As the art of Capoeira continues to invade the film industry, more and more people get to recognize the method and the practitioners alike. As we get to see more and more of Capoeira on TV, we learn to also recognize the big names in the said style. When we think of Capoeira, a familiar face and name would be Brazilian-born American artist, Lateef Crowder. He is an actor, stuntman and a master Capoeirista.
Lateef Crowder Dos Santos was born on the 23rd of November 1977 at Salvador, Bahia, Brazil the very place that birthed the art of Capoeira many years ago. At the young age of 6, he started training in the martial art. The name Lateef is a common Arabic name, meaning gentle or pleasant but when it comes to the mat and the roda, Lateef transforms into a beast with brute skills and solid technique.
While attending the University of New Mexico, Lateef competed on the USA Gymnastics team. He ranked high on a number of apparatuses in numerous competitions, including a first place on the vault at the 1997 Winter Cup Challenge.
When his family settled in San Jose, California, Lateef joined Southern California's ZeroGravity stunt team in his 20s and this jump-started his career in the film industry. He later on lived and worked in Los Angeles, California, and continues to take part in films as a stunt man or an actor. Either way, Lateef impresses the big names of the film industry with his prowess in the unique martial art that is Capoeira.
Did you know that aside from the blockbuster films Lateef keeps under his belt, he also starred in internet videos and demo reels, such as Inmate 451, showcasing his expertise in martial arts?
With his build and his looks, we might instantly recognize him for his famous role as Eddie Gordo in the Tekken feature film.
Every Capoeirista in the world might have also watched Tom-Yum-Goong (known in North America as The Protector ) in which Lateef used the Capoeira style in a fight scene with Tony Jaa. It would have been his biggest break then to showcase the martial art but Lateef's fight scene was cut short after an injury to his Achilles tendon. Since his recovery, Lateef continues to take part in films that featured martial arts such as Duel of Legends in 2007.
Another celebrated appearance was with Scott Adkins in the film Undisputed 3, directed by Isaac Florentine. Video gamers around the world also recognize him as he made an appearance in a film feature for Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.
All throughout his 15-year career in the film industry, Lateef remained rooted to his passion of showcasing the art of Capoeira in his fight scenes.
Lateef Crowder, famous stunt man, actor, and Capoeirista, first appeared in the movie Essence of the Martial Arts. Since then, Lateef did more than 53 Movie and TV appearances that proved his mastery in martial arts.
A few of his early appearances in TV and Movies include those on CSI: NY (9-22-2004), The Protector (2005), Fight Science(2006), Heroes (2007) and Urban Justice (2007). He also played as a gang member in Street Warrior (2008), a maniac in Red Velvet (2008). Other films he appeared in by 2008 were: Disaster Movie (September), Yeah Sure Okay as Yellow, Ninja Cheerleaders (May) and Beyond the Ring. In 2009, he appeared in Hell binders (September 4), NCIS: Los Angeles (September 22), Avatar (December 18) and Dragonball: Evolution.
The year 2010 was his biggest break as he appeared in blockbuster films such as Avatar (December 18), The Expendables (August 13), Never Surrender as Marco (October 3), Green Street Hooligans 2 (July 28), The Book of Eli as the hijacker and the construction thug (January 15), Once Fallen (April 24), Tekken as Eddie Gordo (March 20), Undisputed 3: Redemption, Mortal Kombat :Rebirth, and Acts of Violence.
By 2011, he appeared in the movies: Kickin It (June 13), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (November 8), Wonder Woman, Supah Ninjas (January 17), Chaos, Double Tap, and Sucker Punch (March 25). A big break also came when he starred in the following movies by 2012: The Hunger Games (March 23), Medal of Honor: Warfighter (October 23), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (November 16), Black Cobra (May 22) and The Girl from the Naked Eye.
When 2013 came, Lateef also appeared in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (August 7), Agents of S. H. I.E. L. D. (September 24), and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Lateef also did appearances by 2014 in the movies: Tricking: The Freedom of Movement (October 13), Falcon Rising (November 27), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (November 4), and 300: Rise of an Empire (March 7).
Lateef continues to strive in the film industry as he started to take roles in 2015 as Sylathus in Fading the Cries (August 3) and as Juan Cardoza in Boone: the Bounty Hunter (August 8). He also appeared in: Grimm (August 14), Furious Seven (April 3), Wild Card (January 14), Leaving You Behind and Jia.
Another appearance we should look forward to is on the upcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this March 25, 2016.
His prowess as an action star shows a lot of promise. Lateef Crowder definitely has the build and talent in such a unique martial art form as Capoeira. On his continuous rise to success, we can only expect to see more and more of Lateef Crowder on TV and Movies a stunt performer, actor and Capoeira artist with a big heart for Martial Arts. Lateef Crowder's training and dedication to Capoeira continue to inspire generations of capoeiristas as they embark on their journeys.