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Manoel dos Reis Machado, Mestre Bimba
Salvador (Bahia), 1899 — Goiânia (Goias), 1974
Of well established reputation from the end of the 1920s, Mestre Bimba taught and participated in public fights. In 1932 he asked authorisation to use an establishment in order to teach Luta Regional Baiana. The term "Capoeira" was avoided because it was forbidden by law in public, and tailed everywhere by the police, and the term "gymnastic" was avoided because he did not have a teacher's qualification. The term "fight" fits its combative nature (as stated by his pupil the doctor Decanio), adding "regional of Bahia" guaranteed that strangers from Rio or elsewhere would not come and tell him what to do. His school, where pupils, often students of middle class, studied the afro-brazilian gestural heritage, was a success.
In the 1950s and following years, Capoeira Regional academies opened up in the whole of Brazil. Obviously it is no longer Mestre Bimba's teaching in person, but that of his pupils, influenced also of course by what their own students wanted to learn. The school of thought which, in Brazil, considered that Capoeira was solely a combat sport, availed themselves to Mestre Bimba. However, they forgot that he demanded that the berimbau rhythm should be followed, and he himself was one of the best berimbau players of his time.