Physical activity has enhanced my personal and professional life in so many ways. In particular, martial arts has sparked my passion for teaching and learning. What began in 1986 as an outlet for an overly energetic nine year old eased me into adulthood. Training drove home important lessons about self-control, dedication and respect; lessons that would keep me safe from the many negative influences of my surroundings. And, through martial arts, I’ve met new people, forged relationships, and have benefited from countless enriching, life-changing experiences. I have studied karate, gymnastics, tae kwon do, boxing, kick-boxing, MMA (mixed martial arts), jiu-jitsu. I have also served as an active member of the Royal Australian Navy and am a qualified personal trainer. These experiences have instilled in me that a school is a community and teaching nourishes a community.
I Discovered and began training in 1997, I loved everything about this art and in 2001 I started training under Mestre Cicatriz: a well-known Mestre (master) from Rio de Janeiro who had recently moved to Sydney, Australia. Mestre Cicatriz’s friendship, philosophies, mentorship, his amazing depth of skill and knowledge of capoeira and Brazilian culture continue to influence and shape my journey in capoeira. I have studied, taught, played and performed capoeira and other Brazilian cultural expressions such as maculele (Afro-Brazilian dance) and batucada (Brazilian Carnival drumming) in Classes and in shows around the globe.
In 2010, I attended an Annual World Capoeira Conference in Brazil where, Mestre Cicatriz graded me to the rank of first level instructor. This achievement was most important to me as it represented an integration of two passions: capoeira and teaching. In 2011, I opened my own school (a branch of Kadara Capoeira) in Toronto with the blessings and encouragement of Mestre Cicatriz. In 2013, he graded me to the rank of second level instructor while attending our annual gradings and workshops festival.
The experience of teaching my own students and taking on the responsibility of running an academy has allowed me to grow as a martial artist and mentor. As exhilarating as it is playing capoeira, what I enjoy most is seeing the growth of my students. From their first cautious ginga, their first cartwheel, their first kick, and first game and seeing that apprehension fade and perceived limitations being exceeded as new goals are set. Martial arts, capoeira especially, has helped me along that path. And now, I look forward to using my experience to guide others.
In 2015 I took a group of 11 students to Brazil for the first international Kadara Capoeira Festival. During the Visit I Taught a number of Workshops. Our team Representing Canada had an amazing Journey Training and experiencing Capoeira in it’s country of Origin. I Was Promoted to the rank of Professor By Grand Mestre Lotar and Mestre Cicatriz at the Grading festival and Formatura in Belo Horizonte. Since returning to Canada I continue my work educating the Public about Capoeira, Teaching My students the Values, Philosophies and Culture of Capoeira.
In 2017 after 6 years of renting spaces to run classes in various venues, we felt that our group had grown enough to open a full-time capoeira specific academy with a purpose buil semi sprung floor and all the equipment we need to practice all elements of capoeira. we filled our weekly schedule with classes to cater to all levels of experience and added specific classes to focus on specific aspects of the art.
In 2018 I took a second groups of students to Brazil and attended our second international Kadara Capoeira Festival in which I honoured again by being asked to teach another series of workshops in addition to participating in workshops delivered by our other international Teachers. It was another amazing Journey for the Canadian team that came to experience Capoeira in it’s country of Origin.
In 2019 we organised and facilitated a capoeira families trip to brazil where students from our youth capoeira classes and their parents spent 2 week in brazil learning about the art and Brazilian culture.
2020 looks to be a great year for Capoeira in Canada and we look forward to a continued growth as a community as individuals and as a family of dedicated Capoeiristas,