ArteLuta Capoeira Academy

Varal began his capoeira training at the age of 11 inside the hall of a church in his neighborhood in Porto Alegre, RS – Brazil, where Mestre Leca, a student of Mestre Indio of Bahia, and his students Rubão, Beto Loco, Reco among others, started to teach capoeira classes, changing the daily routine of this little community. These classes caught the attention of everyone in the neighborhood, especially the kids, who watched with great curiosity and admiration. Little by little, the church hall started filling up with spectators, kids and adults. And thus began Varal’s journey in capoeira. He had no idea that this art form would eventually influence his life, and develop into his own life philosophy and profession.

Capoeira has the power to change lives with its strong cultural history and values. It is important to remember that capoeira emerged from an era of great suffering for Brazil, and we must deliberately preserve our culture and nurture our roots.

In 2000, Varal graduated as Professor of Capoeira by Mestre Indio (Bahia) and Mestre Reco in Porto Alegre, RS – Brazil. He continued working with capoeira in Porto Alegre, then six years later, he came to California to teach, train and live with his teacher in Redondo Beach, CA, USA.

In May 2010, with the encouragement of his students and mentors, Contra Mestre Varal opened ArteLuta Capoeira Academy in Lomita, CA – USA, together with his wife Monica (Instructora Harmonia), with the mission of teaching, expanding and preserving the values, history, culture and legacy of the art of capoeira – bringing people together and changing lives along the way.


2015 marked an important milestone as the foremost leaders in our California capoeira community met and decided, as a collective, to promote Varal to the rank of Contra-Mestre “in recognition of his merits, discipline and determination demonstrated by his pursuit of excellence in both capoeira and in character, as well as for his dedication to preserving and expanding the art of capoeira.” They included:

  • Mestre Acordeon (UCA, Berkeley, CA);
  • Mestre Roque (BodySport Capoeira, Long Beach, CA);
  • Mestre Urubu Malandro (Capoeira Ijexá, San Francisco, CA);
  • Mestre Amen Santo (Capoeira Batuque, Culver City, CA);
  • Mestre Batata (Capoeira Besouro, Santa Monica, CA);
  • Mestre Paulo Batuta (Capoeira Mandinga, San Diego, CA);
  • Mestre Papaléguas (Capoeira Menino Bom, San Diego, CA);
  • Mestre Mariano (Capoeira Batuque, Santa Barbara, CA);
  • Mestre Penteado (Cordão de Ouro, Irvine, CA);
  • Mestre Mumia (Capoeira Brasil, Long Beach, CA);
  • Mestre Elias (Quilombos de San Diego, San Diego, CA);
  • Mestre Borracha (Los Angeles, CA);
  • Mestre Sabará (San Diego, CA); and
  • Mestre Pelourinho (Tijuana, MX/ San Diego, CA).

Monica Harmonia began her capoeira journey with Capoeira Pegadas in Albuquerque, NM, under Professor (now Contra-Mestre) Maluco, a student of Mestre Acordeon (UCA), around 2001. She continued her training with CM Gui, CM Reco and CM Varal when she moved to California. In 2010, she joined CM Varal in the opening of Arteluta Capoeira Academy, and became Instrutora in 2016.