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Grupo Liberdade de Capoeira was founded in 1987 by Mestre Cigano. In 1996, Mestre Cigano opened the New Jersey Capoeira Arts Center, in the East Ward of Newark, NJ. He has dedicated himself to teaching students of all ages and backgrounds, not only the fundamentals of capoeira, but his philosophy of respect and integrity. Although he returned to Brazil in late 2008 to Porto Seguro, his influence is evident to the enormous success of capoeira in New Jersey. Currently, his disciple, Contramestra Amazonas, works zealously to bring under privileged and marginalized men, women and children together as triumphant peaceful warriors who can defend themselves and others. Her practices continue through her work at the Afro Brazilian Arts and Education Academy in Vauxhall, NJ.