Grupo Senzala was founded in the 1960s. As a group, Senzala has always sought strong relationships with other Capoeira groups , The founders of Senzala were keen to research and maintain the roots and origins of the game of capoeira, spending long periods in Salvador, Bahia, building strong relationships with the ‘old guard’ of the game.
In the early sixties a group of young capoeiristas calling themselves “Grupo Senzala” entered the capoeira championship “Berimbau de Ouro” (the Golden Berimbau). Suprisingly, the young men won the competition that year and then again for the two subsequent years. In the fourth year the group were told that they could not enter the competition as they were considered masters of capoeira. This showed the great respect that had developed for Grupo Senzala. As time passed, the founder members of Grupo Senzala went their different ways, but remaining a part of the group – the masters began teaching in different schools, and so it is that the group remains today. Our masters reunite when there is a graduation of new mestres or a baptism (batizado) of new students.
Our branch of Centro Cultural Senzala de Capoeira was formed by Mestre Peixinho and his students. The group seeks to continue to develop the good work of Grupo Senzala in a physical sense, and emphasises developing an understanding of the cultural roots and origins of capoeira in order to help the student capoeirista develop a greater understanding of the game as a whole.
Nowadays, the group is expanding thoughout Brazil, Europe and the United States, and although the group has had thousands of students during all these years, it has only formed just over ten Mestres. This is the main reason for the high technical ability and standards of our group, tied to dedication and consciousness of the historical values of Capoeira, which made Senzala one of the most famous groups in Brazil.
Capoeira plays an important role in the strengthening of the “popular wisdom” and, therefore, in the formation of the ideology of the Brazilian people. The object of this enterprise is the search of new cultural values and the understanding of their origin and history.
Senzala London is part of the wider Senzala Capoeira group based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the founding members of Grupo Senzala is Mestre Pexhinho who is the master of Mestre Sanhaco.
In 2023 Grupo Senzala is celebrating its 60th anniversary.