He was born in Salvador de Bahia on 23 november 1900. Back then he already received his nickname, Bimba. His mother (Maria Martinha do Bomfim) was convinced to give birth to a girl. The midwife though bet against the mother's conviction. When the child was born and it was obvious that it was a boy the midwife shouted out "Bimba" as in Bahia the male genital is called.
The still young Manoel learned the wild and violent African fight from his father (Luiz Cândido Machado), a master of this art called batuque. Here the objective is to knock down the opponent only with the help of your legs.
By the age of 12 years Mestre Bimba had his first contact with Capoeira. As a student of Bentinho, a captain of the shipping company of Bahia, learned the historical dance/fight for four years. Afterwards he began to teach this style for ten years at the harbour authority in Bahia.
By the time got the impression that Capoeira might evolve. According to his opinion Capoeira offered too little combat operation and served only anymore for shows in places and markets. This made him worry that Capoeira within the shadows of other martial arts such as Judo or Karate could be extinct. Therefore he connected Capoeira with Batuque to emphasize the movements with more agility and to create a more motivated dynamic and acrobatic game.
During the days in which Mestre Bimba had grown up Capoeira was an outlawed streetfight and the execution was prohibited by law. Those who did it anyway where hunted down and often punished heavily. Therefore Capoeira was not taught in schools. Mestre Bimba skirted this prohibition by teaching his "new" Capoeira und the cover name „Luta Regional Baiana“ (regional fight of Bahia) in his studio. By consequence he founded the the first Capoeira studio in Bahia in 1932.
During these days Brazil went through a phase of many changes on a political, cultural and social level. Within the modernisation Bimba was finally able to bring his Capoeira style to public and therefore in the year 1936 there was the first public performance. One year after he was invited to the governmental palace to perform in front of various personalities from state, administration and society. Mestre Bimba convinced his audience of this Capoeira Regional so that finally it was nominated Brazil's national sport. After these events his school was recognized by law the 23, june 1937, as the first one in Brazil.
By the year 1942 he founded his second Capoeira school (academia) in Terreiro de Jesus, which until today under the direction of his former student Mestre Vermelho (nowadays Mestre Bamba).
Mestre Bimba taught many students as well as numerous personalities of Bahia's social and political life if they passed the entrance examinations. Although he did not nominate any Mestre during his whole lifetime.
1972 Mestre Bimba participated in his last „Batizado“ and died in 15, february 1974 from a cerebral haemorrhage at a hospital in Goiânia. Disappointed by deceptive promises of the government, lack of support and financial problems unfortunately he was not anymore able to see how Capoeira developed and how much it is appreciated today.
Aberrê had been famous for a long time in those rodas and when Pastinha spent one afternoon there, Mestre Amorzinho, one of the best masters of Bahia, asked him if he wouldn't teach Capoeira Angola. By consequence in 1942 Pastinha founde the first school for Capoeira Angola, the „Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola“ in the Pelourinho quarter. His students wore black pants and yellow t-shirts, the colors of Pastinhas favourite soccer club "Ypiranga Futebol Clube".
He was part of the brazilian delegation at the „First International Festival de Artes Negras“ in Dakar (Senegal). Other popular masters in this festival were Mestre João Grande, Mestre Gato Preto, Mestre Gildo Alfinete, Mestre Roberto Satanás and Camafeu de Oxossi.
Only two of his best students are still alive, Mestre João Grande and Mestre João Pequeno, who are still disseminating Pastinhas legacy in this world.