By 1984, Mestre Preguiça had accomplished many of the goals he had as a teenager by helping in creating Senzala Capoeira in Brazil. Thriving on hard work and the challenge of teaching Capoeira to those unfamiliar with it, he moved to the United States to Introduce Capoeira.
In the mid 1980's, very few Capoeiristas trained in the USA. Following his success with Senzala, Mestre Preguiça was invited to teach a workshop and from there began teaching at a small university in Santa Cruz. Speaking no english, he began by writing the words "right" and "left" on his hands. After developing a strong student base, he relocated permanently in San Francisco. During this time, most Americans could not even pronounce Capoeira, much less recognize the art. Despite cultural and language barriers, Mestre Preguiça found a space near Dolores Park with the rent being $12 an hour to which he had that exacty amount in his pocket.
In 1986 Omulu Capoeira was founded in San Francisco, a non-profit organization that teaches and performs Capoeira. Along with being the curriculum director of Omulu, Mestre Preguiça taught at San Francisco State as a professor of Capoeira, his course quickly became one of the most popular classes. With all the young people taking adult classes, Mestre Preguiça was inspired to focus on Capoeira for youth with an emphasis on disciple, self-esteem, and the ability to work together.
The Community Action Project was added to the Omulu chapter in 1995 in order to work with at-risk teens in the Bay Area. Once a street kids whose life was turned around by Capoeira, Mestre Preguiça always wanted to work with at-risk youth. Many of the youth faced academic problems, belonged to gangs, or had substance abuse problems. Mestre Preguiça required that all participants be in school, be willing to change, and be dedicated to the art of Capoeira.
Today, many of the first generation students have not only completed the program and graduated high school, but many went on to college. Several are teaching Capoeira to other youth, following Mestre Preguiça's philosophy that what one learns must be passed on to others.
Omulu Capoeira Cord System
Mestre Preguiça. The Art of Survival. 2nd ed., City College of San Francisco, 2000.