Professor Café ( Zranwea Deyein ) started training Capoeira in Los Angeles with Capoeira Brasil under the tutelage of Mestre Boneco. In 2012 he moved to Shanghai share his love for Capoeira with the community.
Let's find out how the dream became a reality.
How did you get started in Capoeira?
As a young kid I always enjoyed athletics . In high school I played football and basketball, but as a university student I was no longer involved in competitive sports. I worked out at the gym, but I wanted more than general fitness.
Then I found out about Capoeira.
A classmate invited me to class multiple times and I finally gave it a try.
A few months of Capoeira couldn't hurt, right?
What kept you going to Capoeira classes?
I fancied myself as relatively strong and coordinated. The first Capoeira class changed my mind real quick. I fell hard attempting handstands and couldn't do the simplest movements. Then there was the music. Clapping and singing at the same time required maximum concentration.
But embarrasment wouldn't keep me from going to class twice a week. I was getting in shape with calesthenics and doing feats with my body I never imagined. I found the new challenge I was looking for.
At what point did you start to feel successful in Capoeira? How did that impact your vision of yourself in Capoeira?
As a beginner, I was frustrated because I wanted to do a floreio (acrobatic movement) that everyone else at my level could do except for me! It was beautiful day when I did my first aú de frente in the roda.
I practiced for hours on my own to get that movement so it was a huge accomplishment for me.
The success that I worked for built up my confidence.
What made you decide to become a Capoeira instructor?
After advancing to the level of Monitor in 2005 I was eligible to teach. I sought out my best friend who led the kids Capoeira program at our studio and asked if I could intern with him. I figured if I could teach kids capoeira, I could teach anyone. On Saturday mornings we would train together, and after or training I would help him out with the kids classes. Two years later I advanced to the rank of full instructor, and was looking for an opportunity to teach adult classes. However, most of the slots were already filled by higher ranking instructors.
I got the opportunity to teach thanks to the Hollywood nightlife.
Friday nights in LA are legendary and the guys scheduled to teach Saturday morning would often go out and party. Since I was always at the studio, I would end up teaching when people had long nights.
I wish I had a more heroic story, but that's the reality.
What brought you to Shanghai?
I made my first visit to Shanghai in 2011 after being invited by my friend Bo “Tanque” Chung.
I knew Shanghai was where I wanted to be after the first week.
Six months later I sold my cars, packed up my Capoeira instruments, some clothes, and bought a one-way flight LAX to PVG. I spoke no Chinese and had no job prospects. If I had thought about this...
What made you decide to make Capoeira teaching your career?
In one word...SHANGHAI.
A teaching career was definitely not on my mind because I knew how hard group leaders work. Teaching in my Master's academy was awesome! He took care of all the business aspects and established the culture. All I had to do was show up and teach.
In Shanghai, all the responsibilities my Master used to take care of were now the responsibility of me and my partner.
On January 29, 2016 our company 上海卡波耶拉 was founded.
It has not been a smooth path, and I still have much to learn, but I wouldn't change the experience.
What is important for students to learn when playing Capoeira?
To play and enjoy the game of Capoeira, and let the lessons they learn in the roda have a positive influence in their lives:
GET IN TOUCH:
You can connect with Instructor Café on wechat at: cafecb
He is an ACE certified Personal Trainer helping people to get fit, focused, and have fun through body movement.