Capoeira Angola is a style created in Salvador in the State of Bahia by Master Pastinha (18 to 1981). He organized the ancient Capoeira in his sport center of Capoeira Angola given set rules in how to preserve the traditional capoeira. Over the time his style became very popular and spread all over the word. Capoeira Regional Capoeira Regional or Luta Regional Bahiana was created by Master Bimba, whom was influenced by different styles of fight and created his own system with a sequence of movements, uniforms and graduation. Capoeira was under the Brazilian criminal code until Master Bimba did a presentation to the Brazilian President at that time, Getulio Vargas and short after Capoeira was officialised as National Sport in Brazil in 1937. Capoeira Contemporanea: The third style and also the most popular is the capoeira contemporaneous or contemporary capoeira. In practice it is a capoeira style that uses elements of Capoeira Angola and Regional adding stunts and jumps from artistic gymnastics, and often elements of Asian martial arts
There are some movements that are common to the different styles of capoeira. As a result, they do not change depending on style, but what changes is the technique and how to use them. Techniques can vary from one instructor to the other, and each instructor has his/her own way to practice capoeira.
We can, actually, say that there are only a few movements in capoeira. The “Pisoes”, which in its majority are part of the turns and the lower movements, “esquivas” are dodges, or escaping, “rasteiras” e “cabeçada”. From these movements, we created variations that during the roda or game, they are improvised and appear in countless combinations. I also could highlight the movements in three categories: unbalancing (tripping and falls), traumatic (straight kicks), and displaced (any movement followed by a kick).
The movements of capoeira follow the order of attack and defense. In defense, the most common movements used are the “esquivas”, which are nothing more than a step back in reaction of the opponent’s attack. There are “esquivas” variations such as: side “esquivas”, front “esquivas”, back “esquivas”, under or up “esquivas”. There are also mixed “esquivas” that can be a defense or attack at the same time.
The kicks are the movements that stand out in the capoeira games, since kicks are basically what capoeira is. In my way of interpreting capoeira, the “escorao” is the father of all variations of the legs kicking, like: bencao, meia-lua-de-frente, ponteira, martelo, calcanheira. We also have the “queichada”, meia-lua-de-compasso, rabo de arraia and armada.
If they ever used punches in capoeira, that has been forgotten. What is normally used are the slaps. Elbow strikes are in sequences created by Mestre Bimba and is also seen in Capoeira Angola.
The “rasteira” is one of the basic movements in capoeira. Today, we have a wide range of variations of this movement that are taught in different academies in Brazil and around the world. Examples are “rasteira em baixo”, and “rasteira de lado”.
The music is a very important aspect in capoeira and is in the music where we can find the whole philosophy of it. In the beginning of capoeira the music was not very common, even tough in some moments of its history we could see some practitioners playing capoeira with the sound of capoeira music. But over the time the music started being introduced on the “rodas” e practices and today we cannot disassociate one from the other. The most important instrument in capoeira is the “berimbau”.Depending of the capoeira style or how the Master plays capoeira, o berimbau is accompanied by others instruments such as: atabaque, pandeiro, agogo e reco-reco.In capoeira the music are sung in brazilian portugues which has a small difference from the Portuguese from Portugal such as the accent and some words with native (tupi-guarini), African, Arabic and Hebrew influences. There are different types of capoeira music: Ladainha, Corridos, Quadras, Chulas and Martelo. The Ladainha is usually sung by only one person and the songs portray a historical fact related to the history of capoeira, or explaining a personal story. The corridos are short songs where one person leads and the participants respond also in a short way.The Quadras are specific to the Regional style and the Chulas are mixed songs of ladainhas e corridos.The Martelo is a sort of challenge between two people normally an exchange of insults in the form of jokes. The last three styles of music are used somewhat less in the Capoeira Rodas.
The Pandeiro (Tambourine) The pandeiro was brought to Brazil trough Portugal, and later adopted by the slaves and their descendants in their music. According to musicologists, however, the pandeiro has much older origin, introduced in Portugal by the Moors and believed to be of Jewish origin.
The Ago-gô (Cowbell) The agogô is an ancient African instrument brought over during the period of slavery. Its country of origin is not known, but it was quickly adopted in various Brazilian religious celebrations as well as in other forms of Brazilian music.
The Reco-Reco or Ganzá Widely used in the northeast of Brazil, the reco-reco was more often associated with Carnival and only used in Capoeira Angola by certain groups. It is most probably an instrument of indigenous.
The Atabaque (Drum) An instrument of Arabic origin, the atabaque was widely used in Europe during religious processions ans was also known in Africa. It was introduced to Brazil by the Portuguese for certain religious occasions and adopted by the African slaves who were already familiar with its uses. atabaqueplay atabaque.
The BerimbauThe berimbau is widely believed to be one of the oldest instruments of humankind, found in various parts of the world, including Africa. Most probably, it was brought over with the African slaves. Originally, the berimbaus were used mainly in festivals and dances, and eventually its use spread to Capoeira, first in Salvador da Bahia and later in other parts of Brazil.