Fernando Leite Junior, or better known in the Capoeira community as Mestre Junior, has over 21 years of practice and 14 years of teaching this magnificent art form. He opened a branch of the AÚ Capoeira school in New Zealand 5 years ago with the mission to pass on the knowledge of Capoeira.
He was first introduced to Capoeira by his own father Mestre Pop, a greatly respected Capoeira Master, in 1988. After 7 years of training and after obtaining the required graduation level he became an instructor and was authorized by his Master to teach Capoeira in his city.
Inside his father’s gym, Junior had the opportunity to be in touch with different styles of fitness training and martial arts. Because of this, he also graduated in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (brown belt) and is an advanced level practitioner in Thai kick-boxing.
Recently on the 13th of August 2011, Junior was awarded his Mestre corda by Mestre Pop in the presence of great Masters like Mestre Bandeira, Mestre Serpente, Mestre Pinoquio, Mestre Tucano, Mestre Gringo, Mestre Tuti, Mestre Delmar and many other Contra-mestres, Professors and Instructors from over a dozen different Capoeira Schools. Victor, Junior’s brother, was also awarded his Professor corda and, together with his wife Instrutora Drycka, organized this grand event that ended with the Batizado of over 30 kids and teenagers – all of whom are part of a volunteer program developed by Professor Victor aiming to use Capoeira as a tool of social inclusion for underprivileged children. The massive presence of the parents, relatives and friends of the students made the celebration even more special. All the kids played gracefully and skilfully, showing that when you do something with passion and love, you can change the lives of many people around you.
Congratulations to Professor Victor and Instrutora Drycka for putting together an awesome event and for displaying a good example of unity and love. Many Thanks to Mestre Pop for being the cornerstone of our school and for always showing us that a great leader should be humble and never stop looking for wisdom. Congratulations to Mestre Junior. A new Master was made and a new beginning starts now.