Mestre Pintor is the founder and heads the Grupo Bantus Capoeira organisation worldwide.Paulo Cesar Leite dos Santos, or Mestre Pintor as he is known within Capoeira circles, is the master of Grupo Bantus Capoeira. He started playing around with Capoeira on the streets as a teenager.Later he trained in Belo Horizonte and then Bahia with various masters, chasing after knowledge of Capoeira, before coming to rest in the academy of Mestre João Pequeno de Pastinha in Salvador, Bahia.He graduated as a master in 1989 with the Grupo Ginga at the Escola de Educacao Fisica in Belo Horizonte, and after a few more years training with Mestre João Pequeno also graduated as a master of Capoeira Angola.
Mestre Pintor regularly visits our school in Perth every year in order to support our students and enrich the culture and authenticity of our group. He has taught all over the world in Brazil, South America, Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, lending over 20 years of Capoeira indoctrination as a practising Mestre to the improvement of Capoeira worldwide.
He brings enthusiasm, positivity and great knowledge and skill of the game into his teaching.
Our Principal teacher is Contramestre Grão.
Born Fabiano França in a growing favela in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in the 1980s, like most Brazilian children Grão experienced Capoeira as part of his culture … as common as soccer and samba in his neighbourhood streets.
A local Professor showed him the true nature of Capoeira – community and togetherness – giving hope and inspiration to the children of the favela, and fostering a respect for peers, elders and oneself.
As a teenager, Grão progressed through the ranks of his first school and trained with notable Mestres of Rio and Belo Horizonte, such as Mestre Peixinho and Tony Vargas.
Spending his weekends and weeknights scouring the city for rodas on the streets and parks of Belo Horizonte – Grão saw that the Capoeira community gave his generation an exit from crime and poverty and it was at this time he met other capoeiristas who were teaching overseas who encouraged him to train hard and aim for something worthwhile.
He turned down an offer to perform with Cirque do Soleil as he did not want to give up on his Capoeira career, the passion of his life.
Attaining his Professor cord at 18 years of age, Grão was leading classes and youth outreach programs for kids and teenagers all over Belo Horizonte – teaching self discipline, respect and determination through Capoeira.
Grao also dedicated his time to improve his knowledge of Afro Brazilian culture as this is an important part of a Capoeira career. Learning Batucada, carnival drumming; Maracatu, a traditional rhythm from Northeast Brazil; Afro dance, a rich combination of steps and rituals that the Africans would perform to celebrate their beliefs, Grao added to his already great passion for Samba music in a variety of styles, such as Jongo and Samba de Roda, bringing them all to the Perth community.
Grão made the choice to join Grupo Bantus Capoeira in Belo Horizonte after friends encouraged him and it was here that he experienced the quality, wisdom and dedication of the group founder Mestre Pintor. It was here at Bantus Capoeira that Grão cultivated new moves and complexity in his game.
Grão impressed Mestre Pintor so much that he invited Grão to attend World Meet of Capoeiristas in Perth, Australia in September 2007. This was Grão’s first trip outside of his home state.
Contramestre Grão has since become a firm and dazzling figure in the performing arts and youth outreach programs across Western Australia, recognized for his professionalism, enthusiasm and passion for helping others through Capoeira.
He has ensured that Bantus is and will remain the friendliest academy, promoting not only quality teaching of culture and Capoeira, but a strong community and social bond within the group.