At Capoeira Aché Brasil Calgary, Mestre Eclilson de Jesus and his staff of instructors impart the 400-year-old martial-arts and dance tradition of capoeira to students of all ability levels. Born in northeastern Brazil, capoeira’s native country, he was exposed to the explosive combat art as a young boy. At age 10, he witnessed his first roda¬—the game in which two capoeiristas dance, spar, and flip to the beats of up-tempo, driving music played by a circle of raucous onlookers. Captivated by the movements and energy of the routine, he soon began training at the beach, where he discovered he had better kicks and leaps than most of the crabs and seagulls surrounding him.
Now with more than three decades of experience behind him, he brings the tradition to the northern hemisphere, synthesizing martial arts combat, acrobatics, dance, and music in classes at Capoeira Aché Brasil Calgary. Along with instructional classes, he and his instructors and students perform at festivals and events throughout Calgary, dazzling eyes with dynamic kicks, flips, and midair hand-jiving.