Capoeira in its origin is just one; however, each Mestre creates his own style, imprinting it
with his personality by means of his music or teaching method. Each student, having
individuality, manifests his personality in the way in which he feels the music, carries out the
movements, and assimilates the theoretical-practical teachings, according to his physical fitness,
cultural temperament, and mental development.


Hello everyone,

This is MY take on the similarities and differences in Capoeira Angola,  Regional, and other styles.

I warn you though, this is gonna be a VERY biased article, because I am an ANGOLEIRO, after all.

O.K., let’s do this.

as far as Capoeira styles go, whether it’s Angola, Regional, contemporary, moderna, and all in between… this is how I see it:

adinkrahene can move
O.K., I hope the guy who gave me this diagram doesn’t get mad (Sorry Tope), but this is how I’ve come to see Capoeira in terms of styles.

The diagram above is a representation of every form of capoeira ever created since it’s creation (Where and Whenever that may be) till the present day. However, for the sake of this article, I’m going to focus only on Capoeira styles from the state of Bahia…


O.K., Here we go.

There was once an older system of what we now call Capoeira Angola, represented in the largest circle in the diagram.

To try to illustrate what this older form of Capoeira may have been like, I’m gonna share this scene from the movie, BARRAVENTO (“The Turning Wind”) a 1962 Brazilian drama directed by Glauber Rocha.

At this time, the learning was very organic. Someone who wanted to learn did so by watching  and playing in different rodas, trying to imitate the older players, or they learned from older relatives. If one was lucky, they might find a mestre, who would work with him, so when the padawan (Yes, I’m a Star Wars fan) went to play, he would go in with some of his mestre’s “bag of tricks”, so to speak.

Anyway, from that older system, as represented in the 2nd largest circle in the diagram, Capoeira Regional was born. It was stripped from its mother form, “ironed out”(so to speak), and certain aspects of the mother form were removed that were counterproductive to its goals and objectives….

Now to me, Regional  is a different interpretation of the older form of Angola, changed to fit in with the changing times.

In this way, you can say that the  “spirit” of Capoeira had changed form and Regional was what was needed to maintain capoeira in Bahia at that time, where due to repression, other forms were dying out.

Then around 1951, as represented in the smallest circle, a slightly newer form of Capoeira Angola, responded by re-actively recreating its image and reshuffling it’s narrative to meet its objective and goals to stay alive.

Although this newer form embraced some of the changes introduced by Capoeira Regional, they were different than Regional with it’s “modern” approach, and so preserved many of the old rituals that was discarded in Regional…

Now, when we in the Capoeira community talk about Capoeira Angola, We usually mean the form from the lineage of MESTRE PASTINHA, who popularized the art.

However, there are many other lineages of Capoeira Angola practiced in Salvador, like SAMUEL QUERIDO DE DEUS, Mestre CANJIQUINHA, Mestre WALDEMAR, Mestre CAICARA, etc.

And quite a few  of them play and move quite differently than Mestre Pastinha’s lineage.

And let’s not forget the lineages outside of Salvador da Bahia…


Some of which also play and move quite differently than the capoeira in the city of Salvador.

For example, in Nestor Capoeira’s book, “CAPOEIRA: ROOTS OF THE DANCE-FIGHT GAME”, he writes about how a resercher named Muniz Sodre related a story about an old Capoeirista who was (in 1992) more than 90 years old, named Santuguri who lived in the town of ACUPE

Normally the game took place in front of the churches during the festivities of saint Benedict or Saint Anthony. It was a slow sort of game. So slow that some people found it boring. But santuguri played with such devotion, almost as a religious obligation, that it was something very impressive to watch. This sort of capoeira was done to the sound of a small guitar; there was no berimbau. The singing was always a repitition of “e, camaradinha, camara… e, camaradinha camara,” “hey, my little friend, my friend.” Santuguri, moving as if in slow motion, would follow the very slow kick of his camaradinha, “little friend”. he would slowly follow the other player’s foot with his hands, almost touching it until the other player’s foot reached the ground. Although Santuguri moved near the ground, it was completely different from the ground movements typical of players from the city of Salvador. He did not use the AU (Cartwheel) or the acrobatic movements.

he funny thing is that this same man was an xetremely fast and dangerous fighter. He could snatch, no kidding, knives from the hands of any attacker. he also had a curious feature: He would “hat beat” his opponents. He would fold his hat in a special way, and I believe he put a peice of lead in it. It was incredible to see how fast this man could move. And wherever the hat hit, it broke something!

Muniz Sodre also relates the following:

In another small town called Itapeme there was only one person who knew how to play capoeira, the barber. This man did not like it when people mentioned that he knew capoeira. Not because he wanted capoeira as a secret weapon. It was sort of a personal secret. Something to do with religious promises and obligations. In all the Reconcavo Baiano, a party of the state of Bahia, capoeira was almost religious and had a very strong African presence. Most of these people were sons or grandsons of slaves.

Yes my friend, Capoeira took quite a few different forms in the state of Bahia. And in places like RECIFE, SAO PAULO, and RIO DE JANEIRO, there existed yet other styles of Capoeira…

But I’m not gonna cover that in this article.

Now Regional wasn’t never-changing. In the 1960’s and 70’s, as Capoeira spread throughout Brazil, it was again changing to fit in with the times…

But we’ll cover that a little later.

When a few years later, around the mid to late 80’s, there was a resurgence of Capoeira Angola, it was again the spirit of capoeira reinventing itself to stay relevant as Regional was gaining more ground, and the more traditional styles were dying out…

And so, two paths were then established.

Which brings me to capoeira Moderna, or more commonly called Capoeira Contempornea (Contemporary Capoeira), at least where I’m from.

These days, this is the most common form you see in the Capoeira world.

This style was “created” in the 1960’s and 70’s, beginning more or less, with Grupo Capoeira SENZALA.

For a complete history of this group, I highly recommend you read CAPOEIRA: ROOTS OF THE DANCE-FIGHT GAME by Nestor Capoeira.

The capoeiristas from Grupo Senzala followed Mestre Bimba’s regional methods, and they also built upon them, developing their own unique style, which fit in with the more modern trend at the time, with capoeira leaning towards more of a competitive sport.

Other Capoeira groups followed their training methods, and also, other groups like Capoeira OMULU, Capoeira BRASIL, Capoeira ABADA, etc. were created by mestres who were in Grupo Senzala but left, contributing to the forming of Contemporary Capoeira as we see it. And, Some of these mestres from senzala and other groups like Grupo Cordao de Ouro, etc. would go and learn Capoeira Angola from the old masters in Bahia, further enriching the modern form.


And, there are other modern forms of capoeira out there.

This particular form is called Abibifahodie Capoeira. It’s practiced in the country of Ghana in West Africa, and it was created by a man named Obadele Kambon. You can find out more about him by clicking HERE, and you can find more information about his form of Capoeira by clicking HERE.


And below, we have a fascinating video stream by Da’mon Stith of Austin Warrior Arts, where he talks about Capoeira and it’s history. Yeah I know, I should’ve posting this video on one of the history pages but well… I’m posting it on this page.

He teaches his own form of capoeira, called Capoeira da Rua. click HERE to watch a playlist he made of this style.


Now some of you out there may have a few issues about this being “real” capoeira or whatever, so to you, I offer the following.

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Okay, if you were all reading this page so far (and not just skimming through), you saw that I just listed a variety of styles of capoeira (and one called kipura). And I didn’t even go into the many groups, factions, etc. inherent in each of these styles.


But to me, it’s all an illusion. To me, they’re all branches and leaves from the same tree.

What do I mean by that? Well, let’s look at the diagram again.

Now when you look at the circles in the diagram, you see that they’re not separate from each other; they intersect within and around each other.

To me, the various styles of capoeira are all different aspects of the same art. Yes, they look different, they’re played differently, they have different objectives, and the “culture” surrounding these art-forms are different, however…

They are all a part of each other.

But if you look a little deeper, you’ll find that there are many more similarities than differences, because they all have the same ROOTS…


That is, the Capoeira Angola as practiced in the early 1900’s and before. As I described above, all of the modern styles that I listed here came from, and are derivatives of that form.

Well, I told you this was gonna be a very biased article.

Sure, people like to play up the differences between styles, but to me, They’re all one and the same… Okay, not TOTALLY the same, but I think everyone can see that there are more similarities than differences.

Which is why I say that we’re all one big capoeira family.


Of course in the past, that hasn’t seemed to be true. For many years, there have been divisions, conflict between styles, certain groups within the same style, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseam.

Now, I’m personally am not about getting into all that kind of negativity, so if your curious about any of that, y’all can look all that up yourself.

All I’m gonna say about that is that yes, sometimes we may seem like one big DYSFUNCTIONAL family. HOWEVER, the fact is it’s been my experience that when the time comes,


And when we do, it’s beautiful.

I would like to take this moment to tell you about And, this is a event that I personally go to every year,


The Capoeira Exchange is an event organized by Professor Saracuru of CAPOEIRA BRASIL, and Mestre Muito Tempo of CAPOEIRA BATUQUE. The intention is to share and exchange capoeira for teachers and students and to promote community growth. All styles are invited and encouraged to participate. It is a unique environment where no uniforms showing any group affiliation or training level is allowed. Practitioners arrive in street wear and gather for the love of sharing capoeira with others. It is such an amazing experience! 

Capoeira Exchanges mainly take place in the Los Angeles area and seem to be bi-annually sometimes. What we do know is that they are gaining popularity. Students are traveling from all over California and the US just to participate, and some Capoeira Exchange events are happening in other cities as well.


And, there are other events like the Exchange happening in other places too. For example, at lake Merritt in Oakland Ca., they have a special roda on JUNETEENTH.


Even the MAIN capoeira schools in the L.A. area are getting in on this beautiful trend…


So, how did this new trend all start?

Now, it all started ( I beleive) with this Gathering that used to take place in Rio de Janeiro. The event was called MOVIMENTO NOVO (lit.”New Movement”).

The Movimento Novo was a movement of talented young capoeiristas of all styles and backgrounds, who would meet annually to play, film, and share thoughts on their beautiful games.


The Movimento Novo was born from an informal chat amongst the 3 co-founders. Feeling that their generation missed the old ‘classical’ Rodas from Rio de Janeiro, such as Quinta da Boa Vista or Penha, where people from various schools would meet in the past, they started this movement, to create a space to foster customs and values common to Capoeira before its institutionalization. So, you could say that, this is a re-creation of olden times. The 3 Co-founders are Mestre Ferradura, Itapua Beiramar, and Contra Mestre Lobisomen.

Mestre Ferradura is an experienced capoeirista, student of Mestre Marrom. He’s also part of an interdisciplinary team of teachers working with Capoeira as a holistic tool in educative programs for early childhood since 1988. For more information on his work, please visit Brincadeira de Angola at (http://www.brincadeiradeangola.com.br/quem.htm)

Jorge Itapuã Beiramar, apart from being a capoeirista, is also a chiropractor and a physiotherapist with knowledge in alternative therapies and corporal techniques. For more information about his work please visit (http://www.jorgeitapuabeiramar.blogspot.com/) or (http://www.jorgeitapuabeiramar.com/)

Lobisomen is a student of Mestre Camisa from Abadá group. (Later, he had to withdraw from the Movement due to group complications followed by the Rodas they created). 

Addressing the highly competitive behavior among most groups going on at the time (and sometimes even now, let’s face it), they removed all the group-related uniforms, and they even forfeit their titles for the duration of the meeting, in the effort to transcend the often highly political boundaries between today’s delineated capoeira academies and build a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood with their fellow capoeiristas.

Although this is not the case everywhere in the capoeira world, this trend is growing, and I for one would like to see it keep growing.


Now if you look at the diagram once again, you’ll see that all the circles have holes on the borders, usually to illustrate the fact that capoeira wasn’t created or practiced in a vacuum, that the capoeira adapts to the lessons that life offers him/her. But also, you’ll see a hole representing influences from outside capoeira angola philosophy, which I interpret (among other things) as incorporating other martial arts into capoeira.

This is not a new idea. Mestre Bimba has been accused many times of incorporating different asian arts, in addition to the art of batuque he learned from his father, into his capoeira to create Capoeira Regional.

Well whether that’s true or not, there has been instances of capoeira and other martial arts mixing together, capoeira and Jiu-jitsu in particular. In fact, in some circles it is claimed that Brazilian Jiu-jiuts (BJJ) is actually a combination of Japanese judo/jiu-jitsu and capoeira.

I haven’t found anything online which proves any of this (Not yet anyway, but I’m looking).

But I did find this…


But anyway, both arts DO have similarities, and it is true that many BJJ practitioners cross-train in Capoeira.


And in the future, there will be more collaborations and exchanges with other Martial Arts, like these…


And eventually, more mixing and combining different techniques and strategies from other styles into capoeira, and vice-versa, creating Hybrid Martial Arts.

And also, mixing Capoeira with other forms of dance, like Hip-Hop…


and Break-dancing, which actually has been happening since the early 1990’s.


Hell, I’ve even seen a video on YouTube called YOGAEIRA… Capoeira and Yoga fusion.


Well, as you can see, in the future, people will take capoeira down many paths. I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing, but it does seem inevitable…


But whatever happens… As long as the roots stay strong, capoeira will only keep growing, and no matter which direction it branches out, capoeira will still remain… Capoeira.


Well, That’s it for this Page. For those of you who made it this far, I hope you enjoyed it.

Please keep in mind, that what I posted here about the current styles is MY OWN OPINION. Not anyone else’s opinion, not some “official” kind of capoeira history in any way.

This is just my opinion, based on research, and on questions I asked to people with far more experience than me.


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