Mestre Itabora Ferreira has been in the fitness field since the age 4 when his grandfather enrolled him in a judo class. He is a fitness enthusiast and strong believes in the mind-body connection. Exercise is not only good for the body: it is essential for the mind and emotional balance.
Mestre Itaborá Ferreira has been practicing capoeira since 1974, with teaching experience totaling over 20 years. He started his capoeira and folklore education in Rio de Janeiro under the direction and guidance of Mestre Camisa (the head Master of ABADÁ CAPOEIRA, a leading capoeira organization that sets the standard for most capoeira training and development conducted throughout the world). Mestre Itaborá also studied at the National School of Folklore, in Rio, from 1973 to 1976. He received his graduation from Mestre Camisa in 1996 at Circo Voador in Rio. In 1990, he spent several months in the city of Salvador, Bahia, learning Capoeira Angola from Grand Master João Grande.
In the United States, Mestre Itaborá Ferreira has taught capoeira and drumming classes at Yale University, UCLA, UCSC, UC Riverside, Stanford University, and more recently at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California. He has also participated in many community art projects from New York City to Oakland, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz.
On the stage, highlights of his career include his participation in the acclaimed performing company DANCE BRAZIL, directed by United States capoeira pioneer MESTRE JELON VIEIRA, in the tours and productions of the American Theater Festival, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Spoleto Festival and a four-year engagement in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival with the dance company, Brazil Dance Review, directed by the Bay Area’s great capoeira master,
Marcelo Caveirinha from Mandinga Capoeira.
While working with Mestre Barrão, from Axé Capoeira, Mestre Itaborá taught seminars worldwide, including such places as: Toronto & Victoria, CANADA; Virgin Islands, USA; Guadalajara & Puebla, MEXICO; Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC; Moscow, RUSSIA; Kiev, UKRAINE; Wroclaw, POLAND; Ankara, TURKEY; Hamburg, GERMANY; and Bandung, INDONESIA. He is the organizer of the US OPEN CAPOEIRA TOURNAMENT.
Mestre Itaborá Ferreira is also a 2-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion (Rio de Janeiro, 2004-2005) and a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Pan American Champion (Los Angeles 2005). He has a bachelor’s degree in Sports Nutrition and holds 5 personal training certifications (NASM & NCSF).
Mestre Itaborá has inspired many people through his teachings (see “testimonials”) and he believes that capoeira can serve as a catalyst for community building and character development. Capoeira is his way of life, and he is committed to helping people rise to the best of their potential by encouraging them, without any form of judgment, to find their own rhythm in the game of capoeira, and, by so doing, in their daily activities as well. In Mestre Itaborá’s own words: “There is a game for everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, and gender or body type”.