CDO History

The Associação de Capoeira Cordão de Ouro was founded by Reinaldo Ramos Suassuna, known as Mestre (Capoeira Master) Suassuna together with Mestre Brasília in the 60s, more precisely on September 1st 1967, at a period of great festivals of Brazilian popular music. After hearing the chorus of a song on radio, both masters, with the idea of opening an academy already in their minds, decided to use the name Cordão de Ouro. The name referred to Besouro Cordão de Ouro, a capoeirista (Capoeira practitioner) who lived prior to the distinctions between Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional. Mestre Suassuna and Mestre Brasília would teach Capoeira Regional and Capoeira Angola, respectively, in the same space. After a short period, Mestre Brasilia decided to found his own group, naming it São Bento Grande.

In this difficult time for Capoeira, when persecution by the prevalent dictatorial regime and prejudice prevented the development of the art in southern Brazil, Mestre Suassuna, a bahiano (born in the state of Bahia) from the town of Itabuna and newly arrived in the State of São Paulo, continued his work. He would insistently display strong Capoeira performances, showcasing the techniques of the part-game and part-fight martial art, and eventually opened the first academy in the state capital. Through hard work, it did not take him long to build his first bambas (highly skilled capoeiristas), such as Lobão, Esdras Filho, Tarzan, Belisco, Almir das Areias, Caio and many more.

Mestre Suassuna sheltered capoeiristas from the north and northeast of Brazil who travelled to São Paulo to promote the spread of the art of Capoeira. His academy would thus become a reference for the “harvesting” of new Capoeira mestres on São Paulo soil. Capoeira Cordão de Ouro was the birthplace of many prominent names. Besides those already mentioned, others include Mestres Flávio Tucano, Biriba, Dal, Marcelo Caveirinha, Urubú Malandro, Espirro Mirim, Xavier, Lúcifer, Torinho, Pial, Cangurú, Sarará, Zé Antônio, Ponciano, Bolinha, Geraldinho, without leaving out Mestre Cícero, Mestre Zé Carlos and Mestre Penteado. The last three, despite being students of Suassuna’s students, are held in highest esteem by him and the Cordão de Ouro family as a whole, together with many more names who would make this an extensive list.

The restless Mestre Suassuna never settled down, keeping his work continuously refreshed and updated. One of the main outcomes after many years of work, was the creation of the Jogo do Miudinho (the Game of Miudinho). A new team of capoeiristas enriched his troupe of Contra-mestres (the second highest grading category in Capoeira): Boca Rica, Habibs, Mintirinha, Kibe, Denis, Saroba, Coruja, Chicote, Chiclete, Kino, Pintado, Lú Pimenta, Barata, Esquilo, Romualdo and many more. These regents of a new and rich game are known as the Miudinho Generation.

Today, with numerous branches in Brazil and abroad, the Cordão de Ouro Capoeira group has an important role among all groups of Capoeira, not only by what Mestre Suassuna represents to this sport and culture, but also for the work and effort from him, his students and supporters. One of the objectives is to keep Capoeira at a highly technical level, integrating speed, agility, flexibility, creativity, music and malícia (the Capoeira concept of malice), without neglecting its roots. This effort has been rewarded by the dedication of the numerous capoeiristas who have followed the philosophy of the group.

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