“Você tem que saber chegar e Você tem que saber sair.”
Norival Moreira de Oliveira was born in the village of Coroa, Itaparica Island – just off the coast of the city of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil on June 22, 1945. His grandfather gave him his first Capoeira lesson when he was 4 years old. At 7, Norival and his family moved to Massaranduba, a poor neighborhood near the church of Bom Fim. Masters Nilton and Cutica, brothers and highly respected Capoeiristas lived down the block, took the young Norival to meet the elder Masters Pirro and Zeca.
Masters Pirro, Zeca and Nilton organized and commanded many Capoeira rodas in the streets. On special occasions, Mestre Traira, Mestre Waldemar and other Mestres from Liberdade, (a neighborhood known for it’s great people) organized incredible rodas. 20 masters would show up to sing, play berimbau, play pandeiro and vadiar (play Capoeira). Norival was always present at these Capoeira rodas but did not yet enter the circle. These rodas were reserved only for Mestres.
During an intense Capoeira roda in front of a church one Sunday afternoon, Mestre Nilton told Norival to “buy the game”. Norival began playing in the Mestre’s rodas and in 1965 he started teaching in his own academy of Capoeira Angola.
Mestre Nô has been Master of Capoeira for over forty-five years. His name is known to everyone who is involved in Capoeira. He founded Capoeira Angola Academies Retinos, Orixas Da Bahia and Capoeira Angola Palmares. He has taught thousands of people and is called the “Mestre dos Mestres” or Master of Masters for having graduated over 75 masters. He is founder, president, and grand master of Associação Brasileira Cultural de Capoeira Angola Palmares (ABCCAP) an organization dedicated to teaching, promoting and maintaining the traditions of Capoeira Angola worldwide. Mestre Nô began teaching Capoeira Angola in Seattle in the early 1990s and his student Professor Mangangá is one of the very few certified to teach his style in the United States.
Today, Mestre Nô lives with his children and grandchildren in Boca Do Rio, Salvador. He teaches Capoeira at his Academy in Boca do Rio and travels throughout the world instructing and guiding all the Capoeiristas and the many academies of ABCCAP.