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The strength of the arco (arch) lies in the way that it reacts to pressure. The load that it supports pushes its building blocks together rather than apart. Within our natural and social environments, we too have the capability to transform the pressures of life into unifying forces, on individual and collective levels. 

The arch is a portal into a new world. Life offers us many such portals. It is never easy to leave behind the familiar routine, but if we choose to step through, we start to perceive possibilities that have been living outside of our awareness.

And the journey continues...



is a Brazilian art form with African roots dating back to the 16th
century. Elements of martial arts, dance and acrobatics come together in a dialogue of movement between two practitioners. Capoeira is played in a roda (circle of people), to the rhythm of live instruments, claps and songs. The roda is a highly energetic, participatory environment that attracts people from all walks of life. The global community of Capoeira is both cohesive and diverse, promoting tolerance and cultural exchange.

Capoeira is known by many as the art of transformation. Practitioners learn to transform their weaknesses into strengths, inside and outside of the roda. It is the culture that transforms suffering into joy. 


Grupo Senzala

was founded in 1963 in Rio de Janeiro, with the goals of studying, researching and teaching Capoeira. Since then, the school has earned the respect of the Capoeira community in Brazil and helped facilitate the expansion of Capoeira abroad, establishing branches on almost every continent while maintaining quality and authenticity in all aspects of the art.

Over time, the founders of the group remained unified, but each followed his own trajectory. The lineage of our branch of the group is as follows:


Mestre Zumbi

began studying Capoeira at the age of nine in his native home of Rio de Janeiro. He has participated in countless workshops, performances and exhibitions the world over. His journey brought him to the United States in 2000 where he has since taught in numerous schools and universities throughout New York and New Jersey. In 2002 Zumbi became the official Capoeira instructor at Princeton University, founding a program that has been met with a great deal of enthusiasm within the university community.


Community outreach and classes for children have long been an emphasis of Zumbi’s work both in Brazil and now in the US. Collaborating with local YMCA’s, community centers and art coalitions he has worked to bring Capoeira to the local youth as a means for both mental and physical development as well as providing connections with African and Brazilian cultural heritage. With the help of local governments and community nonprofits, Zumbi will continue to expand the social mission of the group in the coming years.

Mestre Zumbi
Professor Agulha

Professor Agulha

Born in Russia, I moved to New York as a child. At the age of 14, I walked into Mestre Zumbi's class and immediately fell in love with Capoeira. Under his guidance, I started teaching in Central NJ when I was 19. After a few persistent years, I began to form a solid group of adults. With help from some of my students and much support from the group, I was able to introduce Capoeira programs to some of the local schools, which quickly became very popular amongst the kids and the parents. Throughout my time as a teacher, I have not neglected my responsibilities as a student. Training and studying Capoeira on a regular basis continue to be a priority for me. I've travelled to Brazil and several other countries to attend Capoeira workshops and events, in addition to many places within the US. 

Capoeira teaches me valuable lessons and gives me the skills to be a more conscious and compassionate citizen. I currently lead the Ventura County branch of the group and hope to share this profound, holistic art form with you.

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Your first class will typically begin with a group warm up after which you will learn a few basic movements and practice them in sequences. Stretching and conditioning exercises are great ways to catch your breath and integrate class content.  


is a great workout for body, mind and spirit. Please wear clothes suitable for flexible movement. Bring your own water and be ready to have some fun. Students of all experience levels, ages, and capabilities are welcome.

Contact Us

to claim your free first week

The Ojai Art Center

113 S Montgomery St

Ojai, CA


Mon, Wed, Thurs

Kids 6:00-7:00pm

Adults 7:00-8:00pm


Join the Family

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