Professor Tiba Vieira: I’m here with my Capoeira master, Master Jelon, and I’m having him telling us what it takes to be a Capoeria master.
Master Jelon Vieira: Well, I started Capoeira when I was ten years old, and always heard my master saying, “The master is to teach the children how to fish, and not give the fish to the student.” By teaching him or her how to fish, they’ll have fish for the rest of their life. Also, the master is a statement of knowledge. It’s a life process. I’ve been doing Capoeira for almost 50 years and I’m still learning. I feel like I am still in the process of being, so I can say I’m a master.
Professor Vieira: I hold the title of professor, which means you’re still on your way to becoming a master. I have been doing Capoeira for about 17 years now and I have many, many years of practice before I reach the level of master. The difference is experience and knowledge, which Master Jelon has. He’s been training and teaching Capoeira for the last 50 years.
Mestre Vieira: I learned Capoeria from two masteries. My first mastery was mastery Angola. From the age of 10 to 16, I learned Capoeria Angola. Then I met master Ezekiel from whom I learned Capoeira Regional. Both of them are totally different styles of Capoeira, Angola and Regional, and pretty much two different philosophies, Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional. When I was learning Capoeira in the 60’s, everyone that had the title of master was over 50 years. Now that has changed a little bit. You can meet a lot of young masters. Master is the reference, the most important. The master is important for students, is important for Capoeira. And it really is of course a process, of the continuity into art. Practicing, teaching, supervising your students, really sharing that knowledge with his students. A good master, he/she will learn as much as they give, or as much as they teach. That’s what really makes a better master. It’s not just giving, but also taking. It’s teaching and learning at the same time.