José Tadeu Carneiro Cardoso (born October, 28th, 1955 in Jacobina, Bahia), also known as Mestre Camisa, is a Capoeira master, most known for creating the organization ABADÁ-Capoeira. ABADÁ-Capoeira was founded in 1988, and ever since, Camisa has been at the head of many important philanthropy and martial arts movements all over the world
He first began practicing and studying Capoeira at the age of seven. He was taught by his older brother Mestre Camisa Roxa, also known as Grão-Mestre Camisa Roxa. His brother was a student of Mestre Bimba and was the inspiration behind Camisa beginning his training in the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, by urging him to enroll in an academy under the tutelage of Mestre Bimba.
In the early 70’s Mestre Camisa, along with his brother, were part of a yearlong tour of Brazil with the folkloric dance company Olodum Maré. The troupe stayed in Rio de Janeiro for three months and then departed for a tour of Europe. Mestre Camisa, however, remained in Rio and began earning his living by teaching Capoeira.
He began to offer training in capoeira and slowly gained students. Camisa began to consider the need to design a formal structure for classes, to draw up a basic lesson plan, to create a place for studying and teaching, a place to debate techniques and discuss concepts. In addition, he felt the need to give a family-like structure to so many people who had left behind their cities and their friends and families and moved to Rio to dedicate themselves to capoeira. The latter was the main impetus for the creation of a new organization that would, in 1988, become ABADÁ-Capoeira.
Since the beginning of the 1980s, Mestre Camisa had been drawing on his experience in Mestre Bimba's Academy to develop his own style and build his school. His unique technique and methodology improved the martial aspect of capoeira, and established him as the leading capoeira master in the world.