In 1999, “Grupo Axe Capoeira Kansas City” became the first branch of “Grupo Axe Capoeira” in the United States. At the time, Mestre Barrão, the leader of Grupo Axe Capoeira, was living in Vancouver Canada. It was there in Vancouver, May 1999, that Instrutora Arara (Sonia Duncombe) began her walk with Capoeira.
Sonia was born in North Vancouver Canada and stumbled upon Capoeira when in Israel – finishing her degree in Physical Therapy. It wasn’t until she graduated, (approx. 4 months after first learning about Capoeira) and returned to Vancouver, that she actually witnessed the beautiful art form that would capture her and eventually bring her to Kansas City to teach, train and grow a group of students.
Sonia arrived in Kansas City in 2006. However, before her arrival, Sonia lived on the island of St. Croix for three years. With Mestre Barrão’s blessing, Sonia embraced the opportunity to help a fellow Capoeirista to grow the art of Capoeira on the island while moving forward professionally to study the healing qualities of Acupuncture.
When Sonia arrived in Kansas City, she was training with a “corda Marrom” (brown belt). This belt is at the level of a student. With much dedication and consistent training under the leadership of Graduado Relogio, Sonia began to teach a children’s Capoeira class (2009) with her two beautiful daughters: Zoé and Nahla. In 2013 Sonia received her corda verde – Graduada Arara. In 2014, after an unfortunate medical incident, forcing the existing leader , Graduado Relogio, to step away from Capoeira, Mestre Barrão honored Sonia, Graduada Arara, leadership of the school of Capoeira here in Kansas City .
In 2015, after moving all over Kansas City, Grupo Axe Capoeira Kansas City finally had a place to call home. Graças a Deus! The “Axe Capoeira Academy” is located at 6430 Troost Ave and is led by Instrutora Arara.
Instrutora Arara has competed worldwide with Capoeira placing 1st and 2nd place in Switzerland (2015), 1st place in Czeck Republic (2015), 2nd place in Brazil (2015). Instrutora was awarded 1st place for a dance competition in Brazil (2018) and came home from Brazil with the gold in 2023 after competing in another Capoeira competition.
Each year, The Capoeira school in Kansas City, has successfully hosted an annual Batizado. This belt ceremony brings Mestre Barrão and guest Capoeira teachers to Kansas City, from around the world to recognize the hard work of the students of Kansas City and to expand the breadth of knowledge of the students. These events capture the attention of students from across the United States and Canada to come to Kansas City for the training and celebrations – thus lifting the Axé of our “Casa de Capoeira”
Humbled by the truths that hold strong in the roots of Capoeira, Instrutora Arara, along with her students, strives to attract and to inspire the forces of Community that make change within the individual and thus, the greater whole. Axé!