David Payne started playing Capoeira in 2000 with Axé Kansas City on the steps of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Training there was long, tough and fun. Capoeira felt so much different to him than the other martial arts he had studied. It hooked David from the first class with Graduado Relógio, Preguiça and Tucano. After meeting Mestre Barrão and learning about the breadth of Capoeira training, David knew that he had found the art that would drive him to develop his mind and body together. Through the movements of Capoeira, David learned to express himself in what feels like a new language. During his first batizado in Kansas City, David was given the nickname Cenoura alongside many other Capoeiristas destined to be named after agricultural produce.

In 2002, Cenoura moved 100 miles east for school. Though far away, he continued training Capoeira movements, music, dance and culture with Axé Kansas City three times per week. During this time, Cenoura met Instrutor Bambu and spent a week in Vancouver, BC training with Mestre Barrão.


In 2004, school took Cenoura 250 miles east of Kansas City to St. Louis. Separated from his grupo, he maintained his knowledge of Capoeira as best he could by himself. Cenoura did not wish to train with a different grupo; Axé Capoeira had become a part of him.

In 2011, Mestre Barrão taught a workshop for Axé Kansas City, and Cenoura reconnected with the grupo. Training with Axé Capoeira again, it was like he had never been gone. Mestre Barrão, seeking to introduce Axé Capoeira to St. Louis, tasked Cenoura with finding people who want to learn Capoeira. Now, Cenoura trains with the Axé Capoeira academies closest to St. Louis in both Chicago and Kansas City to become a complete capoeirista versed in all aspects of the game, fight, music, history, culture and language. Cenoura hopes to bring this knowledge, this way of life to St. Louis and develop a vibrant Axé Capoeira Academy.