Leader of Axé Capoeira Chicago:

Contra-Mestre Bambu

Contra-Mestre Bambu has trained Capoeira with Mestre Barrão since 1998. Bambu performs and teaches workshops all over the world. He is extremely dedicated to his work, his group, and his Mestre. As a result, he is a highly respected member of the capoeira world.


Steven “Bambu” Kolhouse was born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1978. In 1997, Bambu dropped out of college with no motivation or passion in life. Shortly after, Bambu began training Capoeira with a small group on the Indiana University campus. 4 months later, their teacher moved away. Due to this, Bambu went to Chicago with a small group to participate in a capoeira event. At this event, he met Mestre Barrão. After the workshop, Mestre Barrão accepted Bambu and his friends into Grupo Axé Capoeira. That fall, he went to his first Grupo Axé Capoeira batizado in Vancouver, BC.

Indiana to Chicago

From 1998-2004, Bambu taught with little success in Indiana. During this time, he attended every capoeira event he could to spend time training with his Mestre. In 2004, Bambu moved to Chicago hoping to develop his academy and train capoeiristas versed in all aspects. In 2009, Bambu realized his dream by opening his own Chicago Capoeira academy.


Contra Mestre Bambu continues to travel and train as much as possible. He participated in a 5 day course consisting of four parts: Capoeira History, Capoeira Angola, Capoeira Regional, and Capoeira Contemporânea. World renowned individuals taught this course:

  • Historian Frede Abreu
  • Mestre Jogo de Dentro
  • Mestre Nenel
  • Mestre Barrão

A course of this caliber has rarely, if ever, been taught and is something few can say they accomplished. Great names of capoeira like,Mestre Mão Branca, Mestre Paulão Ceara, Mestre Ousado, and more witnessed and confirmed his recent formatura (graduation) to Contra Mestre status. He is one of the top capoeiristas in the United States and one of the most respected American born capoeiristas in the world. He continues to strive to better his teaching, himself, and all students of Capoeira regardless of their group.