Mestre Itapoan (Reimundo Cesar Alves de Almeidahas) was born on August 13, 1947 in Bahia, Salvador, Brazil. On September 22, 1964, he began studying Capoeira Regional with Mestre Bimba.
He started to practice Capoeira on September 22, 1964 at the age of 17. He was a student of Mestre Bimba with whom he identified a lot, and took all of his courses. In 1965 he graduated receiving the blue scarf, the following year he took a specialization course that would give him the red scarf. In 1967 he received the yellow scarf for having finished the specialization course.
In 1970 Mestre Bimba organized a tournament for graduates. Mestre Itapoan was the champion in the absolute category, a year later he was the absolute champion and doubles champion of the Bahia University Games.
In 1972, Mestre Itapoan founded Ginga Associação de Capoeira. He is also the founder of Associação Brasileira dos Professores (Brazilian Capoeira Teachers Association) and Federação Bahiana de Capoeira (Bahia Capoeira Federation). In 1990, he was awarded the National Sports Medal of Honor by the Brazilian Ministry of Education.
Mestre Itapoan has been a key player in the success of Capoeira worldwide. He is also one of the most ferocious defenders of its traditions. Under his direction Ginga Associação de Capoeira continues to be one of the most authentic schools of capoeira in the world for over fifty years.
In addition to his vast experience in Capoeira, Mestre Itapoan has a degree in Dentistry since 1975. He is a Dental Surgeon, Adjunct Professor at UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DA BAHIA, teaching endodontics and vice-president of the 'ODONTOLOGIA RESTAURADORA' department.
Currently, with 35 years of "bagagem" as the capoeiristas say. Mestre Itapoan, until today, lives in the same place that gave rise to his nickname, on the coast of Salvador in Itapoã, and teaches courses, lectures and participates in Capoeira circles throughout Brazil.