What is Capoeira Angola? Capoeira Angola is an African-Brazilian art form with its roots in Bantu traditons, which were carried to Brazil by enslaved africans. The development of Capoeira into a "dance-fight" burgeoned in Brazil, out of the struggle for liberation by Africans, indigenous Brazilians and other marginalized peoples during the Portuguese colonization. Today, Capoeira Angola continues to be a social tool for resistance and empowerment, through the teaching of community building, social equality, and diaspora studies. The fundamental African traditions and philosophies contained within the teachings of Capoeira Angola, and even more specifically, within the roda, or circle, where Capoeira is played, can build self-esteem and self-awareness of both the mind and body. Through the dynamics of the roda, individuals can discover and maximize their potentials, using them to construct a foundation built upon patience, endurance and elegance.
The International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF) was founded in 1996, under the leadership of three mestres (masters), Mestre Cobra Mansa, Mestre Jurandir Nascimento and Mestre Valmir Damasceno, with a mission to maintain, promote and preserve the art and culture of Capoeira Angola. Dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Capoeira Angola, the foundation established a documentation and audiovisual center that maintains an extensive archive research library pertaining to Capoeira Angola, and other related African diaspora studies. In addition, as part of its mission ICAF assists in the development of affiliate groups in Brazil and throughout the world.
ICAF-Chicago was established in 1998 under the guidance and leadership of Contramestre Beto de Freitas . For over a decade, ICAF-Chicago has been active in the community, partnering with diverse organizations to help develop and sharpen both mental and physical awareness and potential of its participants. By 2002, we moved to our current home located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, establishing a community center called the Quilombo Cultural Center. This center is also home to the Juntong MooSool Hapkido school and the Brazilian percussion group, Bateria Quilombola.