Guerreiro was first exposed to Capoeira while in primary school back in Angola. When he moved to the UK, because of lack of knowledge he could not find a school where he could practice. One day while playing Basketball for his secondary school team he heard a familiar sound. His curiosity made him follow the source of the sound, that is where he saw Graduado Madimbu teaching Capoeira. From that day Guerreiro had found his passion and never stopped training. Madimbu was more than a teacher to him, he was like a brother, he taught him the first steps, how to play instruments and shared his knowledge of life and capoeira. Capoeira was great for Guerreiro because it was a discipline that kept him of the streets.
In 2008, Graduado Madimbu decided to stop practicing Capoeira for personal reasons.
Guerreiro had met ContraMestre Polegar and other members of Capoeira Nago in previous capoeira events, he had always admired Polegar’s style, determination and passion for capoeira. This aided in the decision for Guerreiro to start training under the coordination of Contramestre Polegar. Now they work together administering classes, doing professional shows/demonstrations and organising national and International Capoeira Events. Outside of Capoeira Guerreiro is a senior IT technician.
Formada Sorriso began capoeira in 2006, with Instrutor Madimbu from Capoeira Lutaxé and trained for a year and a half until her teacher stopped doing capoeira. Along with Guerreiro and other students, they decided to continue training with Contra Mestre Polegar.
She became Graduada in 2012 and has recently received her Formada belt.
Her apelido was given by Professor Guerreiro because she was asked to sing in class and was so nervous,she could not stop laughing.
Besides being a mother of two, she runs her own baking business and also teaches children’s and women’s classes in her local community centre.
Pedro Pequeno started training capoeira back in 2001 with Professor Chorão of the group Capoeira Interaçao in Portugal. He moved to London in 2005 where he resumed his training with Professor Sangue B from the group Maculelê. He took a break from capoeira for two years because of an injury and in 2009 he took up training again with the group Capoeira Ceará under Mestre Caboclin. He joined Capoeira Nagô in 2013 under Professor (now Contra-Mestre) Polegar. He received his Graduado belt in 2015. His nickname was given to him by Mestre Marinaldo when he was still in Portugal. Graduado Pipoka has been very actively involved in the group activities and has been teaching his own kids class in a school in Chelsea for the past few years. He organised his first kids batizado in 2017. Outside of capoeira, Graduado Pipoka works for Yara Limousines.
Rahim Dhanani began training capoeira in January 2008 under Graduado Polegar (now Contra-Mestre Polegar.) At the Capoeira Nago International Event of 2008, Rahim was baptised into the Grupo Capoeira Nago and given the nickname ‘Afobado’ meaning over-excited. Afobado continued his training over the following years including visiting most of the Capoeira Nago groups in Europe, Colombia, New York and the groups home, Goiania, Brazil. As a result of these years of training, learning to teach, organising workshops, and study of capoeira, Afobado received the belt of Graduado in 2016 and was promoted to second grade Graduado in November 2018. As one of the groups Graduados, Afobado is involved in the activities and organisation of Capoeira Nago London under the co-ordination of Contra-Mestre Polegar. Afobado is also the first student of Capoeira Nago London to be taken from his very first ginga through to Graduado by Contra-Mestre Polegar. Outside of capoeira, Graduado Afobado works full time in an organisation caring for the elderly and disabled.
Pablo Conti began training capoeira in London in 2008 under Graduado Polegar (now Contra-Mestre Polegar). He trained in London until 2012 and then returned to Goiânia, Brazil where he continued training at Capoeira Nagô HQ. Samurai received his Graduado belt in 2016 and soon after that he returned to London. He received his nickname from Mestre Pequinês before he became a Graduado after he requested it himself to honour his late father who used to call him ‘Samurai’ when he was a young boy. Samurai has supported the group and its activities since the beginning of his training and has travelled a lot both in Brazil and Europe over the years. Outside of capoeira, Graduado Samurai is a Project builder and designer.
Graduada Christina began her journey in capoeira in 2010. She started training in North London with Contramestre Polegar and has been part of Capoeira Nagô since. She received her Graduada belt in November 2017.
A fellow student came up with the apelido 'coxinha' as it phonetically resounded the way Contramestre Polegar pronounced 'Christina' but Graduada Christina usually goes about by her actual name.
Outside of capoeira, Graduada Christina is a Senior Project Manager having worked in various different industries such as translation/localisation, creative and marketing/advertising.
Graduada Perninha started practicing capoeira in 2007 after travelling in Southeast Asia and seeing it being performed in a park in Sydney. Her first group was Aboliçao in Banbury with Dorada under the supervision of Mestre Luis Negão. She received her Graduada belt in November 2017.
Her apelido came from Contramestre Polegar. Perninha means little leg, and it was given to her to tease her as she is quite tall.
When Graduada Perninha is not training or teaching, she spends her time with her family and her 2 young boys. The family loves the great outdoors, swimming, scuba diving and just generally spending time together as a family.
She's worked for 16 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry in sales and marketing, however now she works for herself as an independent medical marketing contractor.
Graduado Ratão began practicing capoeira in 2008. He started his journey in the Maculelê group under Graduado Negru. As his teacher left the UK he joined the group Candeias under the instruction of Instrutor Zulu. He remained in Candeias for 1.5 years before Instrutor Zulu stopped teaching. He then joined Capoeira Nagô as he already knew Contramestre Polegar quite well. He has been part of the group since and received his Graduado belt in November 2018.
He received his apelido from Contramestre Feijao, one of Capoeira Nagô's teachers in Spain.
Outside of capoeira, Graduado Ratão shares his time between the construction industry and cooking as he's been a professional chef for many years.
Graduada Amanda started capoeira in 2012 with Capoeira Nagô under Contramestre Polegar and has been in the group since. She received her first Graduada belt in November 2018. Her capoeira peers gave her her nickname Piruca due to the different hairstyles she has from time to time. Outside of capoeira she is a sales advisor but capoeira is her one and only hobby and what she loves doing most.