His mother died in 1942 and José with his only brother Carlos "Cazoza" moved to a relative's house in São Braz where he learned to fish and continued to learn capoeira with Leó.
M Dorado: «Your mother died, how old were you, mestre?»
M Gato Preto: «12 years old»
«I became a fisherman.»
«There [in São Braz] I learned capoeira with Leó. And this Leó was one of the.. my second mestre and he taught me alot of things - he gave me a headbutt and I grazed my face on the grass, it was all grazed. He spoke with a really deep voice.»
«Leó was a student of João Catarino, who was my uncle from my mother's side. This uncle that I spoke about now, the first one was an uncle from my father's side [Severiano]. And the one I talk about now, is from mother's side. So João Catarino was a dark man, he had a little.. it looked like he was paralytic, but he wasn't. He had a some thing with his arm, but he was an incredible capoeira, lived in a place called Santa Catarina. This place still exists. There's São Braz [..] and there's still Santa Catarina on the other side where a number of blacks lived, Nagos, and I was raised in the middle of them.»
Interview to M Dorado, 1999 (listen below)