Mestre Waldemar

Background, Style, History and Affiliations

Photo of Mestre Waldemar

Waldemar Rodrigues da Paixão (Mestre Waldemar, Waldemar da Liberdade ou Waldemar do Pero Vaz) was born in 1916 in Ilha de Maré and began the practice of capoeira in 1936 at 20 years old. He began to teach capoeira in 1940, He was already a very skillful and respected capoeira when he begun holding his rodas in the Corta-Braço slum (a very poor neighborhood in Salvador Bahia), later known as Liberdade.“Earlier, it was in open air. Later I made a shed of straw and the capoeiristas of Bahia all came there to play.” Like Canjiquinha and others, Waldemar learned capoeira intuitively, in the old way of teaching/learning capoeira by observation and imitation as opposed to systematized teaching. Little by little, Mestre Waldemar’s roda became one of the most important meeting points for Bahian capoeiristas.

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