Founder & President of the International ABADÁ-Capoeira Association

Mestre Camisa (José Tadeu Cardoso) was born in the interior of the state of Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil. He first began studying Capoeira at the age of seven, he was taught by his older brother Camisa Roxa, a student of Mestre Bimba. Several years later Camisa moved to Salvador to continue his education and attended Mestre Bimba’s Academy himself.

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.
Since the beginning of the 80’s, Mestre Camisa had been drawing on Mestre Bimba’s teachings to develop his own style adding by his unique technique and methodology that improved the martial aspect of Capoeira, and put Mestre Camisa as the leading Capoeira master in the world.
The latter was the main impetus for the creation of a new organization that would, in 1988, become Abadá-Capoeira (Associação Brasileira de Apoio e Desenvolvimento da Arte-Capoeira – Brazilian Association for the Support and Development of the Art of Capoeira). Today, Abadá-Capoeira, with over 40,000 members, is the largest Capoeira association in the world represented in more than 30 countries.
Mestre Camisa is constantly researching Capoeira and improving his style. He teaches workshops and seminars and attends batizados in Brazil and throughout the world. Through Abadá-Capoeira, Mestre Camisa is defining a new contemporary language of Capoeira that seeks to respect and preserve the traditions and foundations of Capoeira and to follow Capoeira’s evolution throughout the world while considering all the aspects of Capoeira: as a martial art, as a playful game, as a source of rhythms and songs and as a spontaneous art form.

Mestre Camisa’s bio is courtesy of