Contra Mestre Xará
(12/08/1980 to 01/01/2013)
Contra Mestre Xará (Mauro de Freitas Valadão) was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and was a student of Mestre Chicote. He started playing Capoeira in 1994 in community groups located in Unai, Minas Gerais, Brazil. At the age of 17 he moved to Patos de Minas, Minas Gerais, and began training with group Raízes - Cordão de Ouro led under the instruction of Mestre Chicote. In the year 2000, Xará was entrusted in leading the teachings of the group Raízes - Cordão de Ouro in Patos de Minas when Mestre Chicote moved to the United States. In the year 2004, Contra Mestre Xará began his international adventures in sharing and teaching his Capoeira knowledge and relocated with his wife, Monitora Cajú, to Des Moines, IA. In 2009, his teachings and groups expanded to reach Long Beach and Los Angeles, CA and the country of Costa Rica.
Xará dedicated his life to promoting and sharing Capoeira all over the United States and the world. His Capoeira teaching and life philosophy was focused towards preserving and promoting Afro-Brazilian culture through inspirational professional instruction and performance of Capoeira and related Brazilian dance and music.
Using traditional Brazilian arts as a medium, Contra Mestre Xará sought to inspire and empower people of all ages, to realize their full potential as responsible, confident, healthy and productive citizens. Through his experience and study with Mestre Chicote and various other Mestres in his Capoeira life and travels, Contra Mestre Xará believed in a Capoeira practice and philosophy that strives to move forward, keeping one foot in the past and one foot in the future - maintaining Capoeira traditions while adapting to worldly and societal changes.
Contra Mestre Xará was taken too early from this world and passed away on January, 1, 2013 of a brain tumor. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and many of his Capoeira students, friends and teachers.
Mestre Chicote (Mauro Lucio de Jesus Pinto), who oversees Roots Capoeira De Ouro, began Capoeira at the age of ten years old by playing in the streets. Later, noticed by Mestre Matias (today in Switzerland), he started to train in the group Berimbau de Ouro. In 1996, he became part of the group Cordão De Ouro and has never looked back.
Mestre Chicote has travelled the globe, gaining knowledge from many Mestres and enriching his diversity in the art and culture of Capoeira. Never forgetting his roots, Chicote has maintained a successful Cordão De Ouro branch in Patos, Minas Gerais, Brasil. This social and educational project focuses on investing in local youth, educating, training and strengthening them according to ethical and fundamental principles for a decent social life. In Chicote's absence, students have taken charge of overseeing this project and are continuing to make it a grand success.
Chicote arrived in the United States in 2001 and settled in Iowa. He continued to contribute to the establishment of Cordão De Ouro in the Midwest by assisting with the arrival of Contra Mestre Denis (2003) and then Instructor Xará (2004). A subsequent course of events led him to France where he settled in Paris in March 2005. He still teaches there today, and his group has become one of the most successful Capoeira groups in the area.
Mestre Chicote believes in the transformative power of Capoeira, and has continued to establish and mentor social-cultural projects around the world. One such project is the Familia De Ouro Capoeira Academy in Shivaji, Nagar, Govandi, and Mumbai, India. Maintained by Monitors Succuri (Sunil) and Chico (Shantanu), children of low income families with limited health and educational resources benefit from a supportive framework that empowers the children so that they can live independently and positively impact their lives. The project objective is to develop self-confidence, self-expression, and personal development.
Roots Capoeira De Ouro continues in the tradition of empowering youth, and draws from the experiences and mentorship of Mestre Chicote.