About Grupo Aché Brasil
Forty years ago in Pernambuco, Mestre Eclilson de Jesus started his Capoeira journey. In 1988 he created a Capoeira group and taught classes in Olinda and Recife. In 1990 he received invitations from Canada and the USA to participate at various festivals demonstrating Capoeira. It was during this trip that Mestre Eclilson realized that there was little knowledge of Brazilian culture or Capoeira in Canada and decided to move to Vancouver despite the fact that he spoke no English and had very little money. He has since become instrumental in raising the awareness of Capoeira and Brazilian Culture in North America and internationally. He began teaching Capoeira to people here who had never seen or experienced this beautiful and truly empowering art form before. He was immediately invited to perform in many festivals and to teach classes in several locations.
It wasn’t until he moved to Vancouver (in 1990) that Mestre Eclilson chose the name for his Capoeira group, *Capoeira Aché Brasil,* instituting Canada’s first ever Capoeira group. The word ‘Aché’ comes from the Yoruba language meaning ‘everything positive in the universe’ and it is in this spirit that Mestre Eclilson inspires his students to learn the philosophy, history, movements and techniques of Capoeira. In 1999 the official Capoeira Aché Brasil Academy was opened on Broadway in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where Mestre Eclilson began teaching all of his classes, as well as offering classes at University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Capoeira Aché Brasil Academy has become the leading Capoeira academy in Vancouver (with approximately 30 classes per week). He also supervises the Academy in Calgary, with outreach classes at universities and recreation centers. Under Mestre Eclilson, many teachers and Mestrandos are leading Capoeira classes in cities throughout Brazil, especially in the state of Pernambuco where Mestre Eclilson travels every year to do the Batizado (students’ graduation) with the help of Mestre Tita and many others. Capoeira Aché Brasil also has academies in Malaysia and all over Canada (Calgary, Whistler, Kelowna, Fernie.)
Capoeira Aché Brasil has appeared on many TV programs such as Much Music, MTV, Zed on CBC, Knowledge Network and has been highlighted on National Brazilian TV GLOBO, in the program called “Fantastico.” The group has also been featured in World of Martial Arts Magazine, Fashion Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and as a cover story in The Georgia Straight.
Capoeira Aché Brasil continues to be Canada’s premiere Capoeira group, emphasizing quality, community, and personal growth. Capoeira Aché Brasil highlights strength, agility and ability while promoting positive energy and improving one’s health and well-being. Self-defense is taught to be used only as a last resort if a student is confronted with a situation requiring defending oneself from physical danger.
Capoeira Aché Brasil academies and Aché Brasil performing group both strives to bring the beauty of Brazilian cultural art forms to the world through the teaching of Capoeira and performances of traditional music and dance.
Capoeira Aché Brasil Academies objective is to promote healthy and responsible living and to enjoy activities as a group. The interaction between our members is based on tolerance and respect for each other regardless of social status, education, age, handicaps, accent of language or colour of skin. As part of an inter-dependent world, Mestre Eclilson de Jesus calls for responsible coexistence of life on this planet while enjoying our own existence to the fullest. Capoeira Aché Brasil rejects the use of illicit drugs and activities harming the mind or body. Capoeira Aché Brasil academies and Aché Brasil music and dance group are both founded by, and under the leadership of, Mestre Eclilson de Jesus who welcomes everyone to be part of the group.
‘Aché’ means the positive energy that moves the universe or everything that is positive. (We have chosen to spell ‘Aché’ in is original form, others spell the same word as “Axé.”)
Perhaps Mestre Acordeon better explains, “Aché (axé, asé) is the magic force that moves all things in the universe according to the African religions in Brazil. It exists in all realms of nature and can be transmitted through specific rituals. Although Capoeira has no direct connection with religion, the capoeiristas, as the majority of the Brazilians, are related one way or another with Afro-Brazilian rituals. Aché in Capoeira means the connection with the roots, a special energy to be developed by any capoeirista. To wish aché to someone means to wish good luck. For those who believe, some special people transmit aché through their wishes.” Excerpt taken from: “Capoeira, a Brazilian Art Form,” by Bira Almeida
– Mestre Acordeon, Page 06. Copyright 1996 by Bira Almeida. Published by North Atlantic Books