Capoeira Legend Mastre Demetrius Pereira dos Santos: An Inside Look


Allow me to introduce myself, I am Mark Carillo, huge MMA fan and “wanna be” MMA fighter. I train at Windy Sport and Fitness in College Station, Texas, and am a new contributor to I contacted Mike Jackson via Facebook, he thought I was the coolest guy he had ever met, and offered me a job. Naturally, after all the excitement of being able to contribute to another MMA website again wore off, I got a little nervous. I realized I have never done this before. I have to take pictures, research, come up with questions for an interview, and then ask the questions face to face. I sat thinking, “what am I going to write about?” Luckily, my coach and owner of Windy Sport and Fitness Jermaine Coxinha Anugwom had a capoeira legend coming to his gym, a man named Demetrius Pereira dos Santos.

I immediately Googled him and searched some YouTube videos, this guy is amazing. His feet moved with such grace, and his enthusiasm towards his students made his classes seem fun and made me feel like dancing. He started his class off beating a drum and singing a Portuguese song while the students stretched, and yes his singing is almost as great as his capoeira skills. Watching him teach his capoeira class was fun and made me want to jump in at times, at the end of class he gives some students nicknames which I think is awesome considering the only nickname I have ever “semi had” was Gooch. I got to sit down face to face with dos Santos as well as Jermaine and a translator to ask them both a few questions. Nervousness began settling in again, luckily I have known Jermaine for years which made it a little easier, but I was interested in learning more about this dos Santos guy.

Sure enough, dos Santos has an interesting background. He started training in capoeira at the age of six even though it was still considered somewhat taboo at the time in Brazil. As an adult he was a former member of the Brazilian Army. In the beginning, his father was against dos Santos learning capoeira to the point that he burned his capoeira pants when he found them in his childhood hiding spot. When his dad saw him on television in Brazil winning the Championship at the Brazilian Confederation of Capoeira (two-time champion), he shed a tear for his son, realizing this was his dream and he had achieved it.

Dos Santos has taught classes all over the world. He now trains and teaches in Houston and says he loves it here in the states. Of course he will always love Brazil; but he loves how the United States offers everyone a chance to achieve their “American Dream”. He is currently helping Jermaine Coxinha Anugwom train for his March 1st fight with Chris Reed. He calls Jermaine his son and insists on having a family relationship with each fighter he trains. Dos Santos says he is looking forward to getting more classes in College Station.

Mastre Demetrius was a great first interview, and I plan to have many more. He was genuinely nice and respectful to everyone he met at the gym that day, and a pleasure to have interviewed. If in the Houston or College Station area and interested in capoeira you can contact Windy Sport at or Mastre Demetrius at

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkilloTX

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