Antonio Carlos de Menezes (Mestre Burguês) was born on September 6, 1955 in Lalangeras, Brazil. When he was only 3 months old, he and his family moved to Rio de Janeiro. He first came into contact with Capoeira at the age of 12, when he was in sixth grade at Escola Evangelica in RJ Ramos, Brazil, next to Escola de Samba Imperatriz Leopoldinense.
To learn how to defend himself from a bully, Antonio decided to learn capoeira. He and has friends had no money to pay for the class. So they collected copper, lead, old bottles, and paper, and managed to sell them all, earning enough money to pay for tuition three months in advance. This was so unusual at the time that Mestre Paulão and Silas thought they were rich and gave them the nicknames Conde (Earl) and Burguês (Bourgeois). Later, his friend Comte finally put Capoeira aside, and the boy Antonio Carlos de Menezes became Mestre Burguês.
Mestre Burguês, after going through very hard times of cold, hunger, financial difficulties, prejudice and discrimination, managed to face several obstacles and to establish Grupo Muzenza in the South of Brazil which is nowadays known throughout the world.
Grupo Muzenza de Capoeira was founded on the 5th of May 1972 by Paulo Sérgio da Silva (Mestre Paulão), who came from Mestre Mentirinha’s (Luís Américo da Silva) group Capoarte de Obaluaê.
In October 1975, Mestre Burguês arrived in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil and decided to found another Branch of Grupo Muzenza in the South of Brazil. He established and developed a methodology and philosophy of his own, turning to the roots of capoeira. Over 15 000 pupils have already passed through Curitiba’s Grupo Muzenza, and today the group is spread throughout 25 Brazilian States and 23 different countries, always searching for the essence and the roots of capoeira through a lot of research.