Leader of Axé Capoeira Chicago:

Contra-Mestre Bambu

Contra-Mestre Bambu has been training Capoeira under the tutelage of Mestre Barrão since 1998. Bambu has participated in performances and workshops spanning all over the world and he has been invited to teach in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Europe, Russia, Macau, and Southeast Asia. He is extremely dedicated to his work, his group, and his Mestre. He shows that in his teaching and training.


Steven “Bambu” Kolhouse was born in Kokomo, IN USA – 1978. In 1997, Bambu dropped out of college with no motivation or passion for anything in life. In early 1998, Bambu began training Capoeira with a small group in Bloomington, IN on the Indiana University campus. Four months after he started, the teacher of their college group graduated college and moved away. Eager to continue capoeira, Bambu went to Chicago with a small group to participate in a capoeira encounter. That’s where he first met Mestre Barrão. After the workshop, Mestre Barrão was kind enough to accept Bambu and his friends as a part of Grupo Axé Capoeira. That fall, he went to his first Grupo Axé Capoeira batizado in Vancouver, BC Canada.

From 1998-2004, Bambu taught with random success in various cities in Indiana. He would attend every capoeira event he could, in order to spend time training with Mestre Barrão and absorb as much knowledge as possible. In 2004, Bambu moved to Chicago with the hopes to develop his academy, bring a strong Capoeira presence to the Mid-West United States, and train complete capoeiristas versed in all aspects of the game, fight, music, history, culture, and language. In 2009, Bambu realized this dream by opening his own Capoeira academy in Chicago.

Today, Bambu continues to travel and train as much as possible. He has participated in a 5 day course consisting of four parts: Capoeira History, Capoeira Angola, Capoeira Regional, and Capoeira Contemporânea. These courses were taught by world renowned individuals: Historian Frede Abreu, Mestre Jogo de Dentro, Mestre Nenel, and Mestre Barrão. A course of this caliber has rarely, if ever, been taught and is something few can say they have accomplished. 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 Grupo Axé Capoeira.