Capoeira Instructor Ahmad Simmons: Adjusting the Steps to His Dream
Capoeira instructor Ahmed Simmons moved to Brazil six days after 9-11. He’d visited there before, invited by famed martial arts teacher Edna Lima, the first female to achieve the title of mestre in the Capoeira system and a Shotokan karate black belt. Capoeira is a fighting system developed by African slaves in Brazil, who hid their combat moves under acrobatic forms.
“My heart moved to Brazil on the date of that tragedy,” he recalled, “and “I physically moved to Bahia/ Salvador state, in Morro de Sao Paulo city, six days later. My goal was to establish a school to help homeless street children. ”
He founded Guerreiros Da Luz to teach martial arts, music, and various academics to poor kids, particularly the homeless, abandoned ones who live on the street. In addition to homeless youth, he recruited a few parents most of whom had no money to send their children to more established Capoeira schools, and held classes wherever he could for six to thirteen-year-olds.
Growing up in Brooklyn’s Red Hook Housing Projects, Simmons is no stranger to poverty and is well aware of the struggle boys and girls have in America. But the U. S. offers far more programs and services to children and teens than those living in Morro de Sao Paulo. Years later, his dream to help children there is still under construction.
Although he studied and ranked in the school of highly esteemed Mestre Boneco, who founded Capoeira Brazil, at 5557 W. Washington Blvd in Los Angeles, life in Brazil had unforeseen challenges.
To read more about Guerreiros Da Luz go to:http://www. gdluz.webs.com
To visit Simmons’ fundraising video go to:http://igg.me/at/feijao/x/154545
Contact Simmons:[email protected]
To learn about capoeira in Northeast LA: go to www.capoeirebrasil.com and click on Community at the top of the page.
You’ll see an excellent video about Jessica Carla de Lima-Moran and Sean Anthony Moran’s work with youth and families there.