ENVIRONMENT
07/11/2013 04:50 pm ET Updated Jul 11, 2013

Mestre Acordeon, 70-Year-Old Capoeira Teacher, To Ride Bike From San Francisco To Brazil (VIDEO)

Turning 70 could mean retirement, golf or a move to Florida. Or it could mean it's time to ride a bicycle from San Francisco to Brazil.

To celebrate his 70th birthday, famed capoeira teacher Mestre Acordeon will embark on a 14,000-mile cycling trip from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area to Bahia, Brazil.

"It should be a journey of great introspection," he told The Huffington Post. "I hope to emerge a better person and a better teacher."

Acordeon plans to film the trip for a documentary about capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) and its influence around the world. He will begin the trip on September 1, two days after his birthday. He told HuffPost that he couldn't leave on his actual birthday because he is participating in a five-day Brazilian festival.

He hopes to complete the trip in 400 days.

"I needed to be responsible and not take any unnecessary risks," he said. "I'm hoping to ride for 300 days and spend 100 resting, practicing capoeira and immersing myself in the culture of the countries I visit."

Through the trip and the documentary, Acordeon hopes to raise funds and awareness for his philanthropic project, Projeto Kirimure, a program that works with at-risk children in Brazil, providing a space for them to practice capoeira, study reading and writing and get help with homework.

Acordeon (born Bira Almeida) has been teaching capoeira for 50 years and traveled to the United States from his native Brazil in 1978. He has won three national championships and founded the Capoeira Arts Foundation in Berkeley.

Will he ever retire?

"I should have already!" he told HuffPost. "But I do what I do and am still sitting strong because of my students. They are a young audience so full of life, so I feel that way too. I look at myself in the mirror and think, 'who is this old guy?'"

"All of my projects before this have been informational," he continued. "This journey is about living an introspective life. I think that's one of the most important things I can leave for my students."

Learn more about Acordeon's trip on his Indiegogo page.

HuffPost

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