Mestre Cobra
Antônio Marcelo Trindade

Mestre Cobra practices capoeira since 1981. He lives and teaches capoeira in Rio de Janeiro and is one of the supervisors of Abadá-capoeira in the Southern region of Brazil.

Antonio Marcelo Rodrigues Trindade, Mestre Cobra was born in Amparo, a city in the interior region of São Paulo, on November 18th 1963. As a teenager, he used to watch capoeira rodas around town with friends. Capoeiristas noticed his interested in the art and invited the fifteen-year-old curious teen to train at the local capoeira school where he met Mestre Carlão.

The eldest brother in a family of four sons, Cobra was already working to help support his family at the age of 16. After his hours at work as a weaver he would go directly to capoeira. He trained daily and became one of Carlão’s most dedicated students.

It was capoeira that helped him overcome one of the most difficult moments of his life; the early loss of his mother when he was 16 years old. The family experienced difficult moments with the separation of the brothers while the father, who was a traveling sales man, was reorganizing the structure of the family.

He trained in the city of Amparo for six years, hearing stories of great capoeiristas and about Capoeira in Rio de Janeiro. Mestre Carlão would always refer to Mestre Camisa, not as a great capoeirista, but he also spoke of his personality, the work he was doing and his preoccupation with the direction in which capoeira was heading. These conversations sparked Cobra’s interest in going to Rio de Janeiro to meet Mestre Camisa.

Meanwhile, during a trip to Acres for Mestre Rodolfo’s Batizado (who was Mestre Carlão’s Mestre) Cobra met Mestre Camisa and asked if he could come to Rio de Janeiro to take a class with him, and Mestre Camisa agreed. Cobra was already had the rank of graduado and taught capoeira in Amparo, however he had many financial difficulties. Despite of that, Cobra began saving money for the trip to Rio.

In December of 1984 Cobra arrived in Rio de Janeiro with just enough money for the trip, to watch one of Mestre Camisa’s classes and return to Amparo the next day. When he arrived to the class location, he was told that Mestre Camisa was at the Circo Voador (The Flying Circus) organizing the First National Capoeira Encounter. When Cobra arrived at the Circo Voador he saw Mestre Rodolfo who said it was very important that Cobra participated in the encounter Mestre Camisa was organizing.

After that Cobra began to train monthly in Rio de Janeiro from 1985 to 1986. He would spend a week at the “Associação” in Botafogo where he trained daily from 4-6pm with Mestre Camisa and 7-10pm with Mestre Caio and afterwards return to São Paulo. In 1987, Cobra decided to move to Rio de Janeiro permanently.

Cobra informed Mestre Carlão about his decision, and Mestre Carlão asked Mestre Camisa to welcome Cobra because he was a good man to have by his side; and so he did. Mestre Camisa gave Cobra a small room at the “Associação,” the Capoeira school where he used to teach.

Cobra began to train consistently with Mestre Camisa and soon took on organizing social projects and events. As Mestre Camisa developed Abadá-capoeira in the late 1980s Cobra has stood by his side ever since. As the organization grew so did Mestre Cobra’s popularity as one of the most technical capoeiristas in Rio.

Mestre Cobra began to travel and has not stop to impart workshops and seminars throughout the world. In 1993 he received his Mestrando rank. In 2005 he was recognized as a Mestre.

Mestre Cobra has developed hundreds of students and been an essential piece in the growth of Abadá-capoeira.

Mestre Cobra’s bio is courtesy of