The Academy of Brazilian Arts
Lorem Dias and Marnie Sather founded the Academy of Brazilian Arts in 2012. It was developed to share and teach the principles and art form of Capoeira. The Academy is passionate about creating an environment that is inclusive, educational, positive, enriching and empowering for children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
We believe the philosophy and teachings of Capoeira are for everyone. It is our goal to share this with the young people of Australia by providing a positive, engaging and cultural experience in a high energy, fun and safe environment. The positive learnings from participating in Capoeira can change the way young people engage with others and we want to help facilitate and encourage better citizens and future leaders.
What is Capoeira?
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines physical movement, discipline, music and singing that culminates in a sense of community and belonging. Dating back to the sixteenth century, it was created by the African people forced to Brazil during the slave trade and indigenous Brazilians. Capoeira’s rich history and traditions were born from adversity allowing individual expression, freedom and acceptance of cultural diversity and continues to thrive around the world today.
The many benefits of Capoeira
Young people benefit physically and mentally from participating in Capoeira. It helps improve cardiovascular health, strength, endurance, flexibility, co-ordination, agility and balance. Capoeira also enhances musical ability concentrating on rhythm, clapping and singing. Capoeira promotes a strong connection between the teacher and student advocating respect for the mentor and each other. This tradition forms part of the origin of Capoeira and keeps the group cohesive, creates community and helps build resilience, personal responsibility, confidence and self-esteem.
How do you play?
Capoeira is a game that uses non-contact movements which incorporates self-defense, acrobatics, singing (in Portuguese) and music. Songs and musical instruments accompany the creative movements of Capoeira making it high energy and uplifting. Everyone has a role and everyone has a turn encouraging inclusiveness, interaction, positive peer support and mentoring. Through play and performance the emphasis is on teamwork, not on winning or losing. Capoeira allows every person the freedom to find their personal expression in the game and to learn to respect themselves and others.
THE VALUES OF CAPOEIRA AND EDUCATION
The practice of Capoeira embodies the nine key values set by Australian Education.
Care and compassion – Capoeira teaches the importance of caring for self and others, and helps foster friendships.
Doing your best – Capoeira builds individuals’ self-confidence and encourages children to set and achieve goals by trying their hardest.
Fair go – “Capoeiristas” are expected to treat everyone fairly and equally in the interests of the common good and to stand up for the rights of others.
Freedom – Capoeira teaches appreciation of the freedoms and privileges of Australian life though learning about the origin of Capoeira and cultural diversity.
Integrity – Learning the moral and ethical practices of Capoeira helps children achieve consistency between words and action.
Respect – Capoeira promotes consideration for others and respect for other points of view. Responsibility – Capoeira promotes non-violence and being accountable for one’s own
Understanding, tolerance and inclusion – Capoeira emerged from a culture of acceptance of difference.
The Academy of Brazilian Arts Capoeira programs have been developed to offer unique and dynamic classes for schools, private tuition and community groups. Our Capoeira curriculum meets the values set by the Australian school system with a foundation built on freedom, care, compassion, equal participation, respect and tolerance.
The standards for assessment set out by AusVELS are met as we incorporate physical, personal and social learning with emphasis on health, interpersonal development, civics and citizenship. We also cover history, geography, arts and humanities.
Workshops run from 25 to 50 minutes and are taught at the appropriate level depending on age and ability. All workshops can be customized to your specific needs, goals and expectations. Workshops include the historical, social and cultural aspects of Capoeira incorporating the vibrant Brazilian culture. Students are introduced to the instruments, music, songs, creative movements and philosophy.
The workshop focuses on simple movements, developing a range of basic motor skills, rhythm, music and songs. A prep program would help children learn to follow direction and to respect the rights and feelings of others.
Year 1 – 2
The instructors work on motor skills and develop being part of a group. Students are encouraged to express their ideas through movement, music and song.
Year 3 – 4
Teaching awareness of culture and how this can relate within their school and personal community. The workshop has higher energy with slightly more complex movements, music and songs.
Year 5 – 6
The workshops promote confidence, fitness, and building strong connections within the group. By participating in a cultural activity it teaches history through creative movement, music and song.
Year 7 – 12
The instructors introduce greater detail of the history, social and cultural aspects of Capoeira including geography. The martial arts component is more complex with acrobatic movements and high energy music and songs.
We have participated in Harmony Days, La Fiesta, Buddha Day, Asian Festivals, O-Week Activities, Education Week and Corporate Events. It is an honor for us to share the Brazilian culture in a festive environment.
Sports curriculum, weekly classes, after-school program and lunchtime classes
Capoeira can be offered as part of a school’s sports curriculum, after-school program or lunchtime classes. This encourages students to train and have access to the full benefits of Capoeira. We find that regular classes help promote the mentoring process and students enjoy being part of the Capoeira community.
Under resourced Youth
One of our core objectives is to support youth in need and studies have found Capoeira to be of benefit and make a difference. Our instructors have vast experience working with marginalized communities and at risk youth. We currently run programs for African children in Collingwood, offer programs to youth detention and rehabilitation centers and have devised programs for indigenous youth in Australia and overseas. Capoeira is more than a physical activity it is a values based approach to life.
Students with disabilities
Lorem Dias has led workshops for students with disabilities. In Capoeira, there is a role for everyone. The students are engaged and guided through music, rhythm and songs.
“Capoeira cannot be played alone and relies on every person playing a role. Our team is the heartbeat of the Academy. The instructors are professional, qualified, dedicated and experienced in the teachings of Capoeira. They lead popular workshops in schools and teach weekly classes around Melbourne to children of all ages.”
All our staff are accredited with first aid and Victorian working with children checks.
Director – Professor Lorem Dias
Lorem Dias is the director and principal instructor of the Academy of Brazilian Arts. He was born in Brazil and as a teenager found his purpose as a Capoeirista. Lorem has been playing Capoeira for
19 years of which 15 have been teaching throughout Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. He moved to Australia in 2003 and brought with him a passion to make a difference in young people’s lives.
Lorem is a founding member of the Oz Capoeira Association (OCA) and is in charge of the Melbourne Sinhá Bahia group. He supports Rio street kids through his Capoeira School in Melbourne and works tirelessly to organize fundraising and awareness for this cause.
Music and fitness both play an important role in Capoeira and Lorem is a talented artist, music composer and nationally certified personal trainer. He has featured on Fox Sports, radio stations and television commercials.
Instructor – Zevon Hiltz
Zevon Hiltz is from Melbourne and started his martial art training at the age of 14 in the style of GoJu Kai Karate with instructor Alex Alt. After
4 years of dedicated tuition he discovered the art form of Capoeira
and commenced training with the Filhos Da Bahia group for 7 years.
With 13 years experience Zevon has started teaching his own classes in Melbourne, supervised by Lorem. Zevon has studied Capoeira in Brazil several times and is forging a path in his chosen field and is quickly becoming a recognized figure in the Capoeira community.
Zevon is also a musician and music producer. He works from his home recording studio and has been playing guitar for 25 years solo and in numerous bands around Melbourne.
“Capoeira’s philosophy of cultural sensitivity and emphasis on working together as a team make Capoeira the perfect activity for schools.”
Instructor – Valerio Bisignanesi
Valerio was born in Italy and has extensive martial arts experience having studied for 10 years in his home country. He discovered Capoeria when he moved to Australia in 2003 and has not looked back. He is part of the Sinhá Bahia Melbourne Capoeria Group under supervision by Professor Lorem and in 2008 joined Lorem teaching adult and children Capoeria classes. He enjoys teaching in schools and sharing Brazilian culture with young people from all walks of life.
As an environmental advocate, Valerio is a keen gardener and leader of the Composting and Soil Quality Committee at the Mary & Basil Community Garden, Albert Park supporting and helping the local community. Valerio has served as an SES volunteer for 4 years and represented Victoria at the 2009 National Disaster Rescue Competition in Brisbane.
Therapist – Marnie Sather
Marnie is a licensed counselor (MACA). Originally from Melbourne she graduated with a BA in psychology from Monash University.
Life and work took her overseas where she continued her education achieving her MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, California, USA.
Marnie has worked for diverse organizations that include Camp Gonzalez (Youth Detention Centre), The Eating Disorder Clinic of California and the Haven Hills Shelter. She currently works in private practice in St Kilda and with a local drug rehabilitation center.
As a mother of four children she knows the challenges that face youth today. She believes all children should have the opportunity to learn and engage in an environment where they are supported, understood and accepted. Capoeira promotes inclusiveness, diversity and wellbeing through physical activity and offers the perfect combination of all that Marnie values.