Mestre Paulo Batuta

Paulo Lima, better known in the Capoeira community as Master Paulo Batuta, first experienced Capoeira in 1985 in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. He began training with the group Capoeira Regional Baiana, under Master Milton. In 1990, the school was transferred over to Master Cicero and his academy, Capoeira Ritmo Brasil. This school is now better known as Cordão de Ouro, Campinas, a name that reflects a lineage tracing from Master Cicero to the founder of Cordão de Ouro, est. 1967, Master Suassuna. Thus, the ever-evolving Capoeira practiced, today, Master Paulo Batuta and his students, still holds tradition and influence from the great Masters of its roots. Master Paulo Batuta came to San Diego in 1997 originally to study English. He trained Capoeira on the side, and soon found himself in a leadership role as he became endeared with a group that had embraced this Brazilian art form. Before long, he left behind his former career in Brazil as an economist, as he discovered that capoeira had opened a door for him in San Diego.

In the Spring of 1999, Master Paulo Batuta (then known as Instructor Paulo) established Capoeira Paulo Batuta LLC, aka Capoeira Mandinga San Diego with the consent of Master Marcelo “Caveirinha” Pereira. The school offers capoeira classes for children and adults daily. The classes are designed carefully to each group of students, from beginning to advanced levels. In 2020, Paulo decided to go back to its roots and re-united with Mestre Cicero as CAPOEIRA DE VALOR, from his hometown in Brazil, Campinas and change the school’s name CAPOEIRA DE VALOR SAN DIEGO.

Mestre Paulo received his capoeira nickname “Batuta,” given by Master Marcelo, impressed by the liveliness he brought to Capoeira. Batuta in Portuguese slang means cool guy. It translates to baton, or conductor/maestro. In all its meanings, it is a name that is well suited for Paulo, full of vigor and beloved by his group and the community.

Since its birth, Capoeira Paulo Batuta San Diego/Capoeira de Valor San Diego has continued to grow in numbers and its students have extended it across the globe. Under Master Paulo Batuta, Capoeira Mandinga established a school in Las Vegas in 2002 and Guam in 2005. In addition to his central school in Pacific Beach, San Diego, Master Paulo Batuta offers classes at the University of California at San Diego-UCSD, and San Diego State University-SDSU.

Mestre Paulo Batuta has been the “conductor” of not only a strong capoeira school, but also of bringing Fine Arts and the culture of Brazil to the community. Paulo Batuta directed Planet Brazil, a performing arts group that perform on public, private and charitable events. He also produced Brazilian Day San Diego, Street Fair and Parade, est. 2008, a festival that brought together thousands of people to embrace the flavors, sounds, and Fine Arts of Brazil. In addition, Mestre Paulo Batuta travels regularly throughout the year to Capoeira events within the United States and abroad as an invited guest speaker and give workshops.

When asked about the most essential element of Capoeira Mandinga, Mestre Paulo Batuta expresses that Capoeira has been promoting a cultural exchange between Brazil and the United States, opening doors to a vast number of capoeira professionals. As a result of being part of this special community, he has not only seen his students grow within the discipline of Capoeira, building confidence, strength, and endurance, but he has also seen them build friendships, families, take on leadership roles, and find related careers in dance, music, writing, Portuguese language, and more. “Capoeira,” says Mestre Paulo Batuta, “has the power to enrich culturally, help with self-confidence, social skills, a healthier life path, a fitness lifestyle, positivity, team-player, and much more. Therefore, capoeira helps us to become better citizens.”