategy which has been very positive for the growth of capoeira and for the survival of many.

However, Mestre Acordeon comes from a time when the concept of group was yet to be developed. Therefore, we are not a group as is understood in the capoeira context nor are we interested in many chapters. We strive to have a small community of students that appreciate the collective work we try to develop with respect for all capoeira tendencies and approaches in Brazil and abroad.

Code of Conduct

our UCA Mestres




Mestre Acordeon

Ubirajara Almeida, a student of legendary Mestre Bimba, is an author, musician, historian, and most importantly, an iconic capoeira master. One of the early pioneers to bring Capoeira to the western United States in the late 1970's. Today Mestre Acordeon runs the Berkeley headquarters of the United Capoeira Association, a capoeira organization that has various schools across the US, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and academies in Brazil. Mestre Acordeon has been a guide for many generations of capoeiristas across the world in his nearly 60 years of dedication to this incredible art. ​In September of 2013, Mestre Acordeon, Mestra Suelly, and a group of students embarked on a historic, year long, journey from Berkeley, CA to Bahia, Brazil by bicycle. Mestre Acordeon's goal was to capture on film the diversity of the different capoeira communities along his route, to see not only the way that capoeira can be a tool for personal transformation, but also to see how the diverse cultures affect the evolution of capoeira. The B2B crew returned in October of 2014 and the soon to be released documentary of this journey is currently in production.

"Capoeira is a tool to make people better human beings"
- Mestre Acordeon

 




Mestre Rã

Cassio Marthino has been playing capoeira for over 40 years. He began his capoeira path in his hometown of Jundiaí, SP, Brazil with Mestre Tarzan and Mestre Galo. After both Mestre Tarzan and Mestre Galo left Jundiaí, Mestre Rã founded his group Capoeira Idalina as homage to his grandmother that inspired him to learn capoeira. In June of 1988, Mestre Rã moved to the US where he befriended Mestre Acordeon and the seeds that lead to the founding of the United Capoeira Association were born. Mestre Rã has performed and taught all over the world. Currently, Mestre Rã is back in his hometown of Junidaí where Capoeira Idalina is thriving. His focus is to attend to the needs of at risk children from the favelas of Jundiai.

 




Mestra Suelly

Suellen Einarsen, the first American woman to earn the title of mestre in 2000, has played a vital role for women in Capoeira. Her humility is boundless, and her grace and fluidity are unmatched. She is an ever present inspiration to capoeiristas around the world. She began her career in capoeira in 1982 as a part of Mestre Acordeon's first generation of students in the U.S. As an accomplished performer in the Joe Goode Performance Group in the 80's, Mestra Suelly was one of the early dancers to incorporate capoeira movements into her modern/contemporary dance. Mestra Suelly has been interviewed by numerous journalists in an effort to expand awareness of capoeira here in the United States.

Kids Classes

 ●Monday, Wednesday & Friday
  5:00pm
  Wildcat Studio - Berkeley, CA


$100.00 Monthly - Unlimited classes
$60.00 Monthly - Once a week
$20.00 Drop in
First month $50.00
First class free

Teens & Adults Classes

 ●Monday, Wednesday & Friday
  6:00pm
  Wildcat Studio - Berkeley, CA

 ●Saturday
  10:00am
  Corner of 7th St and Virginia St - Berkeley, CA
  Outdoors class


$100.00 Monthly - Unlimited classes
$  20.00 Drop in
$130.00 10 Classes class card
First month $50.00
First class free

Our community...


  • Mata Mosquito is an amazing and inspiring Capoeira teacher.
    I've been training with Mata for 6 years, first at UCA Berkeley, and when he opened UCA Lua de Prata, I followed him here.  I love training with Mata because each class feels different, fresh and fun, while still having a clear structure and continuity. As a teacher, he really sees where his students are and what they need in order to improve. I love how he weaves stories of the mestres and the roots of this amazing art-form into the flow of class thus creating a strong sense of community and pride in the knowledge that we are continuing in the footsteps of those who came before us.
    I highly recommend Mata to anyone who is curious to explore Capoeira. You will grow as a capoeirista and as a person while having so much fun.

    Pensadora (Gabi)
  • Seeing my two boys blossom in their movement and rhythm is amazing. Seeing how they enjoy the teacher, his jokes and yet he is disciplining them in a good way, it's all amazing. I especially love to see how they caught on to songs so quickly. My 6yo and 9yo sons really enjoy the class. Lots of giggles and made friends with the other kids too!

    Ana (Santi & Amado's mom - Kids class)
  • What I love about Mata's class is the humorous and cheerful mood of the classes. I know that after a long day of work, going there won't be about more striving (which believe me I do enough at work), but it will be about being surrounded by friends, learning valuable history and traditions, and techniques to make my game better. There are challenges and learnings, but somehow it feels fun to do. I appreciate that Mata pays attention to the progression of each student. A lot of times what he says makes things "click" for his students, and makes learning that much more enjoyable.

    Salamandra (Rie)
  • I was so grateful to enroll my son Luca in Mestre Mata's capoeira class. Luca is a little younger than the other kids but he is able to follow along for most of class and Mata allowed him to progress at his own pace. Luca loves all the physical aspects and really developed an appreciation for the singing and musical instruments too. Capoeira is a well-rounded discipline with a strong emphasis on community and Mata sprinkles in life lessons and lots of laughs.

    Niki (Luca's mom - Kids class)
  • This new Capoeira School is taught by Mestre Mata Mosquito who is a very committed human being. He has over 20 years of experience and just recently was promoted as a Mestre di Capoeira. We are following in the foot steps of our beloved Mestres Acordeon, Suellen and Ra under the UCA family. I have been doing Capoeira just over 10 years now and I highly recommend UCA Lua de Prata because it is for anyone! Beginner and advanced students. Kids and adults! Join us!!

    Gato Pardo (Will)
  • I highly recommend Mata’s capoeira classes. They are fun and challenging whether you are new to Capoeira or advanced, younger or older —there is something for everyone! No matter what mood I am in when I come to class, I always leave happy. Do your mind and body a favor and take capoeira classes from Mata!

    Ferreira (Shawn)
  • Mestre Mata Mosquito has to me all the qualities of a great teacher and mestre, student of Mestre Acordeon, Mestre Rã, Mestra Suelly, Mata is an inspiring and dedicated teacher with many years of experience, he has the care for the capoeira art form in all aspects, movement, culture, history, language, music, being a great player, and always putting the attention for us to improve. I’ve been on this journey with him for 10+ years. Where I saw him teach kids who are now becoming adults. He is a great teacher from kids to adults to elders. Lastly his also making an impact in on a better community for the better continuing the legacy that UCA capoeira started. Highly recommend him and Lua de Prata!

    Requeijão (Kjeld)

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