|Mestre Nô in his own words:
“My name is Norival Moreira de Oliveira. I was given the name by my brother, the name of Nô, and this was confirmed by my masters of Capoeira, as it was dificult for them to say Norival, and so Nô was much better. I am a native of the Ilha de Itaparica, an Island paralel to Salvador and born on 22nd June of 1945. I began Capoeira very young, at four years old, on Ilha de Itaparica. My first instructions in Capoeira were given by my grandfather, Olegario, it was him who gave me the most incentive in this art of Capoeira. When I was twelve years old I moved to Salvador with my parents, and there I began to be involved in Capoeira, and together with the Mestres Nilton and Cutica who were students of Mestre Pierrot who was a student of Mestre Zeca. Through them I continued my studies. But the most responsible for my learning and involvement in Capoeira were my Mestres Nilton and Pierrot.
In 1964, at 19 years old, I began to teach Capoeira, and opened my first academy. It was called Academia De Capoeira Angola Retintos. In 1969 I created the Acadamia de Capoeira Angola Orixas da Bahia and in 20th November of 1979 founded the Grupo de Capoeira Angola Palmares da Bahia, today it is the Associacao Cultural Brazileira de Capoeira Angola Palmares.
Consecrated as a Capoeirista in a Roda de Capoeira of Mestre Waldemar, as until then I was unknown unknown to the Mestres of Capoeira. In the roda of Mestre Waldemar, in the festa (party) of Ribeira in Salvador, in about the year of 1963, I was consecrated, I played and showed my worth for the other Mestres such as Mestre Waldemar, Traira, Cobrinha Verde, Canjiquinha, as well as other excellent Capoeirstas there.
Capoeira in the old days, in the time when I was younger, was less violent and more dangerous. Today it is very violent and less dangerous. The Capoeira of yesterday was more dangerous because the Capoeiristas practised with devotion the fundamentals that existed in Capoeira, that today which is ignored. Before there did not exist as much violence, but the number of those who practiced was less and the number of those who practiced violence was less.
As Capoeira spread in a disorganized manner, not trained and practiced through the fundamentals and Capoeiristas who are unable to speak (through the art) and so use violence as a force and agression. In the old days the Capoeirista arrived in the Roda. He played, won his opponent…broke his head…broke…but in the moment to leave the Roda, he did not let down his guard, he was allways atentive, distrusting and always ready to defend himself from whatever attack, his mind always alert, a global vision, vision totally open and attentive to everything. Today, no. Today the Capoeirista arrives in the roda, does a bunch of foolishness; he fights, does whatever, it is done, he is broken, and after, when he arrives at the bar, drinks a beer with his back to the door…In the old days Capoeira was more violent and less dangerous, today Capoeira is more violent and less dangerous. It is not taught through it’s fundamentals, the Capoeirista is not taught how to behave in the roda and in life. Many practice to practice, for the asthetic, for the beauty, for the charm, whatever, something that touches them, and they do it, they go and practice Capoeira. Today, it is like this, it is not taken as a philosophy of life.
I have learned much in this long time, continue learning and will die learning. About the fundamentals of Capoeira, it is difficult to speak like this, in little time, but there are many things to say. All the fundamentals are directed for a larger roda, than a roda of Capoeira; the roda is called life, that is our day in day out, where no one belongs to no one, where everyone is their own. What we put into the roda we put into life.”